Psychological Research

, Volume 79, Issue 6, pp 1064–1076 | Cite as

When the going gets tough…: Self-motivation is associated with invigoration and fun

  • Miguel KazénEmail author
  • Julius Kuhl
  • Eva-Maria Leicht
Original Article


Personality systems interaction (PSI) theory postulates two executive control modes in volitional action: Self-control and self-regulation (self-motivation). Self-control should deplete energy whereas self-motivation should maintain energy and result in invigoration. There were three groups of participants: Self-control, self-motivation, and pretend, who performed a resource-demanding Stroop-Shift and an anagram task. Performance and energy expenditure were examined in each task. Compared to the other groups, the self-motivation group showed increments in blood glucose throughout the experiment, indicating invigoration, and had better performance on the difficult Stroop-Shift task than the self-control group. Additionally, for the self-motivation group anagram performance correlated with less effort and ease of concentration and was moderated by fun in the task. These results are consonant with the predictions of PSI and self-determination theories. It is concluded that self-control depletes resources whereas self-motivation is associated with invigoration in carrying resource-demanding tasks.


Blood Glucose Level Color Word Concentration Problem Letter Task Solution Word 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Human Sciences, Institute of PsychologyUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany

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