Assessing the implicit theory of willpower for strenuous mental activities scale: Multigroup, across-gender, and cross-cultural measurement invariance and convergent and divergent validity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Why do some people struggle with self-control (colloquially called willpower) whereas others are able to sustain it during challenging circumstances Recent research showed that a person's implicit theories of willpower whether they think self-control capacity is a limited or nonlimited resource predict sustained self-control on laboratory tasks and on goal-related outcomes in everyday life. The present research tests the Implicit Theory of Willpower for Strenuous Mental Activities Scale (or ITW-M) Scale for measurement invariance across samples and gender within each culture, and two cultural contexts (the U.S. and Switzerland/Germany). Across a series of multigroup confirmatory factor analyses, we found support for the measurement invariance of the ITW-M scale across samples within and across two cultures, as well as across men and women. Further, the analyses showed expected patterns of convergent (with life-satisfaction and trait-self-control) and discriminant validity (with implicit theory of intelligence). These results provide guidelines for future research and clinical practice using the ITW-M scale for the investigation of latent group differences, for example, between gender or cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1049-1064
Number of pages16
JournalPsychological assessment
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018



  • confirmatory factor analyses
  • cross-cultural analyses
  • implicit theories of willpower
  • measurement invariance
  • self-control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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