Ego Depletion and Cognitive Load: Same Or Different Constructs?

Joachim Vosgerau, Carnegie Mellon University
Ravi Dhar, Yale University
Klaus Wertenbroch, INSEAD, France
Sabrina Bruyneel, Carnegie Mellon University
The theory of ego depletion states that all acts of self-control draw on a common limited resource that is self-control specific. We tested whether the scarce self-control specific resource might in fact be more general in nature by comparing the effects of ego depletion and cognitive load on incidental memory for product information. Depletion and cognitive load produced similar effects, supporting the claim that depletion-effects are not limited to self-control. However, depletion could be overcome by influencing people’s beliefs, whereas cognitive load could not, suggesting that depletion and cognitive load do represent two different processes.
[ to cite ]:
Joachim Vosgerau, Ravi Dhar, Klaus Wertenbroch, and Sabrina Bruyneel (2008) ,"Ego Depletion and Cognitive Load: Same Or Different Constructs?", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 217-220.