A Multisite Preregistered Paradigmatic Test of the Ego-Depletion Effect

Kathleen D Vohs (Lead / Corresponding author), Brandon J Schmeichel, Sophie Lohmann, Quentin F Gronau, Anna J Finley, Sarah E Ainsworth, Jessica L Alquist, Michael D Baker, Ambra Brizi, Angelica Bunyi, Grant J Butschek, Collier Campbell, Jonathan Capaldi, Chuting Cau, Heather Chambers, Nikos L D Chatzisarantis, Weston J Christensen, Samuel L Clay, Jessica Curtis, Valeria De CristofaroKareena Del Rosario, Katharina Diel, Yasemin Doğruol, Megan Doi, Tina L Donaldson, Andreas B Eder, Mia Ersoff, Julie R Eyink, Angelica Falkenstein, Bob M Fennis, Matthew B Findley, Eli J Finkel, Victoria Forgea, Malte Friese, Paul Fuglestad, Natasha E Garcia-Willingham, Lea F Geraedts, Will M Gervais, Mauro Giacomantonio, Bryan Gibson, Karolin Gieseler, Justina Gineikiene, Elana M Gloger, Carina M Gobes, Maria Grande, Martin S Hagger, Bethany Hartsell, Anthony D Hermann, Jasper J Hidding, Edward R Hirt, Josh Hodge, Wilhelm Hofmann, Jennifer L Howell, Robert D Hutton, Michael Inzlicht, Lily James, Emily Johnson, Hannah L Johnson, Sarah M Joyce, Yannick Joye, Jan Helge Kaben, Lara K Kammrath, Caitlin N Kelly, Brian L Kissell, Sander L Koole, Anand Krishna, Christine Lam, Kelemen T Lee, Nick Lee, Dana C Leighton, David D Loschelder, Heather M Maranges, E J Masicampo, Kennedy Mazara, Samantha McCarthy, Ian McGregor, Nicole L Mead, Wendy B Mendes, Carine Meslot, Nicholas M Michalak, Marina Milyavskaya, Akira Miyake, Mehrad Moeini-Jazani, Mark Muraven, Erin Nakahara, Krishna Patel, John V Petrocelli, Katja M Pollak, Mindi M Price, Haley J Ramsey, Maximilian Rath, Jacob A Robertson, Rachael Rockwell, Isabella F Russ, Marco Salvati, Blair Saunders, Anne Scherer, Astrid Schütz, Kristin N Schmitt, Suzanne C Segerstrom, Benjamin Serenka, Konstantyn Sharpinskyi, Meaghan Shaw, Janelle Sherman, Yu Song, Nicholas Sosa, Kaitlyn Spillane, Julia Stapels, Alec J Stinnett, Hannah R Strawser, Kate Sweeny, Dominic Theodore, Karine Tonnu, Yasmijn van Oldenbeuving, Michelle R vanDellen, Raiza C Vergara, Jasmine S Walker, Christian E Waugh, Feline Weise, Kaitlyn M Werner, Craig Wheeler, Rachel A White, Aaron L Wichman, Bradford J Wiggins, Julian A Wills, Janie H Wilson, Eric-Jan Wagenmakers, Dolores Albarracín

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41 Citations (Scopus)


We conducted a preregistered multilaboratory project (k = 36; N = 3,531) to assess the size and robustness of ego-depletion effects using a novel replication method, termed the paradigmatic replication approach. Each laboratory implemented one of two procedures that was intended to manipulate self-control and tested performance on a subsequent measure of self-control. Confirmatory tests found a nonsignificant result (d = 0.06). Confirmatory Bayesian meta-analyses using an informed-prior hypothesis (δ = 0.30, SD = 0.15) found that the data were 4 times more likely under the null than the alternative hypothesis. Hence, preregistered analyses did not find evidence for a depletion effect. Exploratory analyses on the full sample (i.e., ignoring exclusion criteria) found a statistically significant effect (d = 0.08); Bayesian analyses showed that the data were about equally likely under the null and informed-prior hypotheses. Exploratory moderator tests suggested that the depletion effect was larger for participants who reported more fatigue but was not moderated by trait self-control, willpower beliefs, or action orientation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1581
Number of pages16
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number10
Early online date14 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • ego depletion
  • self-control
  • registered replication
  • open data
  • open materials
  • preregistered


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