Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Ann Behav Med. 2013 Aug;46(1):114-20. doi: 10.1007/s12160-013-9483-9.

The best laid plans: planning skill determines the effectiveness of action plans and implementation intentions.

Author information

1
Health Psychology, Institute of Applied Health Sciences, Health Sciences Building, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, AB25 2ZD, UK. j.allan@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Theories of action control emphasise the importance of planning, but plans are not universally beneficial.

PURPOSE:

The present study investigates whether the effectiveness of plans depends upon the skill of the planner.

METHODS:

Study 1 prospectively predicted changes in unhealthy snacking behaviour over 1 week from intentions, action planning and performance on a standardised cognitive test of planning skill (nā€‰=ā€‰72). Study 2 experimentally randomised skilled and poor planners to receive (or not) a planning intervention before completing an online food diary (nā€‰=ā€‰144) RESULTS: Spontaneously generated action plans about snacking explained significantly more variance in subsequent snacking if produced by a skilled rather than a poor planner. The planning intervention (implementation intention) significantly improved goal attainment but only in poor planners.

CONCLUSIONS:

Plans are only as good as the people who make them. Poor planners' plans do not help achieve goals. Planning interventions can compensate for a lack of planning skill.

PMID:
23456214
DOI:
10.1007/s12160-013-9483-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center