Self-control mediates the link between gender and academic achievement in sex-stereotyped school subjects in elementary and in higher secondary schools
2020-10, Achtziger, Anja, Bayer, Ute C.
We tested whether self-control, previous grades, IQ, and gender can predict performance in German, English (as a foreign language), and in math after six months. These subjects are often considered as feminine (German, English) or masculine (math). Data was collected from the third and fourth grades (N = 299) in elementary schools and in fifth and sixth grades in higher secondary schools (N = 420). Self-control predicted grades in all subjects (but best in English) and in both types of school six months later, independent of previous grades and IQ. Previous grades strongly predicted performance in all subjects. Females were higher in self-control and earned better grades in feminine subjects than males. Self-control mediated the link between gender and grades in languages in females.
Staying on track: Planned goal striving is protected from disruptive internal states
2010, Bayer, Ute C., Gollwitzer, Peter M., Achtziger, Anja
Past implementation intention research focused on shielding goal striving from disruptive internal states (e.g., being anxious) by forming if then plans that link these very states to instrumental coping responses. In the present line of research, we investigated whether planning out goal striving by means of if then plans specifying opportunities to initiate goal-directed responses also protects goal striving from the negative impact of disruptive internal states. Indeed, in the face of disruptive internal states, participants who had been asked to form implementation intentions that targeted opportunities for initiating goal-directed responses outperformed participants with a mere goal intention to do well on a focal task goal. Actually, implementation intention participants performed as well as control participants who were not burdened by disruptive internal states such as being in a certain mood (Study 1), ego-depleted (Study 2), or self-definitionally incomplete (Study 3). Results are discussed by pointing to the importance of hypo-egoic self-regulation.
Self-control mediates the link between perfectionism and stress
2013-09, Achtziger, Anja, Bayer, Ute C.
The relationship between perfectionism and stress is well-established. Recent research has focused on identifying the mediators of this link. Starting from a multidimensional perspective on perfectionism, we investigated the role of self-control and found it to be a mediator between perfectionism and stress in a sample of university freshmen. Further, perfectionistic concerns (i.e., discrepancy; Slaney et al. 2001) were positively correlated with stress, whereas perfectionistic strivings (i.e., high standards; Slaney et al. 2001) were negatively correlated with stress. Practical implications regarding overcoming maladaptive perfectionism are discussed.
Responding to subliminal cues : do if-then plans facilitate action preparation and initiation without conscious intent?
2009, Bayer, Ute C., Achtziger, Anja, Gollwitzer, Peter M., Moskowitz, Gordon B.
Forming implementation intentions ( If I encounter cue X, then I will perform behavior Y! ) is postulated to trigger action initiation without further conscious intent once the specified cue is encountered (Gollwitzer, 1999). In two experiments using an injustice paradigm or a categorization task, critical situations (specified in the if-component) were subliminally presented and it was tested whether these situations influenced the preparation (Study 1) and initiation (Study 2) of the planned goal-directed behavior (specified in the then-component). After the subliminal presentation of the critical situations, implementation intention participants showed stronger action preparation and a faster action initiation, as compared to control participants (Study 1) who had not formed any goal intention at all, and compared to participants (Studies 1 and 2) who had only formed goal intentions. These findings suggest that forming implementation intentions leads to automatic action initiation without further conscious intent.
Committing to implementation intentions : Attention and memory effects for selected situational cues
2011, Achtziger, Anja, Bayer, Ute C., Gollwitzer, Peter M.
Two studies tested whether forming implementation intentions (Gollwitzer, Am Psychol 54:493–503 in 1999) results in a heightened activation of specified situational cues. Going beyond prior studies, participants of the present studies specified these opportunities on their own (i.e., the action cues were not assigned by the experimenter), and activation level was assessed by attraction of attention and recall performance rather than lexical decisions. In Study 1, situational cues associated with the where and when to act on an everyday life goal attracted more attention than non-specified cues when presented to the non-attended channel in a dichotic listening task. In Study 2, the recall of specified cues was better than that of non-specified cues both 15 min after forming implementation intentions and after a delay of 2 days. Importantly, goal commitment and implementation intention commitment moderated this effect.