Ego Depletion

Baumeister and Tice introduced the concept that willpower is a finite resource that can be exhausted when used because it requires mental energy. The original experiments involved a willpower depleting task that requires self-control (e.g. don’t eat that cookie) followed by a task that requires a lot of mental effort (e.g. a quiz). They found that participants performed better when they were not first given the willpower depleting task.

See also:

  • Decision Fatigue Leads to Bad Decision Making

    It takes effort to make decisions and when confronted with numerous decisions to make, people get fatigued. These aren’t just big decisions (what should I do with my life?), but also small ones (what should I wear? what should I eat for dinner). This impairs a person’s ability to make further decisions (or avoid them).