TED & Talks

The secret habits that control your life | Wendy Wood

This interview is an episode from The Well, our new publication about ideas that inspire a life well-lived, created with the John Templeton Foundation.

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Watch Wendy Wood’s next interview ► Hit peak performance with the power of habit https://youtu.be/g-O1XDwhKIg

Bad habits can be challenging to change due to friction — that is, the time and effort it takes to overcome them.

It is widely believed that through better self-control, our habits will change. But it doesn’t work like that.

The only way to change a bad habit is through repetitive good behavior. Good behavior leads to better outcomes, which leads to our brain releasing dopamine. This “reward” is what helps us form good habits.

Read the video transcript ► https://bigthink.com/the-well/how-to-change-habits/

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About Wendy Wood:
Wendy Wood is a social psychologist whose research addresses the ways that habits guide behavior – and why they are so difficult to break – as well as evolutionary accounts of gender differences in behavior. Professor Wood has been Associate Editor of Psychological Review, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Review, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the Society for Experimental Social Psychology, and a founding member of the Society for Research Synthesis. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, and Rockefeller Foundation. Prior to joining USC, Professor Wood was James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience and Professor of Marketing at Duke University.

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