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The Impact of Autonomy Support and Its Vicarious Perception on State Self-control

Author: XuSha
Tutor: ZhengQuanQuan
School: Zhejiang University
Course: Applied Psychology
Keywords: autonomy support self-control ego depletion vicarious depletion subjective vitality
CLC: B841
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 58
Quote: 0
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Abstract


The reason for self-control may influence the degree of ego depletion. Feeling compelled to exert self-control requires much more self-control strength than exerting self-control for more autonomous reasons. This effect may have vicarious effect. This means that participants who simulated the perspective of a person exercising self-control for different reasons may exhibit different degrees of vicarious depletion.In Study 1, we used Stroop as the initial task, through comparing the variation of WMC before and after the task in autonomous and compelled situation, the effect of autonomy support on ego depletion was investigated. In Study 2, participants were asked to watch different videos of Study 1 (autonomous or compelled) and take the perspective of the person executing the task of Stroop when they watched. By comparing the variation of WMC before and after the watch, we investigated the impact of vicarious perception of autonomy support on vicarious depletion. In Study 3, we contrasted the effects of different subjects.The results were as follows:(1) Individuals whose autonomy was supported while exerting self-control performed better on a subsequent test of WMC as compared to individuals who had more pressure placed upon them while exerting self-control, both in ego depletion and vicarious depletion. The difference in self-control performance was not due to confidence or motivation among the controlled participants.(2) The decline in WMC was mediated by subjective vitality. Feelings or vicarious feelings of autonomy support lead to enhanced feelings of subjective vitality. This increased vitality might help replenish lost ego-strength, which lead to better WMC performance subsequently. The degree of depletion in initial task had moderating effect on this impact. (3) The impact of autonomy support on state self-control was moderated by perceptive target.

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