Self-compassion and self-control: is self-compassion possible after ego depletion?


Author/Creator ORCID




Towson University. Department of Psychology


Citation of Original Publication


Copyright protected, all rights reserved.
There are no restrictions on access to this document. An internet release form signed by the author to display this document online is on file with Towson University Special Collections and Archives.



Pilot studies indicate that self-compassion requires overriding habitual thinking, suggesting it may require self-control. The present study investigated the effect of depleted self-control on state self-compassion. Depleted participants were hypothesized to be less self-compassionate following failure than non-depleted participants. Trait self-compassion, measured beforehand, was expected to moderate the effect. One-hundred fifteen participants completed a difficult GRE test, a concentration task or Solitaire task, a manipulation check including a false failing GRE score, and two state self-compassion measures. The compassionate message length measure was not significantly predicted. Using the scale measure, there was a significant positive correlation with trait self-compassion. There was also an interaction between trait self-compassion and ego depletion, such that ego depletion resulted in higher state self-compassion only for those with low trait self-compassion. The positive effect of ego depletion may be due to a floor effect or distraction.