Implementation Intention - Implementation Intentions and Goal Shielding

Implementation Intentions and Goal Shielding

A large amount of research on implementation intentions has been conducted to further understand questions relating to the initiation of goal striving, (Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006) whereas the study of shielding of ongoing goal striving has been neglected in prior research.

One study to face this question is reported by Achziger, Gollwitzer and Sheeran (Achziger et al., 2008). It is shown that implementation intentions can even assist people to shield goal striving from unwanted thoughts and feelings, such as cravings for junk food and distracting thoughts. Two field experiments, concerning dieting (Study 1) and performance in sports (Study 2), have shown a significant positive influence of implementation intentions on protecting ongoing goal striving. Participants who formed implementation intentions were more successful with long-term dieting, as well as concentration and performance in a tennis match. "If-then-plans" focus on the prevention of distracting thoughts and an efficient accomplishment of cognitive, motivational and emotional barriers of goal striving.

As these studies were run in "everyday" situations outside of an artificial laboratory, they possess a high external validity and, thus, display the importance and meaningfulness of implementation intentions for everyday life.

Read more about this topic:  Implementation Intention

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