Gollwitzer, P. M., & Sheeran, P. (2009). Self-regulation of consumer decision making and behavior: The role of implementation intentions. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 19, 593-607.
People may use the self-regulatory strategy of forming implementation intentions (i.e., if-then plans) to make better consumer decisions and facilitate the translation of those decisions into action. First, research on the mechanisms and effects of implementation intentions is reviewed. Second, we discuss how implementation intentions can be used to improve consumer decision making by promoting attention control and information elaboration, and overcoming disruptive influences. Third, we consider the various problems that militate against the enactment of one's decisions, and evidence is presented to show that implementation intentions are still effective even when goal attainment does not seem to be amenable to self-regulation. Finally, potential moderators of implementation intention effects are discussed.