Forming Habits

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 13, 2008 6:28 PM GMT
    There was an interesting story in the NYT this morning, about the psychology of forming habits (mostly inducing other people to do so.)

    Warning: Habits May Be Good for You
    Published: July 13, 2008
    Social scientists have learned that there is power in tying certain behaviors to habitual cues through relentless advertising.

    One interesting tidbit:

    “Habits are formed when the memory associates specific actions with specific places or moods,” said Dr. Wood, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. “If you regularly eat chips while sitting on the couch, after a while, seeing the couch will automatically prompt you to reach for the Doritos. These associations are sometimes so strong that you have to replace the couch with a wooden chair for a diet to succeed.”

    Hmm... so to lose weight, you must redecorate. Dare I say... that's so gay.
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    Jul 13, 2008 6:38 PM GMT
    mmmm, Doritos. Nacho. Cheese.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3784

    Jul 13, 2008 10:41 PM GMT
    Wait someone at Duke said this? Well you know it must be crap.

    /Ducks out to avoid impending flame war.
    //Grew up in Maryland.
    ///You got nothing.
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    Jul 14, 2008 2:26 AM GMT

    I got half way through this before I called bullshit. Still, this article made me feel good, I guess I don't watch as much television as I thought because I can honestly tell you, nothing I do is motivated by advertisements. Infact, this is what I think makes us such consciencious athletes, because we build our lives and diets according to what we deem worthy, not what anyone says or even how we were raised.

    I did read this article with an unbiased heart. What the Dr. here is describing, sounds a lot like socialization: the proliferation of societal values and beliefs through learned indoctrination. I can see how in rural Africa, where public schools aren't as numerous, your average 8 year old may not know to wash their hands, we all learned this in elementary school and by following the example of our parents (socialization).

    However, socialization, lays the foundation and before too long, the mind starts sorting through the information it has been given to decide what it will accept and what it will reject. (ex. some here were raised watching our parents eat junk food, but choose to eat healthier now.)

    So, I can easily digest a theory that advertisements build bad habits in children, but in adults? Grownups choose to behave badley, after all, they've been well informed and know better. The kids are still learning.