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Abstract

This article addresses ego depletion as a mechanism influencing media-based stress recovery processes. Using structural equation modeling, relationships between ego depletion, procrastination, guilt, enjoyment, vitality, and recovery experience were tested using data from an online survey (N = 471). Results suggest that ego depletion may increase the risk of negatively appraising the use of interactive (video games) and noninteractive (television) entertaining media as a form of procrastination. The resulting guilt is negatively related to the recovery experience associated with using entertainment. Therefore, ego-depleted individuals may benefit less from the psychological recovery potential of entertainment media, despite their greater need for recovery. These findings are an important step in understanding the pivotal role of appraisal processes for media-induced recovery and the entertainment experience.