The present study tested the model of goal-directed behavior (MGB). The model proposes that behavioral intentions to perform instrumental behaviors are primarily motivated by desires to perform the acts. In turn, desires mediate the effects of attitudes, subjective norms, perceived control, and anticipated emotions on intentions. Construct validity for MGB variables is assessed, and the predictive utility of the MGB is compared with that of the theory of planned behavior (TPB). College students (N= 102) provided measures for MGB and TPB variables while participating in a training program to use statistical software. We focused on two goal-related instrumental behaviors: studying handbooks and practicing with the package. The results show that the MGB accounts for a greater proportion of variance in intentions and instrumental behaviors than does TPB. Although desires mediate most of the effects of other predictors on intentions to perform the instrumental behaviors, it is proposed that when the behavior is normatively relevant, or when self-efficacy appraisals play a major role, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control may directly affect intentions.