Mindset Theory of Action Phases and If-Then Planning

Lucas Keller, Maik Bieleke, Peter M. Gollwitzer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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 8000 participants, implementation intentions were shown to promote goal attainment beyond the mere formation of goals (Gollwitzer and Sheeran, Adv Exp Soc Psychol 38: 69-119, 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 the domain of consumer psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSocial Psychology in Action
Subtitle of host publicationEvidence-Based Interventions from Theory to Practice
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030137885
ISBN (Print)9783030137878
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Goals
  • Implementation intentions
  • Mindsets
  • Motivation
  • Plans
  • Self-regulation
  • Volition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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