Keller, L., Bieleke, M., Gollwitzer, P. M. (2019). Mindset theory of action phases and if-then planning. In K. Sassenberg & M. L. W. Vliek (Eds.), Social psychology in action (pp. 23-37). New York: Springer.
In this chapter, we introduce mindset theory of action phases (MAP) and the self-regulation strategy of implementation intentions. MAP proposes four successive distinct phases through which one traverses during goal pursuit. During each phase, the goal-striving individual faces different challenges and the activation of specific cognitive procedures (i.e., mindsets) helps to overcome these challenges. These mindsets can further carry over to unrelated tasks and affect behavior. Implementation intentions are specific if-then plans (i.e., “If critical situation S occurs, then I will perform goal-directed response R!”). Across close to 100 independent studies with more than 8,000 participants, implementation intentions were shown to promote goal attainment beyond the mere formation of goals (Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006). We present applied contexts and recent developments of MAP and implementation intentions and close the chapter by discussing a study on the effects of implementation intentions in curtailing the escalation of commitment.