Share This Article:

Improved Self-Control Associated with Using Relatively Large Amounts of Glucose: Learning Self-Control Is Metabolically Expensive

Abstract Full-Text HTML Download Download as PDF (Size:42KB) PP. 987-990
DOI: 10.4236/psych.2012.311148    4,428 Downloads   6,182 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The current study examined whether changes in glucose during a self-control task would predict changes in self-control performance later on. Participants attended two experimental sessions, spaced two weeks apart. During each session, they had their glucose measured, completed the Stroop task as a measure of self-control, and then had their glucose measured again. Larger decreases in glucose (from before to after the Stroop task) during the first session predicted larger increases in improvement on the Stroop task dur- ing the second session, in the form of increased speed. Learning self-controlmight benefit from using lar- ger amounts of glucose. Learning self-control is metabolically expensive. These findings raise the possi- bility that self-control fatigue occurs because metabolic energy is depleted during the learning of self- control.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Gailliot, M. (2012). Improved Self-Control Associated with Using Relatively Large Amounts of Glucose: Learning Self-Control Is Metabolically Expensive. Psychology, 3, 987-990. doi: 10.4236/psych.2012.311148.

References

[1] Aiello, L. C. (1997). Brains and guts in human evolution: The expen sive tissue hypothesis. Brazilian Journal of Genetics, 20, 141-148.
[2] Aiello, L. C., & Wheeler, P. (1995). The expensive-tissue hypothesis. Current Anthropology, 36, 199-221. doi:10.1086/204350
[3] Aiello, L. C., Bates, N., & Joffe, T. H. (2001). In defence of the expen sive tissue hypothesis. In D. Falk, & K. R. Gibson (Eds.), Evolution ary Anatomy of the Primate Cerebral Cortex (pp. 57-78). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[4] Bargh, J. A., & Chartrand, T. L. (1999). The unbearable automaticity of being. American Psychologist, 54, 462-479. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.7.462
[5] Bargh, J. A. (1994). The four horsemen of automaticity: Awareness, intention, efficiency, and control in social cognition. In R. S. Wyer, & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handbook ofsocial cognition (pp. 1-40). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
[6] Baumeister, R. F., Gailliot, M., DeWall, C. N., & Oaten, M. (2006). Self-regulation and personality: How interventions increase regula tory success, and how depletion moderates the effects of traits on behavior. Journal of Personality, 74, 1773-1801. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2006.00428.x
[7] Baumeister, R. F., Vohs, K. D., & Tice, D. M. (2007). Strength model of self-control. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16, 351-355. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00534.x
[8] DeWall, C. N., Baumeister, R. F., Gailliot, M. T., & Maner, J. K. (2008). Depletion makes the heart grow less helpful: Helping as a function of self-regulatory energy and genetic relatedness. Personal ity and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1653-1662. doi:10.1177/0146167208323981
[9] DeWall, C. N., Deckman, T., Gailliot, M. T., & Bushman, B. J. (2009). Sweetenedblood cools hot tempers: Physiological self-control and aggression. AggressiveBehavior, 37, 73-80. doi:10.1002/ab.20366
[10] Fairclough, S. H., & Houston, K. (2004). A metabolic measure of men tal effort. Biological Psychology, 66, 177-190. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2003.10.001
[11] Gailliot, M. T., Peruche, B. M., Plant., E. A., & Baumeister, R. F. (2009). Stereotypes and prejudice in the blood: Sucrose drinks reduce prejudice and stereotyping. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 288-290. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2008.09.003
[12] Gailliot, M. T. (2008). Unlocking the energy dynamics of executive functioning: Linking executive functioning to brain glycogen. Per spectives on Psychological Science, 3, 245-263. doi:10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00077.x
[13] Gailliot, M. T. (2009). The effortful and energy-demanding nature of prosocial behavior. In M. Mikulincer, & P. R. Shaver (Eds.), Prosocial motives, feelings, and behavior—The better angels of our nature. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
