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Spontaneous implementation intentions and impulsivity: can impulsivity moderate the effectiveness of planning strategies?

By Sue Churchill and Donna Jessop


Objective:Self-initiated plans relating to when, where, and how behaviour will be performed have been shown to be effective in promoting goal progress. The current study (N=256) explored whether any impact of self-initiated implementation intentions on the avoidance of snacking was moderated by impulsivity.Design and methods: The study employed a prospective design. At Time 1, participants reported the extent to which they had formed self-initiated implementation intentions to avoid eating high-calorie snacks. At Time 2, participants reported their snack consumption over the preceding 2 weeks and completed a measure of impulsivity.Results:Impulsivity (urgency) moderated the effect of self-initiated implementation intentions on snack consumption. Specifically, self-initiated implementation intentions benefited the avoidance of snacking most for those low in impulsivity and least for those high in impulsivity.Conclusion:The findings suggest that impulsivity might form an important boundary condition to the effectiveness of self-initiated implementation intention formation in relation to snackin

Year: 2010
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