Regulating the effects of depletion through monitoring

Echo Wen Wan*, Brian Sternthal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


A robust finding is that participants who perform a depleting initial self-regulatory task are less persistent on a contiguous second task than are those who perform a less arduous initial self-regulatory task. We explain this regulatory depletion effect in terms of a monitoring process. According to this view, depleted individuals focus on the resources they have devoted to a second task, neglect to monitor their performance against their standards for such activities, and prematurely suspend their performance. Consistent with this view, we demonstrate that the regulatory depletion effect can be eliminated when individuals are encouraged to monitor their performance against some standard (Studies 1, 2, and 4) or when they have a proclivity to engage in such monitoring (Studies 3 and 4).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-46
Number of pages15
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Elongation
  • Monitoring
  • Persistence
  • Regulatory depletion
  • Resource allocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

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