Implementation intentions: Control of fear despite cognitive load

Inge Schweiger Gallo, Peter M. Gollwitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cognitive consequences of forming implementation intentions in controlling fear were addressed in the present study. Participants with an intense fear of spiders evaluated pictures of spiders, pleasant pictures, and neutral pictures under cognitive load. Regulatory control was measured by participants' self-report ratings of the pictures on the Self-Assessment Manikins Scales. Only participants given implementation intentions reported weaker negative emotional responses to the pictures of spiders as compared to participants given a goal intention and to no-goal control participants. Thus, emotional control by implementation intentions was shown not to tax a person's cognitive resources, attesting to the automatic nature of this self-regulation strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)280-285
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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