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PSY325H5 (85)

Lecture 4

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Erika Carlson

Self-Control - the mental processes that allow people to override their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours to keep them in line with overarching goals - people who score higher in narcissism, are more inclined to be impulsive buyers Social reasons: De-individualization - self-attention ratio: size of other group divided by total number of people present o .98 – performers are aware of themselves o .01 – do not have a sense of self (being the focus of attention) - the larger the group, the more violent the group becomes o people losing a sense of themselves and are able to engage in more terrible acts Too much focus - people who are told to not think about something, able to reduce the behaviour in the short- term, but in the long-term the behaviour increases - focusing on the goal too much actually makes people lose control downstream - white bear experiment o told participants to not think about the white bear for 5 minutes o and every time they had a lapse had to ring a bell o condition: asked to think about the bear as much as they want, and then later suppress it o second condition: don’t think about it and then allowed to think about the bear  Does order matter? o The more you are trying to suppress a thought, more you will have it later on  Expression after suppression: allowed to think of the white bear after they were told to suppress – extremely high • Ironic effect of thought suppression o The more you are trying to suppress early, the more you think about it later  Expression before suppression: don’t have the same rebound Thought suppression and mood - people in bad mood and suppressive thought: more successful at suppression in the moment, but later on they think about it even more than people in a positive mood Delay of gratification - when we have to wait for something engage in discounting o discount the value of the thing in the future, take whatever is offered now o discounting: things we have to wait for in the future have less value to us o discounting responsible for failure in self-control Importance of delay of gratification - predictor of GPA than IQ is - if your ego is depleted and you get a negative response: more likely to be aggressive Evidence: Cognitive Load - those who had to remember bigger number (cognitive load) chose junk food option over fruit - those who had the smaller number chose the fruit over the junk food - people who didn’t have to engage in self control (got cookies, or didn’t get cookies/radishes) – persist with the task, continue doing it at least for 20 minutes - people who did have to engage in self control – give up relatively quickly o Ego depletion  Didn’t have enough resources to persevere What is the resource? - idea that it’s glucose o as you exert self-control, using up resources in brain/blood-sugar and it gets depleted Ego Depletion and Morality - people watching brutal video and had to suppress reactions (ego depletion condition) - people watching brutal video and allowed to express themselves - then playing a game where they blast a noise when participant makes a mistake - then offered the opportunity to donate money (engage in pro-social behaviour) o guilt can drive pro-social behaviours - people in depleted condition were less likely to give money when they left, felt less guilty for blasting participants with noise o ego depletion keeps us from experiencing more moral emotions, and behaving in more moral emotions - incongruent (ego depletion condition) – actively control what you’re saying - participants given short quiz about the history of FSU, and for all the correct answers received 10 cents (motivation to do well on the test) o when they go to hand in the test, had to transfer answers to bubble sheet  people who were depleted more likely to pick the sheet where they are more likely to cheat • those that were ego depleted were more likely to cheat Ego Depletion and Risk-taking - watching the Simpsons and not allowed to express emotions - participants put in driving simulator (engaging in driving behaviour decisions) o choosing to be wreckless or play it safe  how long does it take to make these decisions and how much of a risk • people who were depleted, more likely to engage in risky behaviour Ego Depletion and Testing - if you’re somebody w
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