Is “Ego Depletion” a Thing?

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For almost 20 years, “ego depletion” has been an accepted concept in psychology. It’s the idea that people have a limited amount of willpower, and it’s exhausted with overuse. President Obama is known to have said that he doesn't want to make decisions about trivial things, like what he wears, because he has too many other important decisions to make. But next month, a massive new study of more than two thousand subjects on several continents has failed to replicate the original findings of ego depletion.

Credits

Guest:
Daniel Engber - Science writer and columnist for SLATE - @danengber

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Matt Holzman, Anna Scott, Jolie Myers, Christian Bordal, Laura Swisher