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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Is the letter cancellation task a suitable index of ego depletion? Empirical and conceptual issues
Other Titles: Ego-depletion and letter cancellation
Author(s): Wimmer, Marina
Dome, Lenard
Hancock, Peter
Wennekers, Thomas
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Keywords: ego-depletion
inhibitory control
letter cancellation
conceptual questions
Issue Date: Sep-2019
Date Deposited: 10-May-2019
Citation: Wimmer M, Dome L, Hancock P & Wennekers T (2019) Is the letter cancellation task a suitable index of ego depletion? Empirical and conceptual issues [Ego-depletion and letter cancellation]. Social Psychology, 50 (5-6), Art. No.: 345-354.
Abstract: The aim was to quantify ego-depletion and measure its effect on inhibitory control. Adults (N = 523) received the letter “e” cancellation ego-depletion task and were subsequently tested on Stroop task performance. Difficulty of the cancellation task was systematically manipulated by modifying the text from semantically meaningful to non-meaningful sentences and words (Experiment 1) and by increasing ego-depletion rule complexity (Experiment 2). Participants’ performance was affected by both text and rule manipulations. There was no relation between ego-depletion task performance and subsequent Stroop performance. Thus, irrespective of the difficulty of the ego depletion task, Stroop performance was unaffected. The widely used cancellation task may not be a suitable inducer of ego-depletion if ego-depletion is considered as a lack of inhibitory control.
DOI Link: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000393
Rights: This version of the article may not completely replicate the final authoritative version published in Social Psychology at It is not the version of record and is therefore not suitable for citation. Please do not copy or cite without the permission of the author(s).

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