Navigation Links
Why Do People Stick To Their Bad Habits?

Why do people ignore public warnings and advertisements on the dangers of bad habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, overeating and stressing out //though they know that they aren't good for health? Why persist in bad habits have become the convention of many people across the Globe?

Because, says a University of Alberta researcher, we aren't getting at the underlying reasons of why we persist in bad habits or risky behaviors.

In two of the recent case studies that asked the people to rate the danger of various types of risks including lifestyle habits, it was clear that they understood what types of behavior are the riskiest, but that knowledge wasn't enough to motivate them to change their ways, said Dr. Cindy Jardine, an assistant professor of rural sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. 'The results showed that in fact, people have a very realistic understanding of the various risks in their lives. We as risk communicators--scientists, academics, and government agencies have to get beyond the thought of 'If they only understood the facts, they'd change.' They do understand the facts, but we need to look at other factors we haven't been looking at before.'

Jardine presented her findings recently at the RiskCom 2006 Conference in Sweden.

In the first case study conducted by Jardine, 1,200 people in Alberta were surveyed in both 1994 and 2005. Lifestyle habits like cigarette smoking, stress and sun-tanning were ranked as the top three risks, being considered more dangerous to the Alberta public than technology or pollution hazards such as chemical contamination, ozone depletion and sour gas wells. Cigarette smoking was ranked as 'very dangerous' by 53 per cent of those surveyed in 1994 and by 60 per cent of the respondents surveyed in 2005. Stress was ranked as 'very dangerous' by 54 per cent of the people in 1994 and by 65 per cent in 2005. In contrast, sour gas wells were ranked as 'very dangerous' by only 24 per cent of the people in 1994 and by 28 per cent in 2005.

The second case study, involving a survey conducted in two northern Aboriginal communities in Canada revealed similar results. Again, lifestyle risks were seen as the most hazardous. Almost everyone in the communities ranked risk associated with alcohol use (96 to 100 per cent of the respondents) and smoking (80 per cent of respondents) as 'very dangerous'. Risks associated with trace contaminants and doing traditional activities in a harsh environment were ranked as less risky.

When asked about personal and community health issues, the respondents in the second survey freely acknowledged that they knew about the hazards of risky behavior like choosing to drive while impaired, about secondhand cigarette smoke and about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, when unborn babies are damaged by their mothers' alcohol consumption.

'So they know alcohol is bad, but risk communicators aren't looking at the underlying reasons why people drink--poverty, unemployment, there is a history of abuse in some of these families. If we could get to the underlying issues of what turns people to drink, we would do better in fully understanding the context of their lives,' Jardine said. 'If we're just telling people what we know about the health risks, chances are we aren't going to solve any problems.'

Factors such as the need for social acceptance and plain old human defiance play roles in persistent bad habits, the study suggests. 'We get a sense of belonging that is important to us. We can see ourselves as part of a social structure; it's very hard to change a behavior if it is still accepted socially,' Jardine said. 'For instance, stress is bad for us, yet we wear it as a badge of honour. It is seen as a socially desirable thing to be overworking. We don't seem to have the same respect for people who work a 40-hour week.'

As well, we don't like to hear about what we shouldn't be doing, so we rationalize our bad habits, Jardine said. 'We all have a bit of recalcitrant child in us. We keep smoking with the excuse 'It hasn't hurt me so far, or 'It helps control my stress or weight'.'

Until the psychology behind risky behavior is really understood, people won't give up their vices, no matter how much they know, Jardine said. She suggests researchers and other risk communicators need to talk to the people they're trying to reach, before forming messages. 'We need to listen more to the things that really concern people and to look at social norms and why they are starting to dictate our actions. We as a society have to rethink and challenge those norms.'

Source-Eurekalert
SRI
'"/>




Related medicine news :

1. Bad News for Short People
2. New hope on the Horizon for People Wishing to Quit Smoking
3. Prescription Drug - Helps People Stop Smoking
4. More People Seeking Treatment for Depression
5. Pain Common in People with MS
6. People with skin cancer at higher risk for other types
7. Laser Therapy Found To Help People Quit Smoking
8. Pomegranate Juice May Be The Next Best Thing For People With Heart Disease
9. New Treatment For People Allergic To Cats
10. People who fight wars may be at high risk of cardiovascular disease
11. People suffering from Alzheimer’s: can they take decisions about their treatment
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Coalition Duchenne, a ... and funding for Duchenne research, participated in the April 25 U.S. Food and ... Duchenne drug eteplirsen. The meeting at the Marriott Conference Center in Hyattsville, Maryland ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... , ... Pro3rd Grunge is a package of 30 grunge-themed lower thirds created ... characters, and locations without having to set a single keyframe. Choose from a variety ... components. Simply select a preset and drag it into the FCPX timeline. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Orthodontics ... their founders, Dr. Gemmi and Dr. Middleberg, were asked by Invisalign ... nation. During the seminar, titled “Advancing the Biomechanics of Invisalign Clear Aligners,” ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Sanford Health’s work in cellular therapy and ... and leaders from Sanford Health were selected to participate in the “ Third ... and receive the 2016 Pontifical Key Innovation Award at the Vatican. , The ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , ... April 28, 2016 , ... Head Over Heels ... 9 Western Championships. The competition will be held at the University of Montana on ... gymnasts west of the Mississippi River. , In order to qualify, Varize needed to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... to reach USD 2.06 billion by 2022, according ... Inc. Increasing consumer awareness towards a healthy lifestyle ... next seven years.      (Logo: ... intake coupled with rising health treatment expenditure has ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... April 26, 2016 Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ... presentation at the Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health ... EDT. You are invited to listen to the ... or access it directly at http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/mr4uxgas . A recorded ... conclusion of the live event and accessible at the links ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 26, 2016 Research and Markets has ... Risk Analysis of the Biological Medicine Industry in China ... report analyzes the financial assessment and credit risk of ... . The report provides readers with an in-depth understanding ... participants should be aware of. It considers current and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: