The Role of Glucose in Self-Control: Another Look at the Evidence and an Alternative Conceptualization

Christopher J. Beedie*, Andrew M. Lane

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    176 Citations (SciVal)

    Abstract

    The strength model suggests that self-control relies on a limited resource. One candidate for this resource is glucose. Counter to the proposals of the glucose hypothesis, this study argues that the resource issue is one of allocation, not of limited supply. It addresses the argument from three perspectives: the evolution of mental processes at the species level, the adaptation of these same processes at the individual level, and the physiology of glucose transport. It is argued here that the brain has both sufficient resources and resource delivery mechanisms with which to support self-control but that these resources are allocated in accordance with personal priorities. As an alternative to the limited resource model, the current study proposes a resource-allocation model of self-control and presents several testable hypotheses.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-153
    Number of pages11
    JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Review
    Volume16
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - May 2012

    Keywords

    • MOTIVATION
    • ego depletion
    • evolutionary psychology
    • motivation
    • EGO-DEPLETION
    • PHYSIOLOGY
    • FAILURE
    • physiological adaptation
    • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
    • BRAIN
    • SUPPRESSION
    • ENERGY
    • WILLPOWER
    • LIMITED RESOURCES

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