Can faith move mountains? How implicit theories about willpower moderate the adverse effect of daily emotional dissonance on ego-depletion at work and its spillover to the home-domain


Recent findings have demonstrated that implicit theories about willpower (the belief whether willpower relies on a limited vs. nonlimited resource) moderate the ego-depletion-effect. This study examines this moderating mechanism in occupational settings where employees increasingly have to deal with the unpleasant state of emotional dissonance, which requires the exertion of volitional self-control. By integrating findings on implicit theories about willpower, arguments brought up by the strength model of self-control, and notions from the spillover literature, we propose that believing in a nonlimited resource theory of willpower buffers the effect of emotional dissonance on ego-depletion at work and diminishes the spillover of ego-depletion from the work- to the home-domain. In a diary study covering 10 working days (N = 71), we examine a moderated mediation model in which ego-depletion at work mediates the relation between emotional dissonance and ego-depletion at home and analyse whether implicit theories about willpower moderate both paths (a and b) of the proposed mediation model. Our results provide support for the mediation hypothesis and show that endorsing a nonlimited resource theory buffers the effect of emotional dissonance on ego-depletion at work, thereby disrupting the indirect effect of emotional dissonance on ego-depletion at home. Subsequently, we discuss implications of holding a nonlimited resource theory.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
Aston Business School
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology on 21 Dec 2018, available online at:
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Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 2X.2018.1560269 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2018-12-21
Published Online Date: 2018-12-21
Accepted Date: 2018-12-13
Authors: Konze, Anne-Kathrin
Rivkin, Wladislaw ( 0000-0003-3360-4962)
Schmidt, Klaus-Helmut



Version: Accepted Version

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