Goal and Habit

Habits and intentions

Basic research indicates that behavior becomes independent of the goal that people set once they have established habits. The significance of habits has been demonstrated for a diversity of behaviors in different domains, such as work, transport, health, and ecology, suggesting that habits have a pervasive impact on human life. The goal-independency of habits is efficient and functional when goals are aligned with habits. However, it is problematic when goals are in conflict with habits. Most societal issues related to human behavior have to deal with goal-habit conflicts, which has important implications for designing interventions to change behavior. We study how goal setting and modification of the environment can change habits in lab and societal settings.