When intentions go Public: Does social reality widen the intention-behavior gap?: Research article

Peter M. Gollwitzer, Paschal Sheeran, Verena Michalski, Andrea E. Seifert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Based on Lewinian goal theory in general and self-completion theory in particular, four experiments examined the implications of other people taking notice of one's identity-related behavioral intentions (e.g., the intention to read law periodicals regularly to reach the identity goal of becoming a lawyer). Identity-related behavioral intentions that had been noticed by other people were translated into action less intensively than those that had been ignored (Studies 1-3). This effect was evident in the field (persistent striving over 1 week's time; Study 1) and in the laboratory (jumping on opportunities to act; Studies 2 and 3), and it held among participants with strong but not weak commitment to the identity goal (Study 3). Study 4 showed, in addition, that when other people take notice of an individual's identity-related behavioral intention, this gives the individual a premature sense of possessing the aspired-to identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)612-618
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological Science
Volume20
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2009

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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