More than planned: Implementation intention effects in non-planned situations

Maik Bieleke, Eve Legrand, Astrid Mignon, Peter Gollwitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Forming implementation intentions (i.e., if-then planning) is a powerful self-regulation strategy that enhances goal attainment by facilitating the automatic initiation of goal-directed responses upon encountering critical situations. Yet, little is known about the consequences of forming implementation intentions for goal attainment in situations that were not specified in the if-then plan. In three experiments, we assessed goal attainment in terms of speed and accuracy in an object classification task, focusing on situations that were similar or dissimilar to critical situations and required planned or different responses. The results of Experiments 1 and 3 provide evidence for a facilitation of planned responses in critical and in sufficiently similar situations, enhancing goal attainment when the planned response was required and impairing it otherwise. In Experiment 3, additional unfavorable effects however emerged in situations that were dissimilar to the critical one but required the planned response as well. We discuss theoretical implications as well as potential benefits and pitfalls emerging from these non-planned effects of forming implementation intentions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalActa Psychologica
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

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Intentions
Experiment
Pitfalls
Planning
Self-regulation
Facilitation
Self-Control

Keywords

  • Cognitive resources
  • Generalization
  • Goal attainment
  • Implementation intentions
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

More than planned : Implementation intention effects in non-planned situations. / Bieleke, Maik; Legrand, Eve; Mignon, Astrid; Gollwitzer, Peter.

In: Acta Psychologica, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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