Properties of intention: component structure and consequences for behavior, information processing, and resistance


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Richard Cooke, Psychology, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK. E-mail:


Three studies tested the impact of properties of behavioral intention on intention–behavior consistency, information processing, and resistance. Principal components analysis showed that properties of intention formed distinct factors. Study 1 demonstrated that temporal stability, but not the other intention attributes, moderated intention–behavior consistency. Study 2 found that greater stability of intention was associated with improved memory performance. In Study 3, participants were confronted with a rating scale manipulation designed to alter their intention scores. Findings showed that stable intentions were able to withstand attack. Overall, the present research findings suggest that different properties of intention are not simply manifestations of a single underlying construct (“intention strength”), and that temporal stability exhibits superior resistance and impact compared to other intention attributes.