Unique Effects of Setting Goals on Behavior Change: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

  title={Unique Effects of Setting Goals on Behavior Change: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis},
  author={Tracy Epton and Sin{\'e}ad Currie and Christopher J. Armitage},
  journal={Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology},
Objective: Goal setting is a common feature of behavior change interventions, but it is unclear when goal setting is optimally effective. The aims of this systematic review and meta-analysis were to evaluate: (a) the unique effects of goal setting on behavior change, and (b) under what circumstances and for whom goal setting works best. Method: Four databases were searched for articles that assessed the unique effects of goal setting on behavior change using randomized controlled trials. One… 

Figures from this paper

The effect of goal setting in asthma self-management education: A systematic review

Implementation of the goal-setting components in popular physical activity apps: Review and content analysis

The quality of the goal-setting strategy in popular physical activity apps could be improved by introducing components scarcely implemented to date, and tailoring the goal difficulty to the users’ ability level and re-evaluating the goals based on achievements should be implemented to increase the quality of goal setting.

The effect of commitment-making on weight loss and behaviour change in adults with obesity/overweight; a systematic review

Using commitment devices, such as behavioural contracts, as part of a weight loss intervention may be useful in improving weight loss outcomes and dietary changes, at least in the short-term, evidence is limited and of variable quality so results must be interpreted with caution.

Effect of Behavior Change Techniques Targeting Clinicians to Improve Advance Care Planning in Heart Failure: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Certain BCTs seem to improve clinicians' practice with ACP in heart failure and merit consideration for implementation into routine clinical practice.

Identifying effective intervention strategies to reduce children’s screen time: a systematic review and meta-analysis

This meta-analysis identified the behavior change techniques and study characteristics associated with effectiveness in behavioral interventions to reduce children’s (0–18 years) screen time and found intervention effectiveness diminished as sample size increased.

From intention to action: A mixed methods study of clients' experiences of goal-oriented practices.

Goal-oriented practices can enhance psychotherapeutic work but need to be individually tailored and implemented collaboratively.

Updating goal-setting theory in physical activity promotion: a critical conceptual review

This work critically review and update the application of goal-setting theory in physical activity promotion, by examining core developments in this theory since 1990 and discussing implications for policy, research, and practice.

Planning and Implementation Intention Interventions

This chapter provides resources and best-practice guidelines for planning interventions that have broad application to behaviors of everyday living. An overview of the theory and context for why



A meta-analytic review of the effect of implementation intentions on physical activity

The present meta-analysis provides support for the use of implementation intentions to promote physical activity, even though the effect size is small to medium.

Task complexity as a moderator of goal effects: A meta-analysis.

Much evidence exists that supports the use of goal setting as a motivational technique for enhancing task performance; howevei; little attention has been given to the role of task characteristics as

RESEARCH REPORT The Effect of Goal Setting on Group Performance: A Meta-Analysis

Updating and extending the work of O’Leary-Kelly, Martocchio, and Frink (1994), with this meta-analysis on goal setting and group performance we show that specific difficult goals yield considerably

The impact of self-affirmation on health-behavior change: a meta-analysis.

A meta-analysis of the impact of self-affirmation on outcomes at 3 key points in the process of health-behavior change suggests that deploying self-Affirmation inductions alongside persuasive health information has positive effects, promoting message acceptance, intentions to change, and subsequent behavior.

Impact of Physical Activity Interventions on Anthropometric Outcomes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

This comprehensive meta-analysis synthesized the anthropometric effects of supervised exercise interventions and motivational interventions to increase PA to document significant improvements in anthropometric outcomes from both supervised exercise and motivational intervention.

The Assessment of Goal Commitment: A Measurement Model Meta-Analysis.

This study combines the results of 17 independent samples and 2918 subjects to provide a more conclusive assessment by combining meta-analytic and multisample confirmatory factor analytic techniques and revealed a five-item scale that is unidimensional and equivalent across measurement timing, goal origin, and task complexity.

Effect of Goal Setting on Motivation and Adherence in a Six‐Week Exercise Program

Abstract The aim of the study was to utilize a goal‐setting intervention to examine the impact on motivation and adherence during a six‐week exercise program. Sixty recreational exercisers (M age =

New Directions in Goal-Setting Theory

Goal-setting theory is summarized regarding the effectiveness of specific, difficult goals; the relationship of goals to affect; the mediators of goal effects; the relation of goals to self-efficacy;

Motivation, behavior, and performance: A closer examination of goal setting and monetary incentives.

Some experimenters often test predictions from theories of motivation using performance outcomes as dependent variables. We argue that observable behaviors that are likely to be affected by