Implementation intentions improve exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior regardless of task difficulty

Shen Wang1, Junzhou Xu2, Qian Yu3, Junyi Zhou1
1School of Physical Education and Sport Science and Provincial University Key Laboratory of Sport and Health Science, Fujian Normal University, and Key Laboratory of Kinesiological Evaluation General Administration of Sport of China, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
2High School of Longmen County, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China
3School of Physical Education and Sport Science, Fujian Normal University, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Wang, S., Xu, J., Yu, Q., & Zhou, J. (2019). Implementation intentions improve exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior regardless of task difficulty. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47, e8000.

Volume 47 Issue 5 | e8000 | Published: May 2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.8000

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Previous scholars have demonstrated that implementation intentions have positive effects on exercise self-efficacy and exercise behaviors; however, others have found little evidence to support these results. Task difficulty has been deemed a key factor that may contribute to these discrepant findings. Therefore, we examined the effects of implementation intentions on exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior under different task difficulty conditions. High school students (N = 90; 48 young women and 42 young men) were randomly assigned to 3 groups to receive different kinds of intervention (i.e., control group, goal intentions group, and implementation intentions group) and then were asked to hold the Navasana yoga posture under either high-difficulty or low-difficulty conditions. The results lend support to the assumption that implementation intentions help improve exercise self-efficacy and exercise behavior among high school students. The effects of implementation intentions were robust and independent of task difficulty.

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