Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations

Exacerbation and Attenuation of Ego-Depletion

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Anderson Richard

Second Advisor

Leventhal Laura (Committee Member)

Third Advisor

Klopfer Dale (Committee Member)

Fourth Advisor

Zickar Mike (Committee Member)


The present study investigated relationships between Need for Cognition (NFC) and two independent aspects of the Ego-depletion phenomenon. Experiment 1 examined the possibility that given a relatively equal quantity of resource consumption, high NFC individuals are, under specific circumstances, less susceptible to the ego-depletion phenomenon. Experiment 2 examined the possibility that, under specific circumstances, high NFC individuals might also be susceptible to greater resource consumption than low NFC individuals; thus exacerbating the ego-depletion phenomenon. The data did not support this hypothesis either. Instead, the results from Experiments 1 and 2 raise the prospect that through a lifelong tendency to cognize, high NFC individuals develop a more resource-efficient cognitive system capable of prolonged cognitive activity before performance impairments occur. However, once a sufficient quantity of resource is consumed, high NFC participants are just as susceptible to performance impairments as low NFC individuals.