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Promoting habit formation

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Abstract

Habits are automatic behavioural responses to environmental cues, thought to develop through repetition of behaviour in consistent contexts. When habit is strong, deliberate intentions have been shown to have a reduced influence on behaviour. The habit concept may provide a mechanism for establishing new behaviours, and so healthy habit formation is a desired outcome for many interventions. Habits also however represent a potential challenge for changing ingrained unhealthy behaviours, which may be resistant to motivational shifts. This review aims to provide intervention developers with tools to help establish target behaviours as habits based on theoretical and empirical insights. We discuss evidence-based techniques for forming new healthy habits and breaking existing unhealthy habits. To promote habit-formation we focus on strategies to initiate a new behaviour, support context-dependent repetition of this behaviour, and facilitate the development of automaticity. We discuss techniques for disrupting existing unwanted habits, which relate to restructuring the personal environment and enabling alternative responses to situational cues.

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... For example, in contrast to compulsive use, habits merely represent routinized behaviors for the sake of efficiency, whereas compulsive behavior has a tendency to be unintentional or uncontrolled (Wang and Lee 2020). However, when comparing the definition of compulsive smartphone use to that of unwanted habits, which are also repetitive and ritualistic and can be hard to control (De Guinea and Markus 2009;Lally and Gardner 2013;Limayem et al. 2007;Polites and Karahanna 2013;Turel 2015), the theoretical ambiguity becomes apparent. Adding to the criticism, the concepts presented above are commonly operationalized using self-reports of participants in surveys. ...
... Labeling everyday smartphone use as addiction may entail negative consequences for the affected individuals (Gerlach and Cenfetelli 2020). Moreover, the prevailing definition of compulsive smartphone use fails to distinguish itself from habits (De Guinea and Markus 2009;Lally and Gardner 2013;Limayem et al. 2007;Polites and Karahanna 2013;Turel 2015), highlighting the need for an approach void of normative labeling. ...
... Among other things, these collected data points allow for the calculation of the usage duration of an app as well as the number of times a specific app was launched for any given day. We argue that apps that are high in use duration and used regularly can be considered smartphone habits (De Guinea and Markus 2009;Lally and Gardner 2013;Polites and Karahanna 2013;Sigerson et al. 2017). A high number of launches of an app over several days or every day is an indication of IT-mediated state-tracking habits (Gerlach and Cenfetelli 2020). ...
Conference Paper
Excessive use of IT can lead to severe negative consequences for the individuals involved. Many studies addressing this important topic have, however, used imprecise umbrella terms, such as excessive use, compulsive use, and addiction, leading to wrong conclusions. We build on the theory of IT-mediated state-tracking to examine smartphone habits, which are unaligned with users' goals (unwanted habits), enabling a discussion void of normative labeling. We address the role of self-regulation, including goal-setting strategies, in preventing the execution of these unwanted habits. To do so, we use a mixed-method approach building on longitudinal real-world smartphone use data combined with information about users' self-regulation abilities and goal-alignment of their state-tracking habits. We find that, while self-regulation does not affect whether a goal to reduce an unwanted habit is achieved, the number of set goals is lower for users high in self-regulation, and these users combine multiple strategies to achieve goals.
... One route to behaviour maintenance is establishing habits; behaviours which are cued by the contexts in which they are performed, rather than intentionally selected on each occasion they are performed [27]. Habit theory provides a basis on which to provide guidance to help people develop habits [28]. An additional consideration for app-based interventions is a need for sustainability beyond the end of research funding, so utilising/adapting publicly or commercially available apps could have potential. ...
... Self-monitoring of physical activity using a variety of technologies has been shown to successfully promote increases in physical activity in the general population and among people LWBC [49,50]. The intervention content provided in addition to the Active 10 app was informed by habit theory and includes BCTs that have shown efficacy in promoting physical activity in inactive adults, have been associated with improved adherence to physical activity interventions in people LWBC, and that were practical to use in the context of providing brief written materials and behavioural support [28,[51][52][53][54]. ...
... Habits predict behaviour particularly on days when people's intentions are lower than usual and therefore support maintenance of behaviour, shielding it from temporary lapses in motivation [55]. In order to form a habit, a behaviour needs to be performed consistently in the same situation (termed context-dependent-repetition) [28]. It is possible to succinctly deliver this advice to participants, and interventions using this technique have shown positive changes in behaviour [56]. ...
Article
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Background There are multiple health benefits from participating in physical activity after a cancer diagnosis, but many people living with and beyond cancer (LWBC) are not meeting physical activity guidelines. App-based interventions offer a promising platform for intervention delivery. This trial aims to pilot a theory-driven, app-based intervention that promotes brisk walking among people living with and beyond cancer. The primary aim is to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of study procedures before conducting a larger randomised controlled trial (RCT). Methods This is an individually randomised, two-armed pilot RCT. Patients with localised or metastatic breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer, who are aged 16 years or over, will be recruited from a single hospital site in South Yorkshire in the UK. The intervention includes an app designed to encourage brisk walking (Active 10) supplemented with habit-based behavioural support in the form of two brief telephone/video calls, an information leaflet, and walking planners. The primary outcomes will be feasibility and acceptability of the study procedures. Demographic and medical characteristics will be collected at baseline, through self-report and hospital records. Secondary outcomes for the pilot (assessed at 0 and 3 months) will be accelerometer measured and self-reported physical activity, body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference, and patient-reported outcomes of quality of life, fatigue, sleep, anxiety, depression, self-efficacy, and habit strength for walking. Qualitative interviews will explore experiences of participating or reasons for declining to participate. Parameters for the intended primary outcome measure (accelerometer measured average daily minutes of brisk walking (≥ 100 steps/min)) will inform a sample size calculation for the future RCT and a preliminary economic evaluation will be conducted. Discussion This pilot study will inform the design of a larger RCT to investigate the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this intervention in people LWBC. Trial registration ISRCTN registry, ISRCTN18063498. Registered 16 April 2021.
... Habits form when the behaviour is consistently repeated in the presence of contextual cues [12]. This process can be instigated by goals [13] or by contextual cues [12]. ...
... Habits form when the behaviour is consistently repeated in the presence of contextual cues [12]. This process can be instigated by goals [13] or by contextual cues [12]. In the context of medication taking, both play a role. ...
... The importance of intentions decreases as the behavior is repeated, and with time, the activity can be automatically completed without reconsidering its purpose [19]. Creating salient cues contributes to the activity consistency and reduces behavioral complexity, while giving extrinsic rewards might hinder the habit-formation process [12]. Finally, the behavior must be maintained to become a habit and bring long-lasting change [12,[14][15][16][17][18][19]. ...
Article
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Past research has demonstrated that older adults tend to use daily activities as cues to remember to take medications. However, they may still experience medication non-adherence because they did not select adequate contextual cues or face situations that interfere with their medication routines. This work addresses two research questions: (1) How does the association that older adults establish between their daily routines and their medication taking enable them to perform it consistently? (2) What problems do they face in associating daily routines with medication taking? For 30 days, using a mixed-methods approach, we collected quantitative and qualitative data from four participants aged 70–73 years old about their medication taking. We confirm that older adults who matched their medication regimens to their habitual routines obtained better results on time-based consistency measures. The main constraints for using daily routines as contextual cues were the insertion of medication taking into broad daily routines, the association of multiple daily routines with medication taking, the lack of strict daily routines, and the disruption of daily routines. We argue that the strategies proposed by the literature for forming medication-taking habits should support their formulation by measuring patients’ dosage patterns and generating logs of their daily activities.
... Habit theory was considered to address forgetfulness, as if medication taking becomes habitual and less reliant on memory, unintentional nonadherence may reduce [90][91][92][93][94]. Habit theory stipulates there are multiple conceptual phases in forming a habit; deciding to act, acting on that decision, and doing so repeatedly in a manner conducive to development of behaviour cue associations [91,94,95]. ...
... Habit theory was considered to address forgetfulness, as if medication taking becomes habitual and less reliant on memory, unintentional nonadherence may reduce [90][91][92][93][94]. Habit theory stipulates there are multiple conceptual phases in forming a habit; deciding to act, acting on that decision, and doing so repeatedly in a manner conducive to development of behaviour cue associations [91,94,95]. The formation of cue-behaviour associations, as is essential to habit formation, has the potential to lead to sustained behaviour change. ...
... Habit based interventions have been successful in improving adherence in other long-term conditions [96][97][98]. Based on published guidance, we selected six behaviour change techniques (BCTs) related to habit theory that were feasible to target [94,[99][100][101] (Table 4). Mobile messaging interventions are increasingly used to promote adherence to medications, and could be cost-effective for promoting habit formation [102][103][104]. ...
Article
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Background Adjuvant endocrine therapy (AET) reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence and mortality. However, up to three-quarters of women with breast cancer do not take AET as prescribed. Existing interventions to support adherence to AET have largely been unsuccessful, and have not focused on the most salient barriers to adherence. This paper describes the process of developing four theory-based intervention components to support adherence to AET. Our aim is to provide an exemplar of intervention development using Intervention Mapping (IM) with guidance from the Multiphase Optimisation Strategy (MOST). Methods Iterative development followed the six-stage IM framework with stakeholder involvement. Stage 1 involved a literature review of barriers to adherence and existing interventions, which informed the intervention objectives outlined in Stage 2. Stage 3 identified relevant theoretical considerations and practical strategies for supporting adherence. Stage 4 used information from Stages 1-3 to develop the intervention components. Stages 1-4 informed a conceptual model for the intervention package. Stages 5 and 6 detailed implementation considerations and evaluation plans for the intervention package, respectively. Results The final intervention package comprised four individual intervention components: Short Message Service to encourage habitual behaviours surrounding medication taking; an information leaflet to target unhelpful beliefs about AET; remotely delivered Acceptance and Commitment Therapy-based guided self-help to reduce psychological distress; and a website to support self-management of AET side-effects. Considerations for implementation within the NHS, including cost, timing and mode of delivery were outlined, with explanation as to how using MOST can aid this. We detail our plans for the final stage of IM which involve feasibility testing. This involved planning an external exploratory pilot trial using a 2⁴⁻¹ fractional factorial design, and a process evaluation to assess acceptability and fidelity of intervention components. Conclusions We have described a systematic and logical approach for developing a theoretically informed intervention package to support medication adherence in women with breast cancer using AET. Further research to optimise the intervention package, guided by MOST, has the potential to lead to more effective, efficient and scalable interventions.
... Gardner and Lally [28,29] have proposed a framework for habit formation, which includes four stages: Intention formation (stage 1), action initiation (stage 2), behavioral repetition (stage 3a), and development of a cue-behavior-association (stage 3b). Each of these stages can be a potential starting point for examining and modifying factors which may promote successful habit formation. ...
... As habit strength can be considered as the cached value of previous repetitions, performing the behavior on one day can be expected to lead to higher habit strength at the next day. Furthermore, because context-dependent repetition of the target behavior is essential for establishing cue-behavior associations [23,29], a higher cue or context stability should increase the effect of performing the target behavior on habit strength. Finally, experienced rewards in timely proximity to behavioral performance are also expected to positively modulate and increase the effect of repeated behavioral performance [8]. ...
... Second, in all models, we also included an autoregressive effect, i.e., habit strength of day x-1 was included as a predictor to control for potential autocorrelation [55]. Third, we also included a logtransformed time predictor to account for the asymptomatic nature of the habit formation process [29]. The interaction effects of mean behavioral performance, context stability, and intrinsic reward value with time were thus estimated with the log-transformed time predictor instead of the linear time predictor. ...
