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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Richard B. Slatcher

Abstract

This paper examines health and fitness goal pursuit from a social psychological perspective, and the question of how outsourcing self-regulation influences goal-relevant behavioral intentions for members of romantic couples is addressed. A direct, preregistered replication study of the sole outsourcing self-regulation paper (Fitzsimons & Finkel, 2011) was conducted. In three replication studies, participants’ “perceived partner instrumentality” was manipulated, and in Study one (N = 210) and Study three (N = 293), planned health goal pursuit was assessed as the dependent variable; in Study two (N = 316), procrastination time on an entertaining task was used as a measure of self-regulatory outsourcing. Interestingly, results showed the opposite pattern of findings from the original studies; increased perceived partner instrumentality led to increased goal relevant intentions in studies one and three, mediated by goal commitment. Findings are in line with social support literature, and suggest that partner support bolsters goal commitment and health goal intentions. Suggestions for future research include examining outsourcing self-regulation in daily life, and implications for understanding and treating health issues (such as obesity) are discussed.

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