Year of Publication

2017

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Arts in General Psychology (MAGP)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Dominik Guess

Second Advisor

Dr. Sarah Ainsworth

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Daniel Moon

Abstract

Ego depletion theory postulates that the ability to exert self-control depends upon the availability of a limited mental resource. In this experiment, we investigated the effects of ego depletion on risky decision-making. We also examined the moderating effect emotional intelligence may have on this relationship. First, participants completed a trait emotional intelligence questionnaire and a self-control task. This was followed by a mood questionnaire and a series of risky-decision scenarios. Results showed (1) participants who were depleted made more risky decisions than non-depleted participants, (2) no differences in perceived task effort between groups, (3) no evidence of a moderating effect for emotional intelligence and (4) depleted participants were more aroused and their moods were more negative than non-depleted participants. Taken together, these results imply that ego depletion enhances the inclination to take risks and that decisions involving risks should not be made under these conditions.

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