This study was partially supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA; Grant R01-DAO8608). The interpretations and conclusions, however, do not necessarily represent the position of NIDA or the National Institutes of Health.
Effects of Directed Thinking on Intentions to Engage in Beneficial Activities: Actions Versus Reasons1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 29, Issue 5, pages 994–1009, May 1999
How to Cite
Ratcliff, C. D., Czuchry, M., Scarberry, N. C., Thomas, J. C., Dansereau, D. F. and Lord, C. G. (1999), Effects of Directed Thinking on Intentions to Engage in Beneficial Activities: Actions Versus Reasons. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29: 994–1009. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1999.tb00136.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
An important application of psychological principles involves increasing intentions to engage in activities that, although admittedly beneficial, are often not initially appealing (e.g., studying, quitting smoking, dieting). The present study tests the utility of directed thinking as a tool for eliciting intentions to engage in such activities. Undergraduate students were directed to think either about the reasons why people should find studying enjoyable or about the actions that people might take to make studying enjoyable. Regardless of whether they thought as individuals or in cooperating dyads, students who thought about actions later reported greater intentions to spend time studying than did students who thought about reasons. The results have both theoretical and practical significance.