The effect of implementation intentions on reactions to nonspecified situational cues

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Ye Yang
Hong Zhang
Cite this article:  Yang, Y., & Zhang, H. (2013). The effect of implementation intentions on reactions to nonspecified situational cues. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 41(5), 787-794.


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The facilitative effect of implementation intentions on goal attainment has been demonstrated in past research (Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006). However, relatively little attention has been paid to the potential side effects of implementation intentions on the responses to nonspecified cues (i.e., cues not specified in implementation intentions). In the current study we investigated whether or not cue ambiguity would moderate the effect of implementation intentions on reactions to nonspecified cues. The results indicated reactions of our participants (42 undergraduate psychology students) to nonspecified cues were facilitated by implementation intentions, even when there was high ambiguity between the target and nonspecified cues. These results help clarify the underlying mechanisms of the effects of forming implementation intentions.

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