Article
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Background Habits drive many of our health behaviors in our daily lives. However, little is known about the relative contribution of different key factors for habit formation in real-world contexts. We examined the effects of behavioral performance, intrinsic reward value (operationalized as tastiness), and context stability on the formation of a higher-order nutrition habit. Methods Participants were recruited via mailing lists and posts on social media platforms. N = 199 participants (Mage = 37.10 years, SD = 13.00, 86.93% female) received an online intervention for building the higher-order habit of filling half of their plates with vegetables at dinner and completed one daily online survey for up to 56 days, including the assessment of habit strength, behavioral performance, intrinsic reward value, and context stability, providing a total of N = 6352 daily measurements. N = 189 participants (N = 4175 measurements) could be included in the primary analysis. Utilizing multilevel modeling, we analyzed the impact of behavioral performance, intrinsic reward value, and context stability, as well as their interaction effects, on habit strength on the next day. Results Habit strength significantly increased over time. This effect was strengthened in persons with high mean levels of behavioral performance. Furthermore, mean levels of behavioral performance, intrinsic reward value, and context stability were all positively related to mean levels of habit strength. There were no positive effects of daily intraindividual variations in the three examined factors on habit strength at the next day. There was an unexpected negative effect of daily behavioral performance on habit strength at the next day. We found little to no evidence for our expected and pre-registered interaction effects. In an additional exploratory analysis, there were positive effects of daily intraindividual variations in the three factors on habit strength at the same day. Conclusions We found that behavioral performance, intrinsic reward value, and context stability were all independent predictors of habit strength of a higher-order habit at the between-person level. However, we did not find the expected associations at the within-person level. Habit interventions should promote the consistent performance of the target behaviors in stable contexts. Trial registration https://aspredicted.org/blind.php?x=vu2cg4. Registered 28.04.2020.
... To this end, the expert meeting, headed by Dr Benjamin Gardner and Dr Phillipa Lally, discussed a range of issues related to habit research over the two days preceding the 33rd annual EHPS conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Topics included de ning habit (Hagger, 2020;Mazar & Wood, 2018), measuring habit (Gardner & Tang, 2014;Rebar et al., 2018), habit formation and disruption Lally & Gardner, 2013), the role of habit (Brown et al., 2019;Wood, 2017), and habit-based interventions (Beeken et al., 2012;Hamilton et al., 2019). Day one began with introductions which quickly demonstrated the breadth and depth of expertise within the habit, health psychology, and behavioural medicine community that was being represented in the meeting. ...
... A number of other topics similarly provided signi cant fodder for debates and discussions including the relatively recent distinction between habitually instigating a behaviour (e.g., habitually dressing in exercise clothes after work) compared to habitually executing a behaviour (e.g., habitually engaging in a speci c routine once at the gym; Gardner et al., 2016;; the existence and role of dormant habits (e.g., an existing mental cue-behaviour link that has not activated behaviour; Gardner, 2012); and the time it takes and way in which habits form, be disrupted, or completely extinguished (Lally & Gardner, 2013;Marien et al., 2018). Through individual re ection, small group, and large group discussions, participants were able to explore each of these topics to identify what is known, unknown, and likely the best avenue of future research. ...
... Habits are critical for healthy living behaviors; these consist of automated responses that develop through repetition and are often performed without little or no forethought. Figure 1 depicts the four stages necessary for habit formation, starting from a decision that is sustained through time until it becomes an automatic behavior 6 . The strongness and automaticity of an established habit may pose difficulty in changing it because short-term behavioral gains may be lost in the long-term context 7 . ...
... New strategies should focus on providing wellness programs with these intersections. School space might be an ideal environment to foster healthy habits that can permeate the family and the community, especially in younger individuals 6 . Strategies become more effective when they include awareness that comes from the parents so that they serve as models of healthy lifestyles. ...
Article
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The physical, mental and social well being, refers to a new concept of health, far from a conceptualisations of absence of disease Additional challenges emerge as individuals face deep social inequities depending on their ethnicity, rural residence or low educational level, as these translate to poor access to health services and more difficulties to adhere to healthy living behaviors. The objective of this study was to assess the perception that adolescents and young adults in Latinamerica have of the importance of healthy living behaviors (HLB) in the physical, emotional and lifestyle spheres. The approach is considered quantitative and descriptive with a cross sectional design. The sampling consisted of 192 young adults in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The results show that participants prioritize higher emotional wellbeing. They state that the health crisis changed the perception, as now the value more the emotional side of health, and understand the status of a combination of the different aspects of wellness. The Latinamerican context poses a challenge in designing strategies with a holistic health perspective, with complexities in the economic and sociocultural domains.
... Although the latter initially requires discipline and memory performance it should-over Fig. 1 Theoretical framework for the present study based on Schwarzer [25] and Gardner and Lally [26] time-become habitual after sufficient repetition of the behavior. Goals have been shown to be important antecedents of action initiation [27]. Individuals most likely form a goal when they anticipate positive consequences as a result of their intended behavior (i.e., outcome expectancies) and feel capable to perform the intended behavior despite barriers (i.e., self-efficacy, [28]). ...
... While health care professionals who make use of planning are more likely to engage in health promoting behaviors [35,36], the underlying processes why and how they build a habit as a result are less clear. Presumably, planning makes a specific cue more easily available in memory so that when exposed to the cue, people are more likely to remember and execute the behavior [27]. As soon as an action plan has been formed, the intended behavior is more likely to be triggered automatically by the contextual cue rather than by a deliberative weighing of pros and cons [37]. ...
Article
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Background: The adoption of a healthy lifestyle plays a crucial role for the health and well-being of health care professionals. Previous e- and mHealth interventions relied on deliberative psychological processes (e.g., intention, planning) to target lifestyle changes, while revealing mixed efficacy. The additional potential of non-deliberative, automatic processes (i.e., habits) for behavior change has been understudied in interventions so far. The Habit Coach mHealth intervention combines deliberative and non-deliberative processes to support health care professionals in forming healthy physical activity, nutrition and mindfulness habits in daily life. The aim of this paper is to outline the study protocol including a detailed description of the mHealth intervention, evaluation plan, and study design. The purpose of this trial is to understand healthy habit formation in health care professionals over time. Methods: A one-arm, multicenter mHealth intervention study will be conducted. Behavioral and psychosocial predictors will be collected via within-app questionnaires across a 100-day period at baseline, post, as well as at weekly assessments. To understand habit formation across time, linear mixed models will be used. Discussion: This trial aims to unravel the role of motivational and volitional determinants for healthy habit formation across multiple health behaviors in health care professionals embedded in a mHealth intervention. Trial registration: This trial is registered in the German Clinical Trials Register, DRKS-ID DRKS00027156. Date of registration 17 November 2021.
... Automaticity distinguishes habitual behaviour from reasoned actions [36]. It was suggested that habitual behaviours proceed without high cognitive efforts [37] and are performed even in conditions when self-control and motivation are low [37,38]. ...
... However, the associations between SDT-based motivational sequence in PE and the strength of PA habits are largely unknown. Since habit formation is thought to aid the maintenance of PA [38], it is important to have more knowledge about the associations between perceived autonomy support, self-determined motivation in PE and strength of PA habits in adolescents. The role of the internal rewards for the formation of stable and persistent behaviour such as PA habits is less explored in PE and more knowledge is needed [44,45]. ...
Article
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In this cross-sectional study, we tested the associations between teacher autonomy support, self-determined motivation for physical education (PE), physical activity habits and non-participation in physical education in a sample of adolescents. A total of 715 adolescents (of whom 371 (51.89%) were girls) participated. The ages ranged from 14 to 18 years, with mean ages of 16.00 (SD = 0.79) for girls and 15.99 (SD = 0.75) for boys. The study questionnaire consisted of demographic questions and the Learning Climate Questionnaire, Revised Perceived Locus of Causality in Physical Education Questionnaire, Behavioural Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire 2, Self-Report Habit Index for Physical Activity, Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, perceived physical fitness and frequency of non-participation in PE classes. The results showed that perceived teacher autonomy support was directly positively associated with physical activity habits and negatively with non-participation in physical education classes. Autonomous motivation for PE was a mediator between perceived teacher autonomy support and physical activity habits, meaning that higher autonomous motivation was related to higher physical activity habits. Motivation for PE was also a mediator between teacher autonomy support and non-participation in PE. Higher autonomous motivation for PE was associated with less frequent non-participation in PE classes. The findings can inform PE teachers’ practice by showing that supporting students’ autonomy and strengthening their self-determined motivation can facilitate increased participation in PE classes and the formation of students’ physical activity habits.
... Regardless of why such changes may occur, habit formation must be preceded by changes to perceived or actual motivation, capability or opportunity to act, in order to trigger early behavioural performances (Lally & Gardner, 2013); in the absence of such changes, habit will not form. Thus: ...
... A systematic literature search of four psychology and health databases (Embase, Medline, PsycInfo, Web of Science) was undertaken in April 2021. A cited reference search was used to identify studies that had cited one or more key papers in habit measurement (i.e., Gardner, Abraham et al., 2012;Ouellette & Wood, 1998;Verplanken & Orbell, 2003), principles and processes of habit formation (i.e., Lally & Gardner, 2013;Lally et al., 2010Lally et al., , 2011, and conceptual commentaries (i.e., Gardner, 2015;Wood & Rünger, 2016). Studies were eligible where they reported primary analyses of quantitative data from human participants regarding the process of forming realworld habits, were published in English in a peer-reviewed journal, and met criteria D1-2, M1-3, and AI1, AI3 and AI4. ...
Article
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Advances in understanding how habit forms can help people change their behaviour in ways that make them happier and healthier. Making behaviour habitual, such that people automatically act in associated contexts due to learned context-response associations, offers a mechanism for maintaining new, desirable behaviours even when conscious motivation wanes. This has prompted interest in understanding how habit forms in the real world. To reliably inform intervention design, habit formation studies must be conceptually and methodologically sound. This paper proposes methodological criteria for studies tracking real-world habit formation, or potential moderators of the effect of repetition on formation. A narrative review of habit theory was undertaken to extract essential and desirable criteria for modelling how habit forms in naturalistic settings, and factors that influence the relationship between repetition and formation. Next, a methodological review identified exemplary real-world habit formation studies according to these criteria. Fourteen methodological criteria, capturing study design (four criteria), measurement (six criteria), and analysis and interpretation (four criteria), were derived from the narrative review. Five extant studies were found to meet our criteria. Adherence to these criteria should increase the likelihood that studies will offer revealing conclusions about how habits develop in real-world settings.
... Performing a slow squat when getting something out of the bottom drawer is one example for the principle move slowly-this can make the muscles work harder. LiFE's initial behavior change framework (Clemson & Munro, 2015) is based on the principles of habit formation (Lally & Gardner, 2013). By linking the LiFE activities to daily routines, they ought to become habitual and thereby maintained in the long term. ...
... Their group format of LiFE (Mi-LiFE) included four group sessions and two telephone debriefings, but still contained one individual home visit to ensure the fit of LiFE activities to participants' home environment. Further details on the intervention setting and results of their evaluation study (Gibbs et al., 2019) Behavior change concept Based on the conceptual model of habit reforming by Clemson & Munro (2015) Based on the conceptual model of habit reforming by Clemson & Munro (2015) Theoretical framework on habit formation (Lally & Gardner, 2013); ...
... Indeed, a strong HP may be due to relatively weak goaldirected control in aging, but could also (at least partially) arise as a consequence of stronger habit formation. Here, we argue that a strong habit propensity may facilitate the automatizing of novel guideline behaviors by predisposing individuals to habitual responding (Lally & Gardner, 2013;Linnebank et al., 2018), especially when other cognitive resources that enable flexible adjustment are less available (e.g., low WM capacity, or increased WM load/stress; e.g., Otto et al., 2013;Watson et al., 2021). Therefore, the second aim of our study was to examine whether individual differences in both WM capacity and HP could affect compliance and automatization of COVID-19 guideline behaviors ( Fig. 1), as indicators of adequate behavioral adjustment. ...
... HP was positively related to self-reported automaticity for the maintenance of physical distance in the supermarket and hand washing, albeit the latter only among individuals with relatively low WM capacity. This indicates that a stronger reliance on habitual control can facilitate the gradual automatization of new routines (Lally & Gardner, 2013). In addition, it also indicates that such a disposition may be especially beneficial when more deliberate resources to direct action in accordance with new goals (i.e., reducing transmission, not becoming infected; e.g., Xie et al., 2020) are less available, and the dependence on habitual behavior is enhanced. ...
Article
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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health, well-being, and behavior is likely influenced by individual characteristics that determine one's capacity for resilience. In this exploratory study, we examined whether individual differences in working memory (WM) capacity and habit propensity (HP), measured before the outbreak, could predict variation in subsequent psychological coping efficacy (as operationalized by measures of depression, mental well-being, perceived stress, and loneliness) and behavioral adjustment (by evaluating compliance and self-reported automaticity of four COVID-19 guidelines) among Dutch older adults (n = 36) during the pandemic (measured April 25 to May 6, 2020). While we found elevated levels of depression and emotional loneliness, overall mental well-being, and perceived stress were not affected by the pandemic. Contrary to our expectations, we found no robust evidence for a protective role of WM in predicting these outcomes, although our findings hint at a positive relationship with perceived change in mental well-being. Interestingly, WM and HP were found to affect the self-reported automaticity levels of adherence to behavioral COVID-19 guidelines (i.e., washing hands, physical distancing), where a strong HP appeared beneficial when deliberate resources were less available (e.g., low WM capacity). These novel and preliminary findings offer new potential avenues for investigating individual differences in resilience in times of major life events or challenges. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10804-022-09404-9.
... Our study focused only on predicting ongoing behaviour from established habits, yet the complexity and fluidity with which an action is performed are likely to play important roles in the formation of new habits (Phillips & Mullan, 2022). Instigation habits typically form when people intend to act, have the selfregulatory skills to implement their intentions, and repeat the action in a consistent context (Lally & Gardner, 2013). If complex actions are viewed as too challenging, people may lack intention to perform them, or may struggle to successfully and repeatedly enact their positive intentions (Ajzen, 1991;Carver & Scheier, 1982), thereby inhibiting the development of instigation habits. ...
... While skewed frequency distributions were mitigated via data transformation, phone-checking, which was performed daily by over 75% of our sample, remained heavily Lastly, while habit formation among the general public has been proposed as a potentially impactful strategy for tackling global challenges such as climate change (Kurz et al., 2015), it might be argued that the behaviours that we studied were too mundane, and our educated student sample insufficiently representative, to meaningfully contribute to understanding of how to address such challenges. Yet, there is no reason to expect the processes involved in habit formation for the behaviours we studied to differ from those involved in more impactful behaviours (e.g., Lally & Gardner, 2013), nor to differ between students and the public. Nonetheless, further work might usefully assess the extent to which our findings generalise to potentially more consequential behaviours among the general public. ...
Article
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Background . Forming a habit - i.e., a cue-behaviour association learned through repeated performance - has been proposed to promote behaviour maintenance, but some commentators have questioned whether simple cue-behaviour associations can direct complex actions. This paper addresses this issue by drawing on a proposed distinction between 'habitual instigation', whereby habit automatically prompts the impulse to initiate an action episode, and 'habitual execution', whereby habit automates performance of sub-actions involved in that episode. Theory predicts that frequency should be determined by habitual instigation, but not habitual execution, irrespective of complexity. This study examined the influence of habitual instigation and execution on the frequency of four behaviours ranging in complexity. Method . A sample of 173 participants, recruited via an online platform, completed questionnaire measures of perceived complexity, and instigation and execution habit, for four behaviours expected to vary in complexity (checking one's phone, drinking sugary drinks, using social media, using public transport). Of these, 118 participants self-reported behaviour frequency one week later. ANOVAs compared complexity perceptions across behaviours, and multivariate regressions modelled effects of instigation and execution habit on behaviour. Results . Drinking sugary drinks was rated the simplest behaviour, followed by phone-checking, and using social media. Using public transport was rated most complex. Across behaviours, instigation-behaviour correlations tended to be stronger than execution-behaviour correlations, and instigation habit predicted behaviour but execution did not. Conclusion . Instigation habit regulated performance frequency of simple and complex behaviours alike. While complexity may be an important consideration when developing new habits, it is less relevant to the relationship between established habits and behaviour. Interventions should promote instigation habits to maintain even complex behaviours.
... Research has also indicated that individuals may be prompted by environmental factors (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic) to practice habitual behaviors with greater intensity. 10 This study contributes to the literature by distinguishing patterns of handwashing habit formation during early and middle childhood and examined their associations with later COVID-19 preventive practices (specifically, handwashing and mask-wearing) in adolescence. Because brain development and cognitive maturation emerge during childhood, 11 we hypothesized that handwashing habits could be established during childhood, with heterogeneities in patterns of 4 habit formation. ...
... 24 Furthermore, the likelihood of practicing handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic was also lower among the adolescents who formed handwashing habits at later ages (the delayed and gradual formation groups). The varying patterns of habit formation observed in the current study likely reflect adolescents at different stages in the habit formation process that consists of 4 stages, 10 wherein the final stage is distinguished by the strengthening of cue-behavior association (in contrast to the penultimate stage, which involves behavior repetition alone). The adolescents in the later formation or gradual formation groups may have still been in the penultimate stage of habit formation and may have therefore performed behaviors repeatedly without a strong cue-behavior association. ...
Article
Objective This study identified developmental patterns of handwashing habit formation during childhood and examined their associations with later COVID-19 preventive practices. Methods We used data from the Taiwan Birth Cohort Study, which included 11 254 adolescents with complete data on childhood handwashing behavior and age-15 COVID-19 survey items. Bias-adjusted 3-step latent class analysis was used to test study hypotheses. Results The rates of handwashing and mask-wearing during the pandemic were 63.8% and 93.8%, respectively. Five distinct patterns of handwashing habit formation were identified: early formation (14.89%), delayed formation (17.73%), gradual formation (42.98%), inconsistent formation (9.78%), and nonformation (14.62%). Compared with adolescents with an early formation pattern of handwashing habits, those with other patterns exhibited lower odds ratios (ORs) of handwashing during COVID-19; these ORs were 0.67 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.49–0.85), 0.60 (95% CI, 0.44–0.77), 0.29 (95% CI, 0.08–0.49), and 0.21 (95% CI, 0.01–0.40) for those with delayed formation, gradual formation, inconsistent formation, and nonformation patterns, respectively. Moreover, relative to that of adolescents with the early formation pattern, mask-wearing was less common among adolescents with gradual formation, inconsistent formation, and nonformation patterns, with ORs of 0.54 (95% CI, 0.16–0.92), 0.50 (95% CI, 0.03–0.96), and 0.26 (95% CI, 0.00–0.65), respectively. Conclusions The early formation of hygienic habits is associated with higher adherence to pandemic preventive practices among adolescents. Our findings suggest that interventions to promote hygienic behaviors can start as early as age 3 through the introduction of healthy habits such as handwashing.
... We addressed this suggestion by including a GMT + mindfulness bracelet to serve as a specific visual cue to promote a stimulus-response association (36), for example, noticing the bracelet and applying "Pause". As this bracelet is always accessible to consumers, it may enhance the chance of successful habit formation while participants are in the early phase of skill acquisition (37). We also incorporated activities in the take-home journal to encourage consistency of practice and skill mastery (37,38). ...
... As this bracelet is always accessible to consumers, it may enhance the chance of successful habit formation while participants are in the early phase of skill acquisition (37). We also incorporated activities in the take-home journal to encourage consistency of practice and skill mastery (37,38). For example, a checkbox to note how many times consumers used their bracelet each day, activities to reflect on how different GMT + skills were employed that day, and creative activities that TABLE 1 | Description of in-session content, in-session activities and between-session journal activities for the four GMT + modules. ...
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Background Methamphetamine use disorder (MUD) is associated with executive dysfunctions, which are linked with poorer treatment outcomes including earlier drop out and relapse. However, current treatments for MUD do not address executive functions. Goal Management Training (GMT) is an evidence-based cognitive remediation program for executive dysfunction, although required modifications to enhance its relevance and application within addiction treatment settings. This study aimed to (1) tailor GMT to the key cognitive deficits and typical treatment duration of MUD; (2) explore consumers' (people with MUD) engagement with the revised program; (3) implement a prototype of the program with consumers; and (4) present the manualized standard administration to clinical service providers. Methods We followed the Medical Research Council Complex Interventions Framework and employed an evidence- and person-based intervention development process. We used a four-phased approach and collaborated with neuropsychology experts, design researchers in healthcare, consumers with MUD, and clinical service providers. Each aim was addressed in a separate study phase; including content refinement and review with neuropsychology experts (phase 1), intervention design and collaboration with consumers (phase 2), prototype development and review with consumers (phase 3), and final program modifications and review with clinical stakeholders (phase 4). Results Findings from phase 1 indicated support for targeting four cognitive processes (attention, impulse control, goal setting, and decision-making). Key feedback included the need to help habitualize cognitive strategies and to guide consumers in applying these strategies in emotionally salient situations. Findings from phases 2 and 3 indicated consumer support for the program strategies and materials but highlighted the need to further enhance the personal relevance of specific content and journal activities. Findings from phase 4 provided clinicians support for the revised program but indicated an opportunity to minimize unintended effects. We present the intervention materials for the final revised program, Goal Management Training ⁺ (GMT ⁺ ), in line with TIDieR guidelines. Conclusions GMT ⁺ targets key cognitive processes and is sensitive to the clinical needs of people with MUD. Our intervention development process was important for informing the active ingredients and materials for GMT ⁺ , and indicated initial consumer and provider acceptability prior to conducting a clinical trial.
... A post-intentional factor that is also recognized as a predictor of exercise behavior is habit [67]. Looking from the point of view of the participation of unconscious processes in the formation of exercise habit, one of the factors postulated as important for habit formation is consistency [68]. Thus, a greater frequency of practice in week 1 minimally contributes as a repetition of the behavior and can "accelerate" the formation of unconscious processes related to the exercise habit. ...
Article
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Purpose Eveningness preference to sleep/wake and perform physical/cognitive activities has been associated with worse health outcomes, when compared to morningness preference. Physical activity is one potential mediator that could explain this relationship; however, most of these evidences come from cross-sectional design studies. Our goal was to assess whether chronotype could predict the risk of dropout of physical exercise programs. Methods We followed 153 newly enrolled volunteers at three different gyms, from both sexes, aged between 18 and 65 years, during 12 weeks. The daily frequency of exercises in the programs was objectively measured (gym’s electronic turnstiles). Using questionnaires, we collected data of variables related to demographic characteristics, health, physical activity, sleep, anthropometric and chronobiological parameters (Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire—MEQ). Two multivariate models were created using Cox regression analysis to test the risk of dropout of physical exercise practice. Both models accounted for age, educational level, civil status, membership plan duration, physical exercise practice frequency during week 1 and chronotype (MEQ score and chronotypes). Results Model 1 results showed that higher MEQ score was associated with a lower chance of quitting the program (HR = 0.98; CI95% 0.95–1.00; p = 0.046). Considering the chronotypes, E-types showed the highest dropout risk compared to that of M-types (HR = 2.22; CI95% 1.09–4.52; p = 0.027). Conclusion Our results suggest that chronotype is another variable to be considered in future studies on promoting PAs in formal environments. Likewise, the practice frequency during week 1 and duration of membership plan also deserve more attention in additional studies.
