Objective: This study tested whether forming implementation intentions is an effective strategy for attaining health goals focused on trying to avoid a negative state. Design: Participants chose to either eat more healthy snacks (i.e., an approach goal) or eat fewer unhealthy snacks (i.e., an avoidance goal) over two weeks and were randomly assigned to create an implementation intention to do this or not. Main outcome measures: The authors measured fat and calorie intake after one week and after two weeks. Results: After two weeks, the participants who ate most unhealthily were those who pursued an avoidance goal and did not form an implementation intention. Conclusion: These results suggest that forming implementation intentions for avoidance goal pursuit can help people attain important health goals.
- avoidance goals
- implementation intentions