Harnessing your imagination: Using the power of mental imagery to change health behaviour

Posted on Posted in If-Then Plans, Interventions, Mental Imagery, Planning

Martin S. Hagger, Curtin University, Australia and University of Jyväskylä, Finland and Dominic Conroy, Birkbeck University of London, UK What is mental imagery? People are usually quite good at imagining things. For example, people often act out future actions or scenarios in their mind, or daydream about fanciful possibilities. These imagined situations are often unstructured […]

The Power of Planning

Posted on Posted in If-Then Plans, Planning

Peter M. Gollwitzer, New York University Everyone has bad habits. You snack when distressed or you drink too much alcohol when relaxing with friends. You create unnecessary stress by letting the social media distract you from completing pressing work projects, or by getting into unnecessary arguments with colleagues, friends, and family. How can you change […]

Fear is a bad counsellor

Fear is a bad counsellor

Posted on Posted in Fear, Incentives

Dr Gjalt-Jorn Peters, Open University, Netherlands Fear appeals are a commonly used strategy to change behaviour. For instance the threatening and graphic fear-arousing communications now ever-present on tobacco packaging, and in campaigns to promote seatbelt use and discourage substance use. Despite the popularity and widespread use of these fear-arousing methods, research suggests that they may […]

Does money really change everything? Using financial incentives and disincentives to change health behaviours

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Financial Incentives, Incentives

Dr Jean Adams, Centre for Diet & Activity Research, University of Cambridge Since October last year, by law, large retailers in England have been charging customers 5p (€0.06) for ‘single-use plastic carrier bags’ – those flimsy plastic bags you get from supermarkets to carry your groceries home. The money raised is donated by retailers to ‘good […]

Getting into the habit: Applying the science of habit-formation to the real-world

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Automaticity, Habit

By Benjamin Gardner, King’s College London What is a ‘habit’? Why do we eat popcorn while watching movies? The answer, for most, is that eating popcorn is a habitual response to watching movies. Psychologists define ‘habitual’ behaviours as actions that happen automatically, due to learned associations between situations (the movie theatre) and our responses to […]