... It should be noted, however, that the necessary duration of a feedback intervention to encourage behaviour change is also confounded by the behaviour being targeted. Not all behaviour is equally challenging to change and therefore those that are easier to change may require less time than behaviour habits that are difficult to break (Lally & Gardner, 2013;Hermsen et al. 2016). ...
Thesis
Eco-feedback has become one of the most popular behavioural interventions for promoting household water and energy conservation. Since its inception, it has been adopted by various companies and governments around the world as one path to addressing climate change. Due to its ubiquity, eco-feedback interventions have been designed in various ways, potentially leading to heterogeneity in its treatment effects. This thesis investigates the different components of eco-feedback interventions, and how these can moderate its treatment effects Through four field experiments, I study the moderating effects of duration, frequency, medium, and to an extent, content of eco-feedback interventions. I find that 1) eco-feedback is effective at reducing household water/energy consumption across various contexts, achieving between 1-2% reduction in consumption, 2) the effects of the treatment attenuates over time once the treatment has ceased, 3) the medium by which the feedback is delivered is critical to its effectiveness, 4) delivering feedback for both water and energy at the same time may have a negative effects, and 5) the treatment effects are heterogeneous, mostly based on a household’s baseline consumption. Insights from this thesis should help inform the design of future eco-feedback interventions to better maximise its effects in the most cost effective manner.
... In this study, we propose a dietary intervention developed specifically for the purpose of targeting the gut microbiota and improving the microbial balance. From a behaviour change perspective, individuals typically find it easier to introduce new behaviours into their daily lives than they do to remove existing behaviours: habits become rather automatic, meaning breaking existing habits is more effortful and difficult than establishing new habits [77,78]. This may be especially true for children with ADHD for whom difficulties with impulse control and behavioural inhibition are core symptoms of the disorder [79]. ...
Article
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Background Dietary interventions have been previously explored in children with ADHD. Elimination diets and supplementation can produce beneficial behaviour changes, but little is known about the mechanisms mediating change. We propose that these interventions may work, in part, by causing changes in the gut microbiota. A microbiome-targeted dietary intervention was developed, and its feasibility assessed. Methods A non-randomised feasibility study was conducted on nine non-medicated children with ADHD, aged 8–13 years (mean 10.39 years), using a prospective one-group pre-test/post-test design. Participants were recruited from ADHD support groups in London and took part in the 6-week microbiome-targeted dietary intervention, which was specifically designed to impact the composition of gut bacteria. Children were assessed pre- and post-intervention on measures of ADHD symptomatology, cognition, sleep, gut function and stool-sample microbiome analysis. The primary aim was to assess the study completion rate, with secondary aims assessing adherence, adverse events (aiming for no severe and minimal), acceptability and suitability of outcome measures. Results Recruitment proved to be challenging and despite targeting 230 participants directly through support groups, and many more through social media, nine families (of the planned 10) signed up for the trial. The completion rate for the study was excellent at 100%. Exploration of secondary aims revealed that (1) adherence to each aspect of the dietary protocol was very good; (2) two mild adverse events were reported; (3) parents rated the treatment as having good acceptability; (4) data collection and outcome measures were broadly feasible for use in an RCT with a few suggestions recommended; (5) descriptive data for outcome measures is presented and suggests that further exploration of gut microbiota, ADHD symptoms and sleep would be helpful in future research. Conclusions This study provides preliminary evidence for the feasibility of a microbiome-targeted dietary intervention in children with ADHD. Recruitment was challenging, but the diet itself was well-tolerated and adherence was very good. Families wishing to trial this diet may find it an acceptable intervention. However, recruitment, even for this small pilot study, was challenging. Because of the difficulty experienced recruiting participants, future randomised controlled trials may wish to adopt a simpler dietary approach which requires less parental time and engagement, in order to recruit the number of participants required to make meaningful statistical interpretations of efficacy. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03737877. Registered 13 November 2018—retrospectively registered, within 2 days of the first participant being recruited.
... Given that habit strength was more predictive of long-term action behaviour than intentions, developing a habit has been regarded as an intervention goal in behavioural change literature. Forming a strong habit also helped individuals to continue to maintain their physical activity levels even when they experienced a loss in motivation to engage in physical activity [26,33]. ...
Article
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The intention-behaviour gap has been a barrier to health behavioural change. A total of 85 participants (aged 18–56 years) were recruited for a study that examined how two types of planning (Action and Coping) could bridge the intention-behaviour gap and increase physical exercise behaviours. The online study took place over two weeks, with participants completing pre- and post- measures of past exercise habits, intentions to exercise, subsequent physical exercise behaviours, intrinsic motivation levels, and engagement in action and coping planning. A hierarchical regression analysis showed that intentions, past exercise habits and action planning were significant predictors of change in physical exercise behaviours. Positive correlations were observed between participants’ past habits and their exercise behaviours during the study. 71.8% of participants met the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended guidelines for physical activity at the end of the study compared to the initial 58.8%, which evidences a significant increase in participant physical exercise behaviours. Our findings revealed that while intentions are important predictors for behavioural change, cultivating habits to engage in regular exercise seems to outweigh the significance of intentions. Moreover, action planning could be a helpful intervention to bridge the intention-behaviour gap to increase overall physical exercise behaviours. In the long-term, this would improve an individual’s mental and physical wellbeing and potentially alleviate the costly burden on public health services.
... While we encouraged participants to use tools which could serve as prompts (such as pill boxes, calendars, alarms, or phone reminders), physically providing this as part of the intervention may have had greater impact. Supporting repetition of the behavior in the same context with stable cues is key to habit formation, as this reinforces the mental cue-behavior association (Lally & Gardner, 2013). Participants in our study may have benefitted from more intensive support for context-dependent repetition, for example involving greater support to identify specific time-and place-based cues to take their medications (Murphy et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Investigating the mechanisms of behavior change interventions provides a more fulsome understanding of how and why interventions work (or don’t work). We assessed mechanisms of two interventions (mailouts alone, and mailouts plus telephone support, informed by the Health Action Process Approach (HAPA) and Habit Theory), designed to increase medication adherence after myocardial infarction. We conducted a process evaluation alongside a pragmatic trial. Medication adherence was assessed via self-report at 12-months in the trial, and participants in all trial groups were invited to contemporaneously complete an additional questionnaire assessing targeted mechanisms (HAPA constructs and automaticity). We used multiple regression-based mediation models to investigate indirect effects. Of 589 respondents, 497 were analyzed (92 excluded due to missing data). Mailouts plus telephone support had statistically significant but small effects on intention, social support, action planning, coping planning, and automaticity. There were no indirect effects of interventions on medication adherence via these constructs. Therefore, while this intervention led to changes in proposed mechanisms, these changes were not great enough to lead to behavior change. Refinements (and subsequent evaluation) of the interventions are warranted, and our findings indicate that this could involve offering more intensive support to form plans and identify cues for taking medications, in addition to providing physical supports to encourage self-monitoring, feedback, and habit formation. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT02382731.
... Therefore, it is important to build hygienic foodhandling practices as habits. An intervention with habit-formation approaches was an effective strategy to increase habit strength and food-handling behaviour over four weeks (Lally & Gardner, 2013;Mergelsberg et al., 2020). ...
... The aim of the habit module is to guide participants to perform correct hand hygiene at self-selected key times repeatedly in a cue-action response and thus form a habit. 47 The habit module first includes a brief introductory video explaining the basic principles of habit formation. Then, participants are asked to identify suitable cues, which are situations in their daily routines when hand hygiene is required, and keep them in a diary. ...
Article
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Introduction. Behaviour change is key to the public health measures that have been issued in many countries worldwide to contain COVID-19. Public health measures will only take preventive effect if people adhere to them. Interventions taking health psychology approaches may promote adherence to public health measures. However, evidence from randomised controlled behaviour change trials is scarce during an ongoing pandemic. We aim to use the example of hand washing with soap to optimise and test a digital, theory-based and evidence-based behaviour change intervention to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Methods and analysis. This protocol describes the multiphase optimisation strategy for the preparation, optimisation and evaluation of a theory-based and evidence-based intervention delivered via app. The app aims to promote correct hand hygiene at key times in the adult general population. The study will be conducted in German-speaking Switzerland. The preparation phase has identified relevant behavioural determinants of hand hygiene during a pandemic from health behaviour theories and formative research with focus groups (n=8). The optimisation phase will identify the most effective and acceptable combination and sequence of three intervention modules in a parallel randomised trial (n=387) with analysis of variance (ANOVA) and regression analysis. Additionally, thematic analysis of qualitative interview data (n=15) will be used to gain insights on the feasibility, usability and satisfaction of the intervention. The evaluation phase will test the optimised intervention against an active control group in a randomised controlled trial (n=205), analysing pre-post differences and 6-month follow-up effects with ANOVA and regression analysis. Ethics and dissemination. The trial was approved by the Cantonal Ethics Commission Bern of the Swiss Association of Research Ethics Committees (protocol ID: 2021-00164). Final results will be presented in peer-reviewed journals and at conferences. Trial registration number NCT04830761.
... Ainsi, l'adoption fréquente de comportements préventifs permettrait aux travailleurs de contribuer concrètement aux efforts de prévention des lésions professionnelles. Afin de s'assurer qu'un nouveau comportement se maintienne dans le temps, il importe qu'il soit considéré périodiquement-à l'aide d'un questionnaire auto-rapporté par exemple-afin que le travailleur puisse prendre conscience de sa fréquence d'utilisation (Lally & Gardner, 2013). D'ailleurs, la simple action de répondre à des questions par rapport à un comportement pourrait être efficace pour induire un changement de comportement (Wilding et al., 2019). ...
... Findings also have implications for students' SM practices: active SM use and less automatic SM breaks could be supported by assistive break-taking software such as a conversational agent [32]. Agents could suggest active SM break activities e.g., responding to friends' messages, and promoting more mindful SM usage e.g., providing prompts to be more intentional when instigating SM breaks [20], supporting students' awareness of their SM break patterns [39], and helping to counter procrastinatory automatic SM usage patterns with implementation-intentions [36]. ...
Conference Paper
Students frequently multitask with social media (SM) during self-study. Such social media multitasking (SMM) has the potential either to support wellbeing by acting as a recovery activity or subvert it by acting as a procrastination activity. It is currently unclear which specific SM behaviours and related factors push SMM towards recovery or procrastination. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 16 undergraduates to explore which SMM behaviours and factors led to recovery or procrastination. We found that both active and passive SM breaks have the potential to be recovery or procrastination activities. Whether a SM break becomes a recovery or procrastination activity partly depends on its automaticity and situational SM factors. This paper contributes empirical evidence that supports emerging criticism of an existing simplistic understanding of the relationship between active/passive SM use and wellbeing, and demonstrates how a richer model can inform the design of technologies that support better SM breaks.
... Home energy advice intervenes in a household's situational context because advisors visit people's homes, meaning advice should be remembered when they perform tasks later. The advice may serve as a reminder to interrupt old habits and perform new ones (Lally and Gardner, 2013). For example, when household members do laundry, they may remember that advisors mentioned the benefits of washing clothes at 30 C instead of 40 C. ...
Article
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Despite advances in understanding routines, there is little knowledge about which aspects of routinized behavior people adjust during interventions. In this study, we applied an adjusted social practice theory framework to disentangle routinized energy consumption, focusing on energy services related to washing, standby, and cooking. We investigate the potential of home energy advice to change elements of routinized behaviors, namely meanings, knowledge, and technologies. Using a randomized controlled field trial on a probabilistic sample of households, we found short-term treatment effects related to increased usage of lids during cooking and improved knowledge of IT-related energy consumption, as well as negative effects regarding multi-sockets and washing frequency. Our findings suggest that meanings (e.g., preferences underlying routinized behaviors) are less subject to change, and that sociodemographic variables are associated with routinized behaviors in complex ways. Our disentangling of energy demand into elements of routines enables us to show how home energy advice may change behaviors and knowledge. This study highlights the benefits of a multifaceted perspective for understanding household energy consumption and can be used to inform intervention and policy design.
... Given that the digital training comprises of a habitual component, where participants are required to adopt new behaviours and subsequently translate their newly acquired skills into habits. This habit-forming process would require time ranging from 21 to 66 days could offer an explanation why the improvement was only detected at the follow-up (Gardner et al., 2012;Lally & Gardner, 2013). ...
Article
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Resilience is learnable and broadly described as an individual’s adaptive coping ability, its potential value for stress reduction must be explored. With a global coronavirus pandemic, innovative ways to deliver resilience training amidst heightened mental health concerns must be urgently examined. This systematic review aimed to (1) evaluate the effectiveness of digital training for building resilience and reducing anxiety, depressive and stress symptoms and (2) to identify essential features for designing future digital training. A three‐step search was conducted in eight electronic databases, trial registries and grey literatures to locate eligible studies. Randomised controlled trials examining the effects of digital training aimed at enhancing resilience were included. Data analysis was conducted using the Stata version 17. Twenty‐two randomised controlled trials involving 2,876 participants were included. Meta‐analysis revealed that digital training significantly enhanced the participants’ resilience with moderate to large effect (g = 0.54 – 1.09) at post‐intervention and follow‐up. Subgroup analyses suggested that training delivered via the Internet with a flexible program schedule was more effective than its counterparts. This review supports the use of digital training in improving resilience. Further high‐quality randomised controlled trials with large sample size are needed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Azjen and Fishbein have proven that the process of forming behavior begins with a strong intention to perform a certain behavior [16,26]. Philipa Lally (2013) states that intentions and practices are part of the habit formation process to become a behavior [27]. ...
Article
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Background Family support is necessary for tuberculosis (TB) treatment compliance. Family intentions and practices in providing support to TB patients require considerable improvement, which is possible via training. Objective This study aimed to analyze the influence of tuberculosis family support training (TB FaST) on the family members’ intentions and practices in encouraging TB treatment compliance in the continuation phase. Methods This quasi-experimental study with a pretest-posttest control group design involved 56 TB patients and 56 family members of patients who had undergone the continuation phase of category 1 TB treatment in the third and fourth months. All patients treated with tuberculosis were directly observed with treatment short-course (TB DOTS) at primary health care. All the subjects were divided into intervention and control groups. TB FaST was given only to the intervention group and delivered using a combination of lectures, case-based focused group discussions, and role-playing in problem-solving over two consecutive days. Results The result showed a significant improvement in the family support practices five weeks after training in the intervention group compared to the control group (p<0.05). However, only a slight improvement was observed in the family intentions (p>0.05). Conclusion TB FaST mainly affects the practices of family members in providing family support to encourage TB treatment compliance in the continuation phase. We recommend that TB FaST or other educational tools be used again after TB FaST to improve intention.
... More general reminders in public spaces for example, may have a weaker effect due to people not feeling like they are being addressed personally. In addition, future research should focus on predictors of habit formation in hand washing behaviour, which may include the personal nature of reminders, but also the formation of new cue-behaviour associations, type of cues, consistency and attention (see also Lally & Gardner, 2013). ...
Article
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Objective: Hand washing has been at the core of recommendations and guidelines that aim to curb infectious diseases in general, and COVID-19 in particular. As hand washing comes down to an individual's behaviour, we aimed to study how individual psychological variables influence hand washing over time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Design: Over the course of 20 weeks, participants answered questions about their hand washing behaviour, goal importance, habit strength and self-control. Participants from an experimental and a control condition completed a baseline and final measurement, and the experimental condition was invited to bi-weekly measurements through reminders. Main outcome measure: Hand washing behaviour over the past 14 days was assessed by self-report at baseline and final measurement, and additionally repeatedly over the course of 20 weeks in the experimental condition. Results: Hand washing behaviour decreased over time, but this decrease was buffered by habit strength and goal importance. The decrease was smaller in the experimental condition that received reminders every 2 weeks. Conclusion: Sending personal reminders on hand washing behaviour contributes to hand washing behaviour. Moreover, taking habit strength and goal importance, and to a lesser extent self-control into account is important when designing interventions to promote hand washing behaviour.
... To address this question, we extracted habit trajectory clusters, and categorised observed patterns of habit change for each behaviour for each participant into these clusters. We assumed that, given the salience of the COVID-19 pandemic when the study began, participants would be motivated to comply with public health guidelines in everyday settings (Wright et al., 2021), such that, knowingly or not, for many participants, 'good' habits would form and 'bad' habits would be eroded (Lally & Gardner, 2013). Despite willingness to engage in recommended behaviours, some people struggle to form strong habits for some behaviours in some settings, despite consistent repetition (Lally et al., 2010). ...
Article
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Objective: The COVID-19 pandemic saw promotion of novel virus transmission-reduction behaviours, and discouragement of familiar transmission-conducive behaviours. Understanding changes in the automatic nature of such behaviours is important, because habitual behaviours may be more easily reactivated in future outbreaks and disrupting old habits may discontinue unwanted behaviours. Design: A repeated-measures, multi-national design tracked virus-transmission habits and behaviour fortnightly over six months (Apr-Sept 2020) among 517 participants (age M = 42 ± 16y, 79% female). Main outcome measures: Within-participant habit trajectories across all timepoints, and engagement in transmission-reduction behaviours (handwashing when entering home; handwashing with soap for 20 seconds; physical distancing) and transmission-conducive behaviours (coughing/sneezing into hands; making physical contact) summed over the final two timepoints. Results: Three habit trajectory types were observed. Habits that remained strong ('stable strong habit') and habits that strengthened ('habit formation') were most common for transmission-reduction behaviours. Erosion of initially strong habits ('habit degradation') was most common for transmission-conducive behaviours. Regression analyses showed 'habit formation' and 'stable strong habit' trajectories were associated with greater behavioural engagement at later timepoints. Conclusion: Participants typically maintained or formed transmission-reduction habits, which encouraged later performance, and degraded transmission-conducive habits, which decreased performance. Findings suggest COVID-19-preventive habits may be recoverable in future virus outbreaks.
... This can be theoretically justified by the "law of effect, " according to which responses to a situation that entail satisfaction are more likely to occur again in that same situation (Thorndike, 1911). Also, it can be argued that the relation between the mere repetition of a behavior and habit strength can be moderated by rewards (de Wit and Dickinson, 2009;Lally and Gardner, 2013). Accordingly, there is research suggesting that the cue-behavior association characteristic of habits might be strengthened through repetition, and each repetition might contribute more to habit formation when perceived as a reward (Wiedemann et al., 2014;Schnauber-Stockmann and Naab, 2019). ...
Article
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The present study contains an affect-based intervention intended to support exercise trainers in positively influencing their course participants’ affective responses to their exercise courses. We argue that positive affective responses are associated with habit formation, thereby being a promising approach for avoiding high drop-out rates in exercise courses. First, the present study aimed to investigate whether the intervention for exercise trainers could increase (a) affective attitudes, and (b) exercise instigation habit strength, and influence the development of (c) weekly measured affective responses and (d) automaticity among adult participants of exercise courses. Second, it examined the relationship between the development of affective responses and exercise instigation habit strength. Ten exercise trainers of weekly sports and exercise courses at a German university received either an affect-based intervention or a control intervention. 132 of their course participants answered the Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI; the automaticity sub-scale SRBAI was also analyzed) for exercise instigation habit strength and items to measure affective attitude in the initial and final assessment. Moreover, they were assessed for a duration of 10 weeks during which, each time after attending the course, they reported their affective response to exercise as well as their automaticity in arriving at the decision to exercise. In the repeated measures ANOVA, there was a significant main effect of time for exercise instigation habit strength. Overall, habit strength was higher in the final than in the initial assessment. However, there were no significant differences between the two conditions in all study variables. In the latent growth curve model, the trajectory of the latent growth curve of valence was a significant predictor of the final exercise instigation habit strength. While the applied affect-based intervention was not successful in enhancing positive affective responses to exercise, the results indicate that positive affective responses may contribute to strengthening exercise instigation habits. Future studies should examine the effectiveness of interventions in long-term study designs.
... Regarding behaviour change interventions, habitual environments have advantages and disadvantages. While consistent contexts and recurring behaviours provide fruitful elements for forming new habits, they can also strengthen already established habits and make them more resistant to change regardless of motivation and intentions [81,82]. Similar to many choice-architectural interventions, habits work through automatic, often unconscious and uncontrollable cognitive processes that mediate the effects of contextual cues on behaviour [10]. ...
Article
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Easier recognition and enhanced visibility of healthy options supposedly increase healthy choices, but real-world evidence remains scarce. Addressing this knowledge gap, we promoted nutritionally favourable foods in a workplace cafeteria with three choice-architectural strategies—priming posters, point-of-choice nutrition labels, and improved product placement—and assessed their effects on visual attention, food choices, and food consumption. Additionally, we developed a method for analysing real-world eye-tracking data. The study followed a pretest–posttest design whereby control and intervention condition lasted five days each. We monitored visual attention (i.e., total number and duration of fixations) and food choices with eye tracking, interviewed customers about perceived influences on food choices, and measured cafeteria-level food consumption (g). Individual-level data represents 22 control and 19 intervention participants recruited at the cafeteria entrance. Cafeteria-level data represents food consumption during the trial (556/589 meals sold). Results indicated that the posters and labels captured participants’ visual attention (~13% of fixations on defined areas of interest before food choices), but the intervention had insignificant effects on visual attention to foods, on food choices, and on food consumption. Interviews revealed 17 perceived influences on food choices, the most common being sensory appeal, healthiness, and familiarity. To conclude, the intervention appeared capable of attracting visual attention, yet ineffective in increasing healthier eating. The developed method enabled a rigorous analysis of visual attention and food choices in a natural choice setting. We discuss ways to boost the impact of the intervention on behaviour, considering target groups’ motives. The work contributes with a unique, mixed-methods approach and a real-world setting that enabled a multi-dimensional effects evaluation with high external validity.
... Factors posited to be involved in behavioral maintenance include behavioral habit, autonomous motivation, and selfidentity. The factors are included in some theories and frameworks presented in existing literature, such as the multiprocess action control approach (M-PAC; Rhodes et al., 2021), habit theory (e.g., Lally and Gardner, 2013;Gardner, 2015), and in a review of 117 behavioral theories regarding processes of behavioral maintenance by Kwasnicka et al. (2016). ...
Article
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Background Researchers are working to identify dynamic factors involved in the shift from behavioral initiation to maintenance—factors which may depend on behavioral complexity. We test hypotheses regarding changes in factors involved in behavioral initiation and maintenance and their relationships to behavioral frequency over time, for a simple (taking a supplement) vs. complex (exercise) behavior. Methods Data are secondary analyses from a larger RCT, in which young adult women, new to both behaviors, were randomly assigned to take daily calcium ( N = 161) or to go for a daily, brisk walk ( N = 171), for 4-weeks. Factors (intentions, self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, self-identity, habit strength) were measured weekly. Multi-level modeling evaluated their change over time. Bivariate correlations and multiple regression determined the relationships between factors and the subsequent-week behavioral frequency (self-report and objective). Finding Results were partly in-line with expectations, in that individuals’ intentions and self-efficacy predicted initial behavioral engagement for both behaviors, and habit strength increased for both behaviors, becoming a significant predictor of behavioral frequency in later weeks of the study in some analyses. However, results depended on whether the outcome was self-reported or objectively measured and whether analyses were bivariate or multivariate (regression). Discussion The factors theorized to play a role in behavioral maintenance (intrinsic motivation, self-identity, and habit strength) started to develop, but only habit strength predicted behavioral frequency by study-end, for both behaviors. Differences in initiation and maintenance between behaviors of differing complexity may not be as stark as theorized, but longer follow-up times are required to evaluate maintenance factors.
... From the individual's perspective, routines are important as they help with structuring and navigating day-to-day life in general, thereby, reducing or helping to avoid stress and enable pleasant emotional experiences, such as feelings of familiarity or comfort (Schank & Abelson, 1977;Schnauber-Stockmann & Mangold, 2020;Southerton, 2013). From a societal perspective, individual-level routines may be beneficial if they refer to the predictably recurring performance of normatively valued behaviors, for instance, healthrelated routines (e.g., Lally & Gardner, 2013) or media-related routines like news use (e.g., Makhortykh et al., 2021). Furthermore, individual-level Web routines are relevant from a provider's perspective because they guarantee a stable user base and enable predictability in the way in which specific users navigate a website, which helps in improving services, interfaces, and recommendations and can, thus, increase profit (e.g., via selling or effectively placing advertisements). ...
Article
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Given the high importance of Web use in day-to-day life, understanding and predicting Web browsing behavior are important endeavors for academic as well as commercial research. We propose that routines – behaviors that are performed regularly (activation) and in similar ways (execution) – can be used to describe underlying structures in Web use and, thereby, improve the predictability of subsequent Web use behavior. Based on two large-scale Web-tracking data sets, we developed indicators for routine activation and execution, tested their reliability and stability, and examined their association with the predictability of six Web use behaviors: overall Web use, news use, shopping, Facebook, YouTube, and Google use. Our results show that routine measures derived from tracking data were only moderately reliable but very stable. Routine activation was consistently and substantially associated with higher predictability for all Web use behaviors, whereas routine execution was less consistently and not strongly linked to predictability.
... Moreover, extrinsic motivation could lead to an increase in the quantity of performance in the short term [38]. Yet, intrinsic motivation still seems to be very important for forming strong habits, that last over time [39,40]. These theories are important to keep in mind when designing for eco-feedback technologies to encourage people to engage in proenvironmental behaviour. ...
Thesis
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The NUS School of Design and Environment (SDE) is building the first Singapore purpose-built Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB@SDE). The initiative of this building is to be climate-responsive with net-zero energy consumption. One of the key aspects of this building concept is the deployment of numerous smart ceiling fans in many areas such that air conditioning is used only where it is needed, reducing the electricity usage of the building. However, current smart fans are designed for residential usage i.e. one or a few fans can be directly controlled via a mobile application connected via WiFi. Such direct interaction models clearly do not scale with dozens of users in a shared space. This project focused on the design and implementation of a group of smart ceiling fans in the SDE Net-Zero building. It aims to cover the design of system architecture that includes a controller to interface with smart fans, the development of a new mobile control app that could communicate with the controller to control the group of fans as well as allow students to collectively control the group of fans. Moreover, the system also serves as a data collection, analysis, and learning system that could aggregate the relevant information including user input, and power consumption for future machine learning studies to achieve optimal settings given feedback from other sensors. We have chosen OpenHAB2 as the control software to communicate the state change of the fans, Node-RED as the API to bridge the data transmission between the database and the controller, Firebase as the cloud database to provide real-time state updates to the users, React Native as the framework for cross-platform mobile application development, and Raspberry Pi as the IoT platform for the control system. For the user interactions, we have introduced a design space of eco-feedback dedicated to a shared environment and implemented the strategies in the mobile application with real-time updates.
... They were then provided with prompts and instructions on how to create implementation intentions and asked what physical activities they would like to carry out, which ones they could do daily, when they have time each day to be active, how long they could be active each time and if they would like to be active alone or together with others. We required the implementation intentions to be formed for a daily activity as this procedure enables better habit formation with repeated cue-action links (Lally & Gardner, 2013; also see Supplements A1 and A2; all Supplements are stored in the Open Science Framework; https://osf.io/gu9d8/ ?view_only=2a19f ddc8d 574a7 caa0d d9bdd 8318680). ...
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Objectives: Physical activity is an important health behaviour especially for older adults. Forming implementation intentions is an effective strategy to implement physical activity in daily life for young and middle-aged adults. However, evidence for older adults is inconclusive. This study explored the thoughts of older adults about implementation intentions and potential barriers and facilitators while formulating them. Methods: Three samples of older adults from the United Kingdom (n = 8), Germany (n = 9) and Switzerland (n = 17) were prompted to think aloud while formulating implementation intentions to be more physically active. After the task, semi-structured interviews were conducted. Data were analysed thematically. Results: Participants expressed pre-established thoughts about implementation intentions (e.g. they feel too restrictive). During the formulation of implementation intentions, several barriers to creating them were reported (e.g. problems with finding cues due to absence of recurring daily routines), but participants also mentioned that forming implementation intentions acted as a facilitator for physical activity (e.g. cues as useful reminders to be active, task itself triggering self-reflection about physical activity). After the task, participants reflected on circumstances that decrease the likelihood of enacting implementation intentions (e.g. spontaneous alternative activities, weather, health-related barriers, Covid-19-related barriers), which triggered spontaneous coping planning. Conclusions: The results on barriers and facilitators of implementation intentions and physical activity from older adults' perspectives provide starting points for improving instructions for older adults on how to create implementation intentions for physical activity. Future studies are needed to investigate whether the findings extend to implementation intentions for other behaviours.
... This happens in habitual physical activity over time when physical activity becomes intrinsically rewarding [52]. However, for habitual physical activity to be established, an individual needs to practice and repeat the behaviour [53]. Individuals living with HF find the experience of getting out of breath aversive enough that they do not engage in the behaviour at all in the first place. ...
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In heart failure (HF), increased physical activity is associated with improved quality of life, reduced hospitalisation, and increased longevity and is an important aim of treatment. However, physical activity levels in individuals living with HF are typically extremely low. This qualitative study with one-to-one interviews systematically explores perceived clinical, environmental, and psychosocial barriers and enablers in older adults (≥70 years old) living with HF. Semi-structured interviews (N = 16) based on the Theoretical Domains Framework elicited 39 belief statements describing the barriers and enablers to physical activity. Theoretical domains containing these beliefs and corresponding constructs that were both pervasive and common were deemed most relevant. These were: concerns about physical activity (Beliefs about Consequences), self-efficacy (Beliefs about Capabilities), social support (Social Influences), major health event (Environmental Context and Resources), goal behavioural (Goal), action planning (Behavioural Regulation). This work extends the limited research on the modifiable barriers and enablers for physical activity participation by individuals living with HF. The research findings provide insights for cardiologists, HF-specialist nurses, and physiotherapists to help co-design and deliver a physical activity intervention more likely to be effective for individuals living with HF.
... People who exercise regularly might be more resilient to stress (Childs and de Wit 2014), show better life skill development (Gould and Carson 2008), higher levels of trust (Schüttoff et al. 2018), and have a higher degree of social capital (Di Bartolomeo and Papa 2019). At the same time, a comprehensive literature suggests that habit formation plays a key role in adopting a healthier lifestyle; the earlier in life that people start being physically active, the stronger the long-term effects (Hallal et al. 2006;Lally and Gardner 2013;Belot, James, and Nolen 2016;Loewenstein, Price, and Volpp 2016). ...
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... Studies have suggested that rewarded actions tend to become habitual more quickly, or more strongly (e.g., Schnauber-Stockmann & Naab, 2019; Wiedemann et al., 2014). Rewarding an action can facilitate habit learning via three mechanisms: by bolstering the motivation to act; by promoting further repetition; and by strengthening the contribution made by each context-consistent performance to the imprinting of the context-response association (de Wit & Dickinson, 2009;Lally & Gardner, 2013). Whether rewards are necessary for habit to form is however an empirical question, which requires testing by examining whether habits can form in the absence of reward. ...
... Habitual purchasing behaviour may also contribute to the impact that foods at checkouts have on purchasing, whereby being in the queue acts as the contextual cue for selecting a food product. The purchasing of additional foods may occur in the absence of conscious decisionmaking and therefore be difficult to suppress, even if people do not intend or wish to purchase these foods (Lally & Gardner, 2013). ...
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... In recent years, research regarding the understanding of forming habits, i.e., automatic behaviors (e.g., ''go for a walk'') as a response to a particular context (''after getting up''), received considerable attention in health psychology (Lally and Gardner 2013). Given a lack of research on how systems should be designed to effectively support the habit formation process (RQ8) (Karppinen et al. 2018), future studies are needed to better understand how they could support these mechanisms. ...
... Rather than a static characteristic universal to each behavior independent of skill of the actor, we put forth that behavioral complexity is the result of the interaction of the behavior, person, and context; and it varies depending on both between-person and within-person factors, such as skill and knowledge acquisition, demand on working memory, and access to resources. This person × task × context perspective on behavioral complexity has been conceptualized and operationalized in habit research previously as task flexibility (Lally & Gardner, 2013), and the requirement of thoughtful guidance to tailor behavioral responses to environmental feedback (Wood et al., 2002). defined behavioral complexity as the level of challenge of performing a task, independent from motivation or planning. ...
Chapter
With over 50% of older adults in the United States managing at least one chronic condition, it is crucial to understand how to promote their self-management of positive health behaviors. Health interventions through digital health technologies are becoming more commonplace. Theoretical models related to health behavior change and technology acceptance can guide the design of these healthcare tools and lead to adoption by older adults to support their health. This chapter provides an overview of health behavior change and technology acceptance models to inform the development of digital health technology for older adults. This chapter illustrates the application of these models by describing two design personas that represent human factors designers. This chapter discusses the lack of inclusion of technology adoption and other long-term concepts and the need for further exploration that could inform understanding of technology integration into everyday health activities.
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Background High automaticity in healthy nutrition behaviors is related to long-term maintenance of these behaviors. Drawing upon theoretical frameworks of habit formation, proposed antecedents such as intrinsic reward, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy are important correlates of automaticity, but not much is known about their day-by-day relationships with automaticity in healthy nutrition behaviors. This study tested previous-day within-person (i.e., from one day to the next) and same-day within-person associations of intrinsic reward, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy with automaticity of a healthy nutrition behavior, for which participants attempted to form a new habit. Methods Secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial with two planning intervention conditions including a longitudinal sample of n = 135 participants (age: M = 24.82 years; SD = 7.27) are reported. Participants formed a plan on a self-selected healthy nutrition behavior to become a new habit and were followed up over 12 weeks assessing daily levels of plan-specific intrinsic reward, anticipated regret, self-efficacy, and automaticity. Lagged multilevel models with 84 study days nested in participants estimated previous-day within-person, same-day within-person, and between-person relationships of intrinsic reward, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy with automaticity. Findings Regarding within-level relationships, higher-than-usual levels of intrinsic reward, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy of the same day but not of the previous day were associated with higher within-person automaticity. With respect to between-level relationships, higher between-levels (i.e., higher person mean levels across the study period) of intrinsic reward, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy were linked with higher automaticity. Discussion Findings point towards the potential to intervene on intrinsic reward, anticipated regret, and self-efficacy when aiming to promote a new healthy nutrition habit.
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This study investigates a popular theory of tourist motivation – the travel career pattern – and contrasts it against an alternative explanation – that childhood travel habits repeat throughout life. The key distinction is that the travel career pattern predicts change, whereas habit predicts repetition. This study tests competing hypotheses, using self-reported childhood and adulthood travel experiences, behaviours and motivations. Results point to childhood travel behaviour repeating as adult travel behaviour, supporting the key role of habit as a driver of travel behaviour. These findings represent a paradigm shift in our theoretical understanding of determinants of travel behaviour, which implies that habits could be used as leverage points for behavioural change in tourism.
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Research has shown an increase in cycling during COVID-19. This study builds on previous work by exploring COVID’s impact on older cyclists (65+) residing in a small, auto-centric urban area. A survey (n = 198) demonstrated that, on average, cycling frequency decreased and average distance/trip increased. This suggests a less pronounced impact among older adults residing in a small urban area. However, interviews (n = 24) showed that cycling during the pandemic was associated with feelings of accomplishment, enjoyment, improved self-esteem, and increased freedom by allowing them to get out despite social distancing requirements. Further, among respondents reporting increased cycling (n=76), most (79%) plan to maintain cycling habits post-pandemic, citing reasons such as personal health, enjoyment, and the social aspect of cycling. These findings could support efforts promoting cycling among older adults, pointing to aspects for designing voluntary travel behavior change (VTBC) programs.
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Background Digital health interventions may offer a scalable way to prevent type 2 diabetes (T2D) with minimal burden on health care systems by providing early support for healthy behaviors among adults at increased risk for T2D. However, ensuring continued engagement with digital solutions is a challenge impacting the expected effectiveness. Objective We aimed to investigate the longitudinal usage patterns of a digital healthy habit formation intervention, BitHabit, and the associations with changes in T2D risk factors. Methods This is a secondary analysis of the StopDia (Stop Diabetes) study, an unblinded parallel 1-year randomized controlled trial evaluating the effectiveness of the BitHabit app alone or together with face-to-face group coaching in comparison with routine care in Finland in 2017-2019 among community-dwelling adults (aged 18 to 74 years) at an increased risk of T2D. We used longitudinal data on usage from 1926 participants randomized to the digital intervention arms. Latent class growth models were applied to identify user engagement trajectories with the app during the study. Predictors for trajectory membership were examined with multinomial logistic regression models. Analysis of covariance was used to investigate the association between trajectories and 12-month changes in T2D risk factors. Results More than half (1022/1926, 53.1%) of the participants continued to use the app throughout the 12-month intervention. The following 4 user engagement trajectories were identified: terminated usage (904/1926, 46.9%), weekly usage (731/1926, 38.0%), twice weekly usage (208/1926, 10.8%), and daily usage (83/1926, 4.3%). Active app use during the first month, higher net promoter score after the first 1 to 2 months of use, older age, and better quality of diet at baseline increased the odds of belonging to the continued usage trajectories. Compared with other trajectories, daily usage was associated with a higher increase in diet quality and a more pronounced decrease in BMI and waist circumference at 12 months. Conclusions Distinct long-term usage trajectories of the BitHabit app were identified, and individual predictors for belonging to different trajectory groups were found. These findings highlight the need for being able to identify individuals likely to disengage from interventions early on, and could be used to inform the development of future adaptive interventions. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03156478; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03156478 International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID) RR2-10.1186/s12889-019-6574-y
Article
Objective: PA habits reflect stable, consistent patterns in behaviours that are performed automatically in response to temporal or contextual cues. Mothers face multiple demands and complex schedules related to parenting. This study examined how subject-level mean, variability, and slopes in device-measured moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) over three different timescales were associated with mothers' PA habits. Methods and Measures: Mothers (n = 125; Mage=41.4 years) completed six measurement periods across three years. Each measurement period consisted of seven days of accelerometry. MVPA minutes were processed across hours, days, and measurement periods. PA habits were assessed in the last measurement period. Results: Subject-level means of MVPA at all timescales were positively associated with stronger PA habits (βs = 0.42-0.48, ps<.01). Subject-level variability in day-level MVPA was positively associated with habits (β = 0.39, p=.01). Furthermore, mothers who engaged in higher mean day-level MVPA had a more positive association between subject-level variability in day-level MVPA and habit strength compared to mothers with lower mean day-level MVPA overall (β = 0.28, p=.04). Mothers who had steeper increases in MVPA across measurement periods (i.e. subject-level slope) reported stronger habits (β = 0.43; p = 0.03). Conclusion: Flexibly adjusting daily PA levels may be a necessary strategy to maintain habits in the face of parenting demands.
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To illustrate the differing thoughts and emotion's involved in guiding habitual and nonhabitual behavior, 2,. diary studies were conducted in which participants provided hourly reports of their ongoing experiences. When participants were engaged in habitual behavior, defined as behavior that had been performed almost daily in stable contexts, they were likely to think about issues unrelated to their behavior, presumably because they did not have to consciously guide their actions. When engaged in nonhabitual behavior,or actions performed less often or :in shifting contexts; participants' thoughts tended to correspond to their behavior, suggesting that thought was necessary to guide action. Furthermore, the self-regulatory, benefits of habits were apparent in the lesser feelings of stress associated with habitual,. than nonhabitual behavior.
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Interventions to change everyday behaviors often attempt to change people’s beliefs and intentions. As the authors explain, these interventions are unlikely to be an effective means to change behaviors that people have repeated into habits. Successful habit change interventions involve disrupting the environmental factors that automatically cue habit performance. The authors propose two potential habit change interventions. “Downstream-plus” interventions provide informational input at points when habits are vulnerable to change, such as when people are undergoing naturally occurring changes in performance environments for many everyday actions (e.g., moving households, changing jobs). “Upstream” interventions occur before habit performance and disrupt old environmental cues and establish new ones. Policy interventions can be oriented not only to the change of established habits but also to the acquisition and maintenance of new behaviors through the formation of new habits.
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Research dealing with various aspects of* the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 1985, 1987) is reviewed, and some unresolved issues are discussed. In broad terms, the theory is found to be well supported by empirical evidence. Intentions to perform behaviors of different kinds can be predicted with high accuracy from attitudes toward the behavior, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control; and these intentions, together with perceptions of behavioral control, account for considerable variance in actual behavior. Attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are shown to be related to appropriate sets of salient behavioral, normative, and control beliefs about the behavior, but the exact nature of these relations is still uncertain. Expectancy— value formulations are found to be only partly successful in dealing with these relations. Optimal rescaling of expectancy and value measures is offered as a means of dealing with measurement limitations. Finally, inclusion of past behavior in the prediction equation is shown to provide a means of testing the theory*s sufficiency, another issue that remains unresolved. The limited available evidence concerning this question shows that the theory is predicting behavior quite well in comparison to the ceiling imposed by behavioral reliability.
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The frequency with which a behavior has been performed in the past is found to account for variance in later behavior independent of intentions. This is often taken as evidence for habituation of behavior and as complementing the reasoned mode of operation assumed by such models as the theory of planned behavior. In this article, I question the idea that the residual effect of past on later behavior can be attributed to habituation. The habituation perspective cannot account for residual effects in the prediction of low-opportunity behaviors performed in unstable contexts, no accepted independent measure of habit is available, and empirical tests of the habituation hypothesis have so far met with little success. A review of existing evidence suggests that the residual impact of past behavior is attenuated when measures of intention and behavior are compatible and vanishes when intentions are strong and well formed, expectations are realistic, and specific plans for intention implementation have been developed.
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Past behavior guides future responses through 2 processes. Well-practiced behaviors in constant contexts recur because the processing that initiates and controls their performance becomes automatic. Frequency of past behavior then reflects habit strength and has a direct effect on future performance. Alternately, when behaviors are not well learned or when they are performed in unstable or difficult contexts, conscious decision making is likely to be necessary to initiate and carry out the behavior. Under these conditions, past behavior (along with attitudes and subjective norms) may contribute to intentions, and behavior is guided by intentions. These relations between past behavior and future behavior are substantiated in a meta-analytic synthesis of prior research on behavior prediction and in a primary research investigation.
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The theory outlined in the present chapter adopts a cognitive approach to motivation. In the pages that follow we describe a research program premised on the notion that the cognitive treatment affords conceptual and methodological advantages enabling new insights into problems of motivated action, self-regulation and self-control. We begin by placing our work in the broader historical context of social psychological theorizing about motivation and cognition. We then present our theoretical notions and trace their implications for a variety of psychological issues including activity-experience, goal-commitment, choice, and substitution. The gist of the chapter that follows describes our empirical research concerning a broad range of phenomena informed by the goal-systemic analysis. Motivation Versus Cognition, or Motivation as Cognition Motivation versus cognition: the “separatist program. ” Social psychological theories have often treated motivation as separate from cognition, and have often approached it in a somewhat static manner. The separatism of the “motivation versus cognition ” approach was manifest in several major formulations and debates. Thus, for example, the dissonance versus self-perception debate (Bem, 1972) pitted against each other motivational (i.e., dissonance) versus cognitive (i.e., self-perception) explanations of attitude change phenomena. A similar subsequent controversy pertained to the question of whether a motivational explanation of biased causal attributions in terms of ego-defensive tendencies (cf. Kelley, 1972) is valid, given the alternative possibility of a purely cognitive explanation (Miller & Ross, 1975). The separatism of the “motivation versus cognition ” approach assigned distinct functions to motivational and cognitive variables. This is apparent in major social psychological notions of persuasion, judgment or impression formation. For instance, in the popular dual-mode theories of
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Objective: This study examined whether matching implementation intentions to people's regulatory orientation affects the effectiveness of changing unhealthy snacking habits. Design: Participants' regulatory orientation was either measured (as a chronic trait) or manipulated (as a situational state), and participants were randomly assigned to implementation intention conditions to eat more healthy snacks or avoid eating unhealthy ones. Main outcome measures: A self-reported online food diary of healthy and unhealthy snacks over a 2-day period. Results: Participants with weak unhealthy snacking habits consumed more healthy snacks when forming any type of implementation intentions (regardless of match or mismatch with their regulatory orientation), while participants with strong unhealthy snacking habits consumed more healthy snacks only when forming implementation intentions that matched their regulatory orientations. Conclusion: RESULTS suggest that implementation intentions that match regulatory orientation heighten motivation intensity and put snacking under intentional control for people with strong unhealthy snacking habits.
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Successful self-regulation is associated with adherence to health-related behaviour in many domains. In contrast, self-regulatory failure is linked to poor adherence and drop-out. This review presents the strength model of self-control as a framework to explain self-regulation in health-related behaviour contexts. In the model, self-regulation is conceptualised as a limited resource that once depleted results in reduced capacity to further regulate the self. We provide an overview of the hypotheses of the strength model and review research applying the model to self-regulation in four health-related behaviour domains: dietary restraint and eating behaviour, alcohol consumption, smoking cessation and physical activity. Based on our review, we recommend practitioners adopt strategies to minimise self-regulatory failure in people engaging in health-related behaviours such as minimising demands on self-control resources in the early stages of uptake and eating regularly to prevent hypoglycaemia. We advocate techniques to improve self-control strength through rest and training on self-control tasks. Suggestions on how these techniques can be integrated into health-related behaviour-change interventions are provided. Recommendations for future research to identify the mechanisms underpinning self-control resource depletion, conduct further randomised controlled interventions using the model, and integrate strength model hypotheses into existing models of health-related behaviour are proposed.
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Habit is often treated as a construct of marginal interest in the literature on attitude–behaviour relations. We argue that this is undeserved, particularly given the current interest in principles of automaticity in social psychology. Basic features of habits, such as goal-directed automaticity, their dependency on situational constancy, and functionality, as well as the measurement of habit strength, are discussed. Research is reviewed that contrasted habit with deliberate action, as approached from the theory of planned behaviour, spontaneous vs. deliberate attitude–behaviour processes, implementation intention theory, and decision-making models. Habits thus appear as boundary conditions of the validity of models of planned behaviour and rational decision-making. A habit seems to be accompanied by an enduring cognitive orientation, which we refer to as “habitual mind-set”, that makes an individual less attentive to new information and courses of action, and thus contributes to the maintenance of habitual behaviour. Focusing on habitual mind-sets and automatic cue-response links, rather than on statistical associations between past and future behaviour, makes habit an interesting construct for future research.
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When people encounter problems in translating their goals into action (e.g., failing to get started, becoming distracted, or falling into bad habits), they may strategically call on automatic processes in an attempt to secure goal attainment. This can be achieved by plans in the form of implementation intentions that link anticipated critical situations to goal-directed responses ("Whenever situation x arises, I will initiate the goal-directed response y!"). Implementation intentions delegate the control of goal-directed responses to anticipated situational cues, which (when actually encountered) elicit these responses automatically. A program of research demonstrates that implementation intentions further the attainment of goals, and it reveals the underlying processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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A field experiment with 102 undergraduate students demonstrated that forming implementation intentions was effective in changing complex everyday behavior, in this case establishing a healthier diet. Ss were administered a questionnaire that assessed their current eating habits. The Ss in the experimental condition were then asked to form implementation intentions, i.e., they were asked to pick out a day from the 5 days following the completion of the questionnaire during which they would eat healthily. All Ss were then asked to keep a diary for the 5 days following the completion of the questionnaire detailing their eating patterns. Results show that the effect of implementation intentions was additive to the prediction of healthy eating by behavioral intentions to eat healthily. Implementation intentions were pitted against individual differences in counterintentional (unhealthy) habits. The effects of implementation intentions and counterintentional habits were independent, suggesting that implementation intentions did not break the negative influence of unhealthy habits, and yet managed to make those with unhealthy habits eat healthier in habit-unrelated respects. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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provides a critical analysis of theories of health behavior and attempts to reconceptualize the process by which people adopt precaution strategies, change detrimental health habits, and maintain desired health behaviors as well as abstain from risky habits provides a critical analysis of four theories: Self-Efficacy Theory, Health Belief Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, and Protection Motivation Theory from a social-cognitive perspective, a causal model is proposed, the so-called Health Action Process Approach, which focuses on the role of expectancies and covers self-regulatory processes in the maintenance phase (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Often, health behavior seems to be governed not only by reasoned attitudes and goal-directed behavior but also by impulsive influences. The notion of a conflict between reflective and impulsive processing which is incorporated in prominent dual-system accounts (e.g., Metcalfe & Mischel, 1999; Strack & Deutsch, 2004) may yield important benefits for the understanding and prediction of health-related behavior. In this article, we suggest a basic framework for the prediction of health-related behavior which combines (a) reflective influences (as measured via self-report), (b) impulsive influences (as measured via implicit measures), and (c) situational or dispositional moderators that shift the weight between reflective and impulsive influences. The practical utility of such a framework is demonstrated by drawing on recent evidence from several areas of health psychology such as eating, drinking, drug abuse, and sexual behavior. Implications for the understanding of health behavior and applied health interventions are discussed. Impulsive versus reflective influences on health behavior: a theoretical framework and empirical review I have no self-control when it comes to eating snacks. I'll start off watching a movie with a bag of potato chips and think to myself, one bag should last the entire movie . . . I'll pace myself, and eat one chip at a time every three minutes and finish the bag with the closing credits. Everything starts off fine. I am the very model of patience and sophistication. But there's this point, maybe half-way through the bag, where an uncontrollable change comes over me. Suddenly, I'm like the Tasmanian Devil on crack. I can't get those chips into my mouth fast enough. I start breaking my own rules, eating them two or three at a time, inverting the bag, tearing it to pieces to get the final crumbs of salty goodness into me, licking my fingers, and feeling like a winner after discovering lost reservoirs of chip crumbs in the folds of my shirt. Then the previews end, and I'm left without anything to eat during the movie. As captured nicely in this short passage from the internet article ''potato chips'' by Daniel Isaac (2008), people time and again experience that sticking to a preconceived plan may fail in the heat of temptation: Some end up eating or drinking more than they admit is good for them, some consume toxic substances, and some embark on sexual adventures with unknown risks. Pleasurable as they are for the moment, such behaviors often lead to negative health outcomes in the long run, ranging from regret the next day to premature
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Consumers sometimes act like creatures of habit, automatically repeating past behavior with little regard to current goals and valued outcomes. To explain this phenomenon, we show that habits are a specific form of automaticity in which responses are directly cued by the contexts (e.g., locations, preceding actions) that consistently covaried with past performance. Habits are prepotent responses that are quick to activate in memory over alternatives and that have a slow-to-modify memory trace. In daily life, the tendency to act on habits is compounded by everyday demands, including time pressures, distraction, and self-control depletion. However, habits are not immune to deliberative processes. Habits are learned largely as people pursue goals in daily life, and habits are broken through the strategic deployment of effortful self-control. Also, habits influence the post hoc inferences that people make about their behavior.
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A neglected question regarding cognitive control is how control processes might detect situations calling for their involvement. The authors propose here that the demand for control may be evaluated in part by monitoring for conflicts in information processing. This hypothesis is supported by data concerning the anterior cingulate cortex, a brain area involved in cognitive control, which also appears to respond to the occurrence of conflict. The present article reports two computational modeling studies, serving to articulate the conflict monitoring hypothesis and examine its implications. The first study tests the sufficiency of the hypothesis to account for brain activation data, applying a measure of conflict to existing models of tasks shown to engage the anterior cingulate. The second study implements a feedback loop connecting conflict monitoring to cognitive control, using this to simulate a number of important behavioral phenomena.
Book
I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
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This study rested the idea of habits as a form of goal-directed automatic behavior. Expanding on the idea that habits are mentally represented as associations between goals and actions, it was proposed that goals are capable of activating the habitual action. More specific, when habits are established (e.g., frequent cycling to the university), the very activation of the goal to act (e.g., having to attend lectures at the university) automatically evokes the habitual response (e.g., bicycle). Indeed, it was tested and confirmed that, when behavior is habitual, behavioral responses are activated automatically. in addition, the results of 3 experiments indicated that (a) the automaticity in habits is conditional on the presence of an active goal (cf. goal-dependent automaticity; J. A. Bargh, 1989), supporting the idea that habits are mentally represented as goal-action links, and (b) the formation of implementation intentions (i.e., the creation of a strong mental link between a goal and action) may simulate goal-directed automaticity in habits.
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The growing number of academic studies on customer satisfaction and the mixed findings they report complicate efforts among managers and academics to identify the antecedents to, and outcomes of, businesses having more-versus less-satisfied customers. These mixed findings and the growing emphasis by managers on having satisfied customers point to the value of empirically synthesizing the evidence on customer satisfaction to assess current knowledge. To this end, the authors conduct a meta-analysis of the reported findings on customer satisfaction. They document that equity and disconfirmation are most strongly related to customer satisfaction on average. They also find that measurement and method factors that characterize the research often moderate relationship strength between satisfaction and its antecedents and outcomes. The authors discuss the implications surrounding these effects and offer several directions for future research.
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Reviews Essentials of behavior, by Clark L. Hull (see record 1952-03687-000). This is a little book, scrupulously stripped down to a crisp and pithy presentation of its core ideas. It offers a restatement of the system of the author's earlier work, Principles of Behavior, with the embedding contextual material reduced to a near minimum. Besides containing the latest statement of Hull's theory of behavior, it was the author's hope that the present book would be both "intelligible" and "a useful introduction to the current aspects of behavior theory." Newcomers to Hull, however, will probably find that the conciseness of the book is gained at the cost of intelligibility. All theories require a certain amount of plain language context to be comprehensible. This little book does not have enough, and a reader must be prepared to draw upon the context of Hull's earlier writings. This will be no hardship for the cognoscenti, who simply want Hull-to-date, and who may welcome the brevity of the book; but others, not yet familiar with Hull, will need to learn the earlier work before they can assimilate this latest one. For the same reason, and apart from any questions of the systematic adequacy of the theory itself, the book will not serve for newcomers the introductory purpose which its author had in mind. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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ABSTRACT An interesting challenge for researchers who study prospective memory is to explain how people recognize environmental events as cues for actions. Whereas some theorists propose that a capacity-consuming monitoring process is the only means by which intentions can be retrieved, we argue that the cognitive system relies on multiple processes, including spontaneous processes that reflexively respond to the presence of target events. We present evidence for the existence of spontaneous retrieval processes and apply the idea of multiple processes to mixed findings on age-related decline in prospective memory.
Book
automated social cognitive processes categorize, evaluate, and impute the meanings of behavior and other social information, and this input is then ready for use by conscious and controlled judgment and decision processes / review . . . the literature on automaticity in social cognition] / discuss the research in terms of its relevance for the] issues of awareness, intentionality, efficiency, and control (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)(chapter)
Article
It was hypothesized that the degree of intention formation moderates the way in which attitudes influence behavior. Degree of intention formation-how well-formed intentions are-was manipulated by facilitating or disrupting the process of intention formation in a field experiment. As predicted, the degree to which intentions were well formed affected the way in which attitudes influenced behavior. When intentions were well formed, they completely mediated the effects of attitudes on behavior, in keeping with the theory of reasoned action. When intentions were poorly formed, however, the mediating role of intentions was reduced, and attitudes had a direct effect on behavior. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings for understanding the attitude-behavior relationship are discussed.
Article
Habits are response dispositions that are activated automatically by the context cues that co-occurred with responses during past performance. Experience-sampling diary studies indicate that much of everyday action is characterized by habitual repetition. We consider various mechanisms that could underlie the habitual control of action, and we conclude that direct cuing and motivated contexts best account for the characteristic features of habit responding—in particular, for the rigid repetition of action that can be initiated without intention and that runs to completion with minimal conscious control. We explain the utility of contemporary habit research for issues central to psychology, especially for behavior prediction, behavior change, and self-regulation.
Article
In five experiments hungry rats were trained to make a lever press response for a sucrose reinforcer. That sucrose was subsequently devalued by conditioning a food-aversion to it, and the ability of the rats to integrate knowledge about the instrumental contingency with that gained from aversion training was assessed in an extinction test. Experiment I showed successful integration following limited but not extended instrumental training. Experiment II suggested that the crucial factor was the spacing of training; successful integration was seen after massed but not distributed training. The third experiment implicated distributed experience with the reinforcer, rather than distributed response practice, in failures of integration. Experiment IV showed that if the distribution of food-aversion learning was dissimilar to that of instrumental training then a failure of integration could result; this finding was able to account for the distribution of training effects seen in previous studies, but not the effect of extended training. Experiment V replicated the extended training effect seen in Experiment I, and provided evidence that this may reflect the degree of exposure to the reinforcer rather than the extent of response practice.
Article
The frequency with which a behavior has been performed in the past is found to account for variance in later behavior independent of intentions. This often taken as evidence for habituation of behavior and as complementing the reasoned mode of operation assumed by such models as the theory of planned behavior. In this article, I question the idea that the residual effect of past on later behavior can be attributed to habituation. The habituation perspective cannot account for residual effects in the prediction of low-opportunity behaviors performed in unstable contexts, no accepted independent measure of habit is available, and empirical tests of them habituation hypothesis have so far met with little success. A review of existing evidence suggests that the residual impact of past behavior is attenuated when measures of intention and behavior are compatible and vanishes when intentions are strong and well formed, expectations are implementation have been developed.
Article
This study tested the hypothesis that the temporal stability of behavioral intentions moderates relationships between intentions and behavior and between previous experience and subsequent performance. Respondents (N = 164) completed measures of theory of planned behavior variables, with respect to studying over the winter vacation, at two time points prior to the vacation and subsequently reported their study behavior. Intention stability was computed from within-participants correlations between Time 1 and Time 2 intention items. Intention stability moderated the intention-behavior relation such that stable intentions were more likely to be enacted than unstable intentions. The past behavior-future behavior relation was also moderated by intention stability. When intentions were stable, past behavior was not related to subsequent performance. In contrast, when intentions were unstable, past behavior was the best predictor of future behavior. Findings also revealed that theory of planned behavior variables and past behavior had different associations with stable as compared to unstable intentions.