Using mental contrasting with implementation intentions to self-regulate insecurity-based behaviors in relationships

Sylviane Houssais, Gabriele Oettingen, Doris Mayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In relationships, behaviors aimed at alleviating insecurity often end up increasing it instead. The present research tested whether a self-regulatory technique, mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII), can help people reduce the frequency with which they engage in insecurity-based behaviors. Participants in romantic relationships identified an insecurity-based behavior they wanted to reduce and learned the MCII strategy, a reverse control strategy, or no strategy. One week later, participants in the MCII condition showed a greater reduction in the self-reported frequency of their unwanted behavior compared to participants in the control conditions, as well as a greater increase in relationship commitment from 2 months prior to the intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-233
Number of pages10
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Insecurity
  • Mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII)
  • Relationships
  • Self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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