Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman


  • Peter A. HallEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_1697-2


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 and Ajzen 1975), the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen and Madden 1986), the health action process approach (Schwarzer 2001), and the temporal self-regulation theory (Hall and 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 and Sheeran 2006).


References and Further 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: 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.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Applied Health SciencesUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada