Academic Training Lecture Regular Programme

Evolutionary Psychology Lecture 1: Willpower: Self-Control, Decision Fatigue, and Energy Depletion (1/2)

by Roy Baumeister (University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Australia)

222-R-001 (CERN)



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A new understanding of how people control themselves has emerged from the past decade of research studies. Self-control depends on a limited energy supply, and each person’s willpower fluctuates during the day as various events deplete and then replenish it. Decision making and creative initiative also deplete thesame willpower supply, while eating and sleeping can restore it. Some circumstances propel people to perform well despite depleted willpower, including power and leadership roles, local incentives, and personal beliefs. People with high self-control specialize less in resisting temptation than avoiding it.


"The Cultural Animal" Dr R. Baumeister's book available from the CERN Library.

Lecturer's bio:

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Sponsor: Maria Dimou

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