Self-control: Knowledge or perishable resource?

Marco A. Palma

Michelle S. Segovia

Bachir Kassas

Luis A. Ribera

Charles R. Hall

Abstract: The self-control literature suggests two main short-run models with contradictory predictions. By perceiving self-control as a knowledge or perishable resource, those models report a positive and negative impact, respectively, of an initial self-control act on subsequent self-control ability. Using biometric data to monitor compliance enabled us to develop a unified self-control model, reconciling the diverging results in the literature. We find evidence of a dual impact of an initial self-control act on subsequent impulse buying self-control ability. Specifically, while an initial moderate self-control act enhances subsequent self-control ability, exerting self-control beyond a certain threshold causes fatigue reducing subsequent self-control ability.


  • Biometrics
  • Ego depletion
  • Self-regulation
  • Unified model
This publication uses EEG and Eye Tracking which is fully integrated into iMotions Lab

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