Neural Response to Self-Control Exertion in Competitive Personality Traits

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dc.contributor.advisor Gutsell, Jennifer
dc.contributor.author Webster, Elisabeth Ann
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-18T18:59:27Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-18T18:59:27Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/30599
dc.description.abstract Self-control is an individual’s ability to direct attention and action towards a specific goal while inhibiting other actions or impulses (Baumeister et al., 2007). Through the use of EEG the question of whether self-control is promoted by a more competitive personality can be addressed. In previous research the event related potential called the error related negativity (ERN) has been shown to appear in a greater magnitude in individuals performing a task that requires cognitive control, like a self-control task, when they make a mistake (Hajack et al. 2005). This is thought to occur because the amplitude of the ERN is associated with an individual’s response conflict when an error has been made. This study uses the ERN as a physiological indicator of task engagement and motivation, to investigate how neural responses to self-control failure can be mediated by competitive personality traits. Through the use of the Go/No-Go self-control task, both individually and jointly, it is possible to measure the ERN in response to self-control exertion. The task was explained to the participants as a game with three rounds and the option to earn points to win. This study originally hypothesized that a more competitive person would express a stronger ERN while performing a self-control task because of their drive to succeed over the other participant. In addition it was hypothesized that competitiveness would enhance accuracy of task performance due to an increased motivation and focus. However, we found that competitive individuals gain no advantage of performance on the task.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Elisabeth A. Webster 2015
dc.subject Electroencephalography (EEG)
dc.subject ERP
dc.subject ERN
dc.subject self-control
dc.subject competitive personality traits
dc.title Neural Response to Self-Control Exertion in Competitive Personality Traits
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Psychology
dc.degree.name MA
dc.degree.level Masters
dc.degree.discipline Psychology
dc.degree.grantor Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.description.esploro yes


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