The Sprinter Effect: When Involvement and Self-Control Fail to Overcome Ego-Depletion

Danit Ein-Gar, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Yael Steinhart, University of Haifa, Israel
This research examines the joint effect of dispositional self-control and situational involvement on ego-depletion and on subsequent performance in consumption related tasks. Contrary to past studies which have shown that separately involvement or self-control facilitate overcoming ego-depletion, this research contends that being both highly involved and with high self-control jeopardizes one's ability to overcome ego-depletion, resulting in poorer performance on subsequent consumption activities. We term this the “sprinter effect.” Three studies in both lab and field settings demonstrate this phenomenon and suggest how to de-bias it.
[ to cite ]:
Danit Ein-Gar and Yael Steinhart (2009) ,"The Sprinter Effect: When Involvement and Self-Control Fail to Overcome Ego-Depletion", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 771-771.