Doerflinger, J., Martiny-Huenger, T., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2017). Planning to deliberate thoroughly: If-then planned deliberation increases the adjustment of decisions to newly available information. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 69, 1-12.
Planning our actions in advance is an important means of action control and increases the likelihood of initiating
intended actions at critical points in time (Gollwitzer, 1999; Gollwitzer & Oettingen, 2016). In the current re-
search, we investigate whether planning to deliberate thoroughly can also increase the likelihood of deliberation
when it is needed. As an increase in deliberation is often associated with more thorough use of available informa-
tion, we predict that planning to deliberate causes people to adjust their current course of action more closely to
newly available information. We test this prediction in three experiments in which the participants are faced
with the decision to continuewith or disengage from a chosen course of action after new information has become
available.The first experiment uses an established escalation of commitment paradigm (Study1); the second and
third experiment use a more naturalistic task based on the card game of poker (Studies 2 & 3). In all three studies,
planning to deliberate at a critical point in time by forming implementation intentions reduced the tendency to
stick to a failing course of action, suggesting that plans to deliberate can be used to increase the likelihood of de-
liberation and thereby the effective processing of newly available information.