[14] Gailliot, M. T., & Baumeister, R. F. (2007). Self-regulation and sexual restraint: Dispositionally and temporarily poor self-regulatory abili ties contribute to failures at restraining sexual behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 173-186. doi:10.1177/0146167206293472
[15] Gailliot, M. T., & Baumeister, R. F. (2007). The physiology of will power: Linking blood glucose to self-control. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 11, 303-327. doi:10.1177/1088868307303030
[16] Gailliot, M. T., Baumeister, R. F., DeWall, C. N., Maner, J. K., Plant, E. A., Tice, D. M., Brewer, L. E., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2007). Self control relies on glucose as a limited energy source: Willpower is more than a metaphor. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92, 325-336. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.92.2.325
[17] Gailliot, M. T., Hildebrandt, B., Eckel, L. A., & Baumeister, R. F. (2010). A theory of limited metabolic energy and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms—Increased metabolic demands during the luteal phase divert metabolic resourcesfrom and impair self control. Review of General Psychology, 14, 269-282. doi:10.1037/a0018525
[18] Gailliot, M. T., Plant, E. A., Butz, D. A., & Baumeister, R. F. (2007). Increasing selfregulatory strength can reduce the depleting effect of suppressing stereotypes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 281-294. doi:10.1177/0146167206296101
[19] Haymond, M. W. (1989). Hypoglycemia in infants and children. Endocrinology and Metabolism Clinics in North America, 18, 211-252.
[20] Kahan, D., Polivy, J., & Herman, C. P. (2003). Conformity and dietary disinhibition: A test of the ego-strength model of self-regulation. In ternational Journal of Eating Disorders, 33, 165-171. doi:10.1002/eat.10132
[21] Kleiber, M. (1961). The fire of life: An introduction to animal energetics. New York: Krieger.
[22] Muraven, M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Psychological Bulletin, 126, 247-259. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.126.2.247
[23] Muraven, M., Collins, R. L., & Nienhaus, K. (2002). Self-control and alcohol restraint: An initial application of the self-control strength model. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 16, 113-120. doi:10.1037/0893-164X.16.2.113
[24] Pitnick, S., Jones, K. E., & Wilkinson, G. S. (2006). Mating system and brain size in bats. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biological Sciences, 273, 719-724. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3367
[25] Riby, L. M. (2004). The impact of age and task domain on cognitive performance: A meta-analytic review of the glucose facilitation ef fect. Brain Impairment, 5, 145-165. doi:10.1375/brim.5.2.145.58253
[26] Schoen, R. E., Tangen, C. M., Kuller, L. H., Burke, G. L., Cushman, M., Tracy, R. P. et al. (1999). Increased blood glucose and insulin, body size, and incident colorectal cancer. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 91, 1147-1154. doi:10.1093/jnci/91.13.1147
[27] Vohs, K. D., & Heatherton, T. F. (2000). Self-regulatory failure: A resource-depletion approach. Psychological Science, 11, 249-254. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00250
[28] Vohs, K. D., Baumeister, R. F., & Ciarocco, N. J. (2005). Self-regula tion and selfpresentation: Regulatory resource depletion impairs im pression management and effortful self-presentation depletes regula tory resources. Journal of Personalityand Social Psychology, 88, 632-657. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.88.4.632
[29] Weber, W. A., Petersen, V., Burkhard, S., Tyndale-Hines, L., Link, T., Peschel, C., & Schwaiger, M. (2003). Positron emission tomography in non-small-cell lung cancer: Prediction of response to chemother apy by quantitative assessment of glucose use. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 21, 2651-2657. doi:10.1200/JCO.2003.12.004
[30] White, N. M. (1991). Peripheral and central memory-enhancing actions of glucose. In R. C. A. Frederickson, & J. L. McGaugh (Eds.), Pe ripheral signaling of the brain: Role in neural-immune interactions and learning and memory. Toronto: Hogrefe & Huber.
[31] Younes, M., Lechago, L. V., Somoano, J. R., Mosharaf, M., & Lechago, J. (1996). Wide expression of the human erythrocyte glucose trans porter Glut1 in human cancers. Cancer Research, 56, 1164-1167.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.