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Mind the Gap? An Intensive Longitudinal Study of Between-Person and Within-Person Intention-Behavior Relations


Inauen, Jennifer; Shrout, Patrick E; Bolger, Niall; Stadler, Gertraud; Scholz, Urte (2016). Mind the Gap? An Intensive Longitudinal Study of Between-Person and Within-Person Intention-Behavior Relations. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50(4):516-522.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Despite their good intentions, people often do not eat healthily. This is known as the intention-behavior gap. Although the intention-behavior relationship is theorized as a within-person process, most evidence is based on between-person differences.

PURPOSE
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the within-person intention-behavior association for unhealthy snack consumption.

METHODS
Young adults (N = 45) participated in an intensive longitudinal study. They reported intentions and snack consumption five times daily for 7 days (n = 1068 observations analyzed).

RESULTS
A within-person unit difference in intentions was associated with a halving of the number of unhealthy snacks consumed in the following 3 h (CI95 27-70 %). Between-person differences in average intentions did not predict unhealthy snack consumption.

CONCLUSIONS
Consistent with theory, the intention-behavior relation for healthy eating is best understood as a within-person process. Interventions to reduce unhealthy snacking should target times of day when intentions are weakest.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
Despite their good intentions, people often do not eat healthily. This is known as the intention-behavior gap. Although the intention-behavior relationship is theorized as a within-person process, most evidence is based on between-person differences.

PURPOSE
The purpose of the present study is to investigate the within-person intention-behavior association for unhealthy snack consumption.

METHODS
Young adults (N = 45) participated in an intensive longitudinal study. They reported intentions and snack consumption five times daily for 7 days (n = 1068 observations analyzed).

RESULTS
A within-person unit difference in intentions was associated with a halving of the number of unhealthy snacks consumed in the following 3 h (CI95 27-70 %). Between-person differences in average intentions did not predict unhealthy snack consumption.

CONCLUSIONS
Consistent with theory, the intention-behavior relation for healthy eating is best understood as a within-person process. Interventions to reduce unhealthy snacking should target times of day when intentions are weakest.

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15 citations in Web of Science®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:August 2016
Deposited On:29 Nov 2016 16:21
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 05:15
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0883-6612
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-016-9776-x
PubMed ID:26801785
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant IDP2ZHP1_155103
  • : Project TitleIntention-behavior relations: An intraindividual perspective

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