A recently published study reveals that stating an implementation intention of when and where you'll act will make it more likely that you'll keep your appointments. Read More
Just in case anyone is looking for this paper, it's published in Journal of Applied Social Psychology (38:2), January 2008.
Does the intention need to be dewlivered to an external "authority" as in the experiment? If so,l how can one implement this in "nornal" life?
No, I don't think so. Simply telling yourself that you'll do some specific task at some specific time at some specific location should be enough; putting it down in writing is even better. The hard part, at least in my experience, is getting yourself to create an implementation intention in the first place, but it's still a lot easier than trying to get yourself to do what you should be doing without an implementation intention.
It seems that the requirement to turn the written intention in to the instructor leaves us with multiple possible explanations for the increased compliance, including quite prominently the fact that students lost plausible deniability about their intentions by turning the paper in to another person.
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Timothy A. Pychyl, Ph.D., is an associate professor of psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, where he specializes in the study of procrastination.
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