Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner


  • Peter A. Hall
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1697


Intention strength can be defined as the quantity of personal resources that an individual is prepared to invest in executing a behavior. Intention strength is closely akin to the concept of “motivation,” with high levels of intention strength understood to represent strong motivation to perform a behavior. Intentions play a prominent role in several theories of health behavior, including the Theory of Reasoned Action (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975), the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen & Madden, 1986), the Health Action Process Approach (Schwarzer, 2001), and Temporal Self-regulation Theory (Hall & Fong, 2007). From an empirical perspective, intentions are among the strongest predictors of health behavior performance. However, a number of factors are known to moderate intention-behavior relations, including perceived/actual controllability of the behavior, as well as habit strength (Webb & Sheeran, 2006).


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References and Readings

  1. Ajzen, I., & Madden, T. J. (1986). Prediction of goal-directed behavior: Attitudes, intentions, and perceived behavioral control. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 22, 453–474.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Fishbein, M., & Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.Google Scholar
  3. Hall, P. A., & Fong, G. T. (2007). Temporal self-regulation theory: A model for individual health behavior. Health Psychology Review, 1, 6–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Schwarzer, R. (2001). Social-cognitive factors in changing health-related behaviors. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 47–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Webb, T. L., & Sheeran, P. (2006). Does changing behavioral intentions engender behavior change? A meta-analysis of the experimental evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 249–268.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada