Navigation Links
Getting healthy: When does prediction help people change their habits?

If you ask people how much they plan to exercise, they'll exercise morebut only if that's a personal goal, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"When people have set for themselves targets about how much they should engage in a behavior (say, if the behavior is how much to exercise per week), asking them to predict whether they will exercise in the next week makes them think about what they think they should do," write authors Pierre Chandon (INSEAD), Ronn J. Smith (University of Arkansas), Vicki G. Morwitz (New York University), Eric R. Spangenberg, and David E. Sprott (both Washington State University). "This reduces the chances that they will simply repeat their past behavior and hence breaks their habits."

The researchers also confirmed that we are creatures of habit: When people did not have strong personal goals for how much they should engage in a particular behavior (like watching the news), asking them to predict how much they would watch the news resulted in strengthening their existing habits.

The researchers discovered the pattern across a number of different behaviors among participants in the United States and France. "We asked a group of people to predict whether or not they would engage in a particular behavior in the next week or month and did not ask the same question to a control group," the authors explain. "To measure habits, we collected data about behavior frequency and duration both before and after the time of the behavior prediction question."

In one experiment, the authors asked college students to predict whether they would read books or watch the news in the next week. "Compared to a control group, students asked to predict their behavior were more likely to repeat what they had done in the week before," the authors explain. "However, the same question disrupted habits for exercising, a behavior for which our participants held strong personal norms." Asking about future exercising led to an estimated 94 additional minutes of exercising (+ 138 percent) for students who had only exercised for 10 minutes in the week before.

"These findings have important implications, not only for those of us who are attempting to keep our New Year's resolutions, but also for managers or policy makers attempting to reinforce valuable habits and to disrupt harmful ones," the authors conclude.


Contact: Mary-Ann Twist
University of Chicago Press Journals

Related medicine news :

1. Study looks at getting stroke patients back on their feet
2. Getting to the scientific heart of what makes romantic relationships succeed or fail
3. Getting more anti-cancer medicine into the blood
4. Survey Shows Fewer Hispanic Seniors Getting Flu Shots
5. Distrust of Health System Keeps Black Males From Getting Care
6. Deadliest Cancer Getting Smaller Chunk of Research Dollars
7. Vitamin D Guidelines Edge Upwards, But Most Americans Getting Enough: Report
8. Toys Getting Safer, But Dangers Still Lurk: Report
9. Few Young Women Getting Cervical Cancer Vaccine
10. U.S. Preschoolers Getting Too Much Screen Time: Study
11. Many With Terminal Cancer Still Getting Routine Screens
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... Mississauga, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Deborah Williams without a referral for dental implants at her Mississauga, ON ... qualified and experienced in the placement of dental implants. , Missing teeth can ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... ThirdLove, the fast-growing ... a week early, offering 40% off select bras and underwear styles, now through ... both mobile fit technology and the latest fashion, quickly becoming the next generation ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ON (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... DMG ... with Ed Begley Jr., airing first quarter 2016 via Discovery Channel. Dates and show ... of the Province, and is in the business of producing and supplying medical marijuana ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... It takes only three ... business, it is critical that the first impression be positive and reflects business values. ... likely to buy anything or want to return. They will also share their thoughts ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... In ... a growing epidemic as deaths from prescription opioids in the United States grew 400 ... cocaine. In 2013 alone, opioids were involved in 37 percent of all fatal drug ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 On Tuesday, ... federal bellwether trial against Wright Medical Technology, Inc. ... their Conserve metal-on-metal hip implant device, awarded $11 ... a two week trial and three days of ... hip device was defectively designed and unreasonably dangerous, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)...  ARKRAY USA , Inc., a ... demonstrating the accuracy of its blood glucose meter systems. ... Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease in Los Angeles ... ® 01 meter and the Assure ® ... to accurately measure glucose levels in blood is essential ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... MELVILLE, N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry ... products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal ... Dental (GNYDM) Meeting the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion ... industry,s broadest array of open solutions designed to help ... Click here for a schedule of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: