Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"if... then..."

Participants learned the mental contrasting strategy with respect to the goal of exercising regularly, and then were instructed to form three implementation intentions regarding an obstacle standing in the way of exercising in the form of "if... then..." statements:
one to overcome the obstacle generated by mental contrasting ("if I feel exhausted when I get home from work tonight, then I will put on my running shoes and go for a jog in the neighborhood"),
one to prevent this obstacle ("if I hear the clock chime five o'clock, then I will pack my things and leave the office to go for a run"),
and one identifying a good opportunity to act ("if the sun is shining, then I will go for a 30-minute jog in the park")

To do so, participants imagined a desired outcome and a potential obstacle in vivid detail, then created three "if... then..." statements focusing
on overcoming the obstacle. (e.g., "if my roommate starts to get noisy again tonight, then I will talk to her about her behavior"),
preventing the obstacle ("if see my roommate at lunch, then I will ask her to turn the music down this evening"),
and on planning to approach the desired outcome ("if I pass a drugstore on the way home, then I will buy myself a pair of earplugs")

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