Using mental contrasting with implementation intentions to self-regulate insecurity-based behaviors in relationships
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- Houssais, S., Oettingen, G. & Mayer, D. Motiv Emot (2013) 37: 224. doi:10.1007/s11031-012-9307-4
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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.