What happens with medications when they go home?

Posted on Posted in Medication adherence

By Kerry Chamberlain, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand What do people do with medications once they enter the home? Surprisingly, limited research has attempted to answer that question. Yet, it is important – most medications are consumed at home under the control of the consumer. Prescription medicines are regulated, but once prescribed and collected, they are […]

How to set goals that work?

Posted on Posted in Goal setting, Planning

By Tracy Epton, University of Manchester, United Kingdom Goal setting is a popular technique There are many different techniques that can be used to change behaviour (93 according to a recent list!). Goal setting is a well-known technique that most people have used at some point. Goal setting is used by charities (e.g., Alcohol Concern, […]

Move more, sit less at work: let’s not sit to talk about it

Posted on Posted in Interventions, Social Support

By Stuart Biddle, University of Southern Queensland, Australia I’m writing this blog on Valentine’s Day! The health promotion charity in Australia, Bluearth, has produced some amusing videos encouraging you to use your chair less by ‘breaking up with your chair’ (liking splitting from your partner, see videos here). So what is the issue here? Essentially, […]

Willpower versus Unhealthy Temptations – Spoiler Alert – Willpower Usually Loses

Posted on Posted in Automaticity, Habit

By Amanda Rebar, Central Queensland University, Australia It will come as no surprise that evidence shows people do not always behave in ways that are best for their long-term health. For example, most people are aware that exercise is good for their physical and mental health, but comparatively far fewer people exercise regularly. When a […]

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 […]