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How do implementation intentions promote goal attainment? A test of component processes

Webb, Thomas L. and Sheeran, Paschal (2007) How do implementation intentions promote goal attainment? A test of component processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43 (2). pp. 295-302. ISSN 0022-1031

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Implementation intentions are plans that specify the when, where, and how of goal striving in advance, and have been shown to enhance rates of goal attainment compared to merely forming respective goal intentions. The present research investigated whether the accessibility of the specified situation (cue accessibility) and the strength of the association between the specified situation and the intended response (cue-response linkage) explain the impact of implementation intentions on goal achievement. Findings indicated that participants who planned to undertake a verbal task better attained their goal compared to participants who did not form a plan. Crucially, implementation intention effects were mediated by the accessibility of the specified cue and by the strength of cue-response links. These findings support the idea that implementation intentions benefit performance because control of behavior is delegated to specified situational cues that initiate action automatically.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: implementation intentions, self-regulation, automaticity, accessibility
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Funding Information:
FunderGrant number
Economic and Social Research CouncilPTA- 026-27-0002
Depositing User: Dr Thomas Webb
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2010 08:43
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2010 08:43
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2006.02.001
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jesp.2006.02.001
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10753

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