EPISODE 390: How to Break Bad Habits

You could still smoke indoors when I moved to Spain in 2009. Thankfully, it was banned in 2010 as part of an on-going anti-tobacco campaign that has since failed miserably. Fifteen years ago, 32% of people smoked. Today, 34% smoke. Somehow, the US has managed to get smoking rates down to 14%, and yet, even with a nationwide campaign, consumption here goes up. Why?

My guest on this week’s podcast has spent much of her career studying and dissecting human habit formation and change. The reasons why you do what you do are not obvious and not even conscious, so changing them requires a deeper understanding of self

What You’ll Learn:

  • How the US anti-smoking campaign was so successful
  • Why the “5 a Day” healthy eating campaign flopped
  • The small role that motivation plans in your habits
  • What mechanisms are at play when habits are formed
  • The roles of friction, cues, and beliefs in habit formation

ABOUT OUR GUEST

Wendy Wood is a psychologist and the Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at USC where she has been a faculty member since 2009. Her primary research contributions are in habits and behavior change, along with the psychology of gender. She is the author of a new book Good Habits, Bad Habits.

Nutritional Tip of the Week:

  • Meal Timing

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