Prior self-control exertion and perceptions of pain during a physically demanding task

Boat, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4897-8118 and Taylor, I.M., 2017. Prior self-control exertion and perceptions of pain during a physically demanding task. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 33, pp. 1-6. ISSN 1469-0292


Download (371kB) | Preview


Exertion of self-control has been associated with impaired performance on subsequent physical tasks also requiring self-control, but it remains unknown why this occurs. This study, therefore, explored whether a) prior self-control exertion reduces subsequent persistence on a physically demanding task, and b) whether any observed performance decrements could be explained by changes in perceptions of pain.
In a within-subject design, sixty-three individuals completed an easy (congruent) Stroop task or a difficult (incongruent) Stroop task that required self-control. Participants were then required to remain in a physically demanding posture (i.e., a ‘wall-sit’) until voluntary exhaustion and their perception of pain was recorded during the task.
When participants completed the difficult Stroop task, they quit the wall-sit sooner. This decrement in performance was explained by greater perceptions of pain at the beginning of the wall-sit.
Perceptions of pain may, therefore, be an important attentional mechanism explaining why self-control use interferes with subsequent persistence during physically effortful tasks.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Psychology of Sport and Exercise
Creators: Boat, R. and Taylor, I.M.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: November 2017
Volume: 33
ISSN: 1469-0292
S1469029216302916Publisher Item Identifier
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 21 Aug 2017 07:26
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2019 03:00

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year