Behavioral Research

Table of Contents
1 Overview
2 Goal Intentions and Goal Attainment
3 Self-Regulatory Problems in Goal Striving
4 The Nature and Operation of Implementation Intentions
5 Forming Effective Implementation Intentions: Relating the If-Then Plan to the Self-Regulatory Problem at Hand
6 Moderators of Implementation Intention Effects
7 References


9 Published Examples

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Other Constructs



Dispositional Optimism




Illness Representations

  Implementation Intentions
  Intention, Expectation, and Willingness
  Normative Beliefs
  Optimistic Bias
  Perceived Benefits
  Perceived Control
  Perceived Severity
  Perceived Vulnerability
  Self-Reported Behavior
  Social Influence
  Social Support

Implementation Intentions
Peter M. Gollwitzer, and Paschal Sheeran

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Table 1

Examples of Possible Implementation Intentions Geared at Resolving Self-Regulatory Problems in Failing to Get Started with Goal Striving and Getting Derailed.

Self-Regulatory Problem Example of Implementation Intention Relevant Studies
Failing to Get Started
Remembering to act [1. Goal is to increase physical activity]
And if it is 5pm on Monday, then I will jog home from work!
Chasteen, Park, and Schwarz (2001); Gollwitzer and Brandstätter (1997, Study 2); Koestner et al. (2002); Sheeran and Orbell (1999).
Missing opportunities [2. Goal is to obtain health and safety training] As soon as I receive the list of courses, then I will immediately make the phone call to book my place on the first course! Brändstatter, Lengfelder, and Gollwitzer (2001, Study 1); Dholakia & Bagozzi (2003); Gollwitzer and Brandstätter (1997, Study 3); Oettingen, Hönig, and Gollwitzer (2000, Study 3); Sheeran and Orbell (2000); Sheeran and Silverman (2003).
Initial reluctance [3. Goal is to eat healthily] And if it is Saturday at 10am, then I will select 5 low-fat dishes from my cook book to make during the week! Bayer and Gollwitzer (2007); Orbell and Sheeran (2000); Prestwich, Lawton, and Conner (2003); Sheeran, Webb, and Gollwitzer (2005, Study 1).
Getting Derailed
Unwanted attention responses [4. Goal is to reduce intake of high-fat snacks] And if I start to think about my favorite snack, then I will immediately ignore that thought! Achtziger, Gollwitzer, and Sheeran (2007); Gawrilow and Gollwitzer (in press); Gollwitzer and Schaal (1998); Paul, Gawrilow, Zech, Gollwitzer, Rockstroh, Odenthal, Kratzer, and Wienbruch (2007).
Falling prey to bad habits [5. Goal is to increase physical activity] And if I have walked up one flight of stairs and see the elevator, then I will tell myself ‘I can do it! I can take the stairs all the way up to my office!’ Cohen, Bayer, Jaudas, and Gollwitzer (2008); Holland, Aarts, and Langendam (2006); Verplanken and Faes (1999)
Detrimental self-states [6. Goal is to remain calm in an anxiety-provoking situation] And if my heart starts to race, then I will start my breathing exercise! Gollwitzer and Bayer (2000); Gollwitzer, Sheeran, Michalski, and Seifert (2008); Schweiger, Gallo, and Gollwitzer (2007); Sheeran, Aubrey, and Kellett (2007).
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