The word ‘habit’, in everyday language, is often used as a synonym for frequently repeated behaviour. But within psychology there is important nuance to how the word is defined:
‘Habit can be defined as a learned sequence of acts that has become an automatic response to specific context cues [emphasis added] and is functional in obtaining certain goals or end-states.’ (Verplanken & Aarts, 1999).
Habits are a form of mental shortcut. As we repeat a behaviour in a specific context our brain begins to forego conscious decision-making in favour of using cues as triggers for behaviour. According to Wendy Wood…
The devastating sweep of COVID-19 has shocked the globe into a standstill. The rising death toll and early signs of a global economic depression indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic will shape the future of the globe considerably.
The scale of consequence from the sudden emergence of COVID-19 has placed the pandemic alongside climate change as a defining challenge of our era. Both challenges require individuals to make choices of great consequence in terms of how we respond.
The failure to previously develop infrastructure to deal with a potential pandemic undoubtedly left the globe at a vulnerable starting point when it…
Behavioural Economist | currently working on strategy for sustainable public transport in Ireland with CIÉ.