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Fischer, Peter; Greitemeyer, Tobias and Frey, Dieter (2007): Ego Depletion and Positive Illusions: Does the Construction of Positivity Require Regulatory Resources? In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 33, No. 3: pp. 1306-1321 [PDF, 183kB]


Individuals frequently exhibit positive illusions about their own abilities, their possibilities to control their environment, and future expectations. The authors propose that positive illusions require resources of selfcontrol, which is considered to be a limited resource similar to energy or strength. Five studies revealed that people with depleted self-regulatory resources indeed exhibited a less-optimistic sense of their own abilities (Study 1), a lower sense of subjective control (Study 2), and less-optimistic expectations about their future (Study 3). Two further studies shed light on the underlying psychological process: Ego-depleted (compared to nondepleted) individuals generated/retrieved less positive self-relevant attributes (Studies 4 and 5) and reported a lower sense of general self-efficacy (Study 5), which both partially mediated the impact of ego depletion on positive self-views (Study 5).

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