Pressing the rewarding button: The relationship between impulsivity, fatigue, and reward sensitivity

Sarah Beth Bell, C. Nathan DeWall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This manuscript consists of a study and a direct replication of it examining the interactive effect of self-regulatory depletion and impulsivity on points earned in a progressive ratio task. In study 1 (n = 238), participants first completed a measure of delay discounting. Next, they underwent depletion exercises or control exercises. Finally, they completed a progressive ratio task in which they were able to earn points. Non-depleted people performed the same on this task regardless of their level of impulsivity. However, for depleted people, impulsive people earned the most points. This study suggested that when depleted, people prone to instant gratification will work harder than their less impulsive counterparts to earn rewards. To examine the reliability of these findings, we then did a high-powered, direct replication of this study (n = 782). In the replication, we found null results. This pre-registered, well-powered study suggests the findings of study one were a type I error. The findings of study 2 suggest no effect of self-regulatory attention on tasks related to earning points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019


  • Delay discounting
  • Depletion
  • Individual differences
  • Progressive ratio
  • Replication
  • Reward sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Pressing the rewarding button: The relationship between impulsivity, fatigue, and reward sensitivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this