Why We Do What We Do: Habits…Why are They so Hard to Change?
1. About 40% of what you do every day is pretty much the same things, in the same situations, as you did yesterday… and the day before that and the day before that.
2. We establish patterns of behavior that allow us to reach our goals and then we do it again…wash rinse and repeat.
3. In a recent study participants were given the tough task of tasting popcorn (hard work!), and as expected, preferred fresh popcorn over stale popcorn. However, when given the popcorn in a movie theater they ