This study investigated the effect of self-regulation on attention to reward-relevant stimuli. Previous research has suggested that exercising self-control leads to a shift in motivation and attention to engage in more rewarding and gratifying activities. Participants either participated in an initial task that required self-regulation or an easier task that did not. In a second task, attention to a critical stimulus that signified reward was analyzed. Results indicated that those who had self-regulated responded more frequently to the critical stimulus than those who had completed the easier task. The two groups did not differ in their responses to non-critical stimuli. This suggests that exercising self-control leads to increased attentional sensitivity to cues that signify reward but not to other stimuli.
Filak, Jennifer, "I've Earned It: An Attentional Shift to Rewards Following Self-Regulation" (2016). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 7295.
self-regulation, ego depletion, attention
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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