Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 224–233

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

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11031-012-9307-4

Cite this article as:
Houssais, S., Oettingen, G. & Mayer, D. Motiv Emot (2013) 37: 224. doi:10.1007/s11031-012-9307-4


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.


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

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations