Research suggests self-control relies on a limited set of resources that can be diminished by use. Recent theories posit that there are two stages of self-control: recognizing the need for control and implementing controlled responses. We conducted a functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment and an intervention experiment to investigate whether one or both stages were affected by the prior exercise of self-control. Results from both experiments indicated that only the implementation stage was affected. Further, we demonstrate that self-control can be increased by an intervention designed to boost implementation, as opposed to the recognition of the need to control one's responses.
- Decision neuroscience
- Regulatory resource depletion