Introduction rugby and hockey layers attempted to complete as


Self-control has been
defined as “the process of volitionally controlling and overriding predominant,
habitual tendencies in order to achieve a specific goal” (Baumeister, Vohs,
& Tice, 2007). Multiple scientific studies have shown that following the
exertion of self-control on one task, the athletes typically have an impaired
ability to self-regulate when they perform a second task, even if the task is
drawn from a different domain (Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis,

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study that has explored the effect of self-control exertion on subsequent
performance is “Prior self-control exertion and perceptions of pain during a
physically demanding task” (Boat & Taylor 2017). The aim of this study was
to explore whether self-control exertion reduces performance levels on a
physically demanding task, and whether any physical performance levels dropped
due to pain. The study included 63 individuals, 21 male and 42 female, the
individuals on average spent 4 days per week exercising, these individuals had
to partake in an easy stroop task or a difficult stroop task that require self-control.
Participants were then required to partake in the wall-sit until they couldn’t
hold the position anymore, their perception of pain was also recorded during
the task. When the individuals partook in the difficult strop task, they hit
the wall-sit sooner compared to the participants that completed the easy stroop
task, the reduction of performance was explained by greater perceptions of pain
at the beginning of the wall-sit. Perceptions of pain therefore are an
important mechanism explaining why self-control use interferes with subsequent
persistence during hard physical tasks. 

A study looked at the
effects of ego depletion on physical exercise routines of athletes (Dorris, D.
Power, & Kenefick, 2012). The aim of this study was to see if persisting at
a task can temporarily reduce one’s ability to persist at subsequent tasks. Two
experimental studies examined if ego depletion can lessen athletes’ persistence
at a routine physical exercise. Experiment 1 recruited 24 competitive rowers.
All participants were male and over 18 years old. The rowers attempted to
complete as many sit ups as possible after completing an easy cognitive task
and then again after completing a difficult cognitive task. Experiment 2
recruited 24 University College students from hockey and rugby clubs comprising
6 male rugby players, 2 male hockey players, and 16 female hockey players. The
rugby and hockey layers attempted to complete as many sit ups they could after
completing an easy cognitive task and then again after a difficult cognitive
task. The results of experiment 1 demonstrated that the rowers completed fewer
press-ups after completing a difficult cognitive task than they did after
completing an easy task. Experiment 2 established that the competitive hockey
and rugby players completed fewer sit-ups after completing a difficult
cognitive task than they did after completing an easy cognitive task. The
conclusion of this study shows us that athletes’ exercise routines are effected
by ego depletion and that the strength model of self-regulation is applicable
to athletic performance.

aim of this study is too see if self-control exertion effects wall-sit
performance time and perceptions of exercise related pain and motivation, the
hypothesis for this study is very similar to Boat & Taylor, 2017, both
hypothesis state that performance time in hard stroop task should be  lower
compared to performance time in the easy stroop task due to self-control, self-control
also effects pain, motivation and performance I expect to see higher motivation
and lower pain thresholds in the easy stroop task, previous research also
suggests that there will be a significant difference in perceptions of exercise
related pain, or motivation in the self-control and non-self-control
experimental conditions.


Our sample consisted
of 78 participants (59 male and 19 female (SD = 0 years) aged 18-20 years old
(M age = 19 years, SD = 1.05 years). The participants spent on average 3 to 5
days (SD= 0) per week exercising, and 64 of them said they had completed a wall
sit before. Following the approval from a university ethics committee, each
participant signed a consent form after the study was explained and their role
was clarified and that all results remain anonymous. Additionally, all of the
participants were declared healthy as they completed a university approved
general health questionnaire.
         The participants that volunteered took part in two experimental
sessions, these sessions were spaced out by approximately 14 days, in the
sessions the participants took part in the wall-sit task, beforehand they
completed one of the stroop tasks. One time they participated in the hard
stroop task which requires self-control, and on the other visit they completed
the easy stroop task which doesn’t. This study is a counterbalanced, within
subject design, with participants completing both trials. The study was also a double-blind
test meaning the participants knew what stroop task they were completing first
they were doing, furthermore the study was randomised. Before the participants
completed the sessions, they completed the health screening questionnaire and
provided their consent in written form. The participants were also told to
avoid strenuous physical activity as well as alcohol and caffeine on test days.
   The participants were also required to arrive at the laboratory 2
hours after they have eaten. When the participants arrived at the laboratory
the experimenters briefly explained the session, the participants then
completed the practice stroop task. Soon after, the participants completed the
wall-sit for 10 seconds to get the right form and positioning. Whilst the
participant was completing the wall sit they were not allowed to see the time
on the stopwatch, the experimenter was watching over to make sure the
participant did not miss any words out of the stroop task and another
experimenter timed 4 minutes. The hard stroop task consisted of words listed on
a piece of paper and the participant was required to read aloud the colour of
the ink and ignore the text of the word presented, furthermore if the
participant comes across a word in red ink they are to reverse the process and
say the text not the colour of the ink. In the non-self-control task,
participants are to say the word not the colour of the ink. The stroop task
that requires self-control is more challenging to the participant because they
have to override their primary answer of naming the word instead of the colour
(Englert & Wolff, 2015; McEwan et al., 2013.) Furthermore every 20 seconds
the experimenter had to measure pain and motivation using VAS (Visual analogue
scale). After the stroop task was completed the participant had to complete the
CR10 scale which measured perceived mental exertion, at the end of the wall sit
the time was recorded and the participant stretched off. The independent
variable for this experiment is the stroop task as this is the variable used to
manipulate the experiment as there is the hard stroop task and the easy stroop
task which will effect motivation levels and therefore performance, whereas the
dependent variable is wall sit performance time as it is measured throughout,
however there are many extraneous variables, from age, gender and fitness levels
as they are unique to the individual and all of these an effect the wall sit
performance and the pain and motivation. Data was analysed using IBM SPSS (v.
23). Differences in self-control exertion on wall-sit performance time and
perceptions of exercise related pain and motivation were analysed using a
paired samples t-tests. Statistical significance was accepted when p