Towards a theory of intentional behaviour change: Plans, planning, and self-regulation
Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
2009 The British Psychological Society
British Journal of Health Psychology
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 261–273, May 2009
How to Cite
Sniehotta, F. F. (2009), Towards a theory of intentional behaviour change: Plans, planning, and self-regulation. British Journal of Health Psychology, 14: 261–273. doi: 10.1348/135910708X389042
- Issue published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 24 DEC 2010
- Received 16 April 2008; revised version received 2 November 2008
Purpose Briefly review the current state of theorizing about volitional behaviour change and identification of challenges and possible solutions for future theory development.
Method Review of the literature and theoretical analysis.
Results Reasoned action theories have made limited contributions to the science of behaviour change as they do not propose means of changing cognitions or account for existing effective behaviour change techniques. Changing beliefs does not guarantee behaviour change. The implementation intentions (IMPs) approach to planning has advanced theorizing but the applications to health behaviours often divert substantially from the IMPs paradigm with regard to interventions, effects, mediators and moderators. Better construct definitions and differentiations are needed to make further progress in integrating theory and understanding behaviour change.
Conclusions Further progress in theorizing can be achieved by (a) disentangling planning constructs to study their independent and joint effects on behaviour, (b) progressing research on moderators and mediators of planning effects outside the laboratory and (c) integrating planning processes within learning theory and self-regulation theory.