Previous research has established that people vary in action orientation, a tendency toward decisiveness and initiative, versus state orientation, a tendency toward indecisiveness and hesitation (J. Kuhl & J. Beckmann, 1994b). In the present 3 studies, the authors examined whether action orientation versus state orientation regulates cognitive control under demanding conditions. Under high demands, action-oriented participants displayed better cognitive control than did state-oriented participants in a Stroop color naming task (Studies 1-3). No similar effects were found under low demands (Studies 2-3). Functional differences between action- and state-oriented participants emerged especially when the task included a high proportion of congruent Stroop trials (Study 3). These findings suggest that action-oriented individuals are better protected against goal neglect than are state-oriented individuals. © 2007 American Psychological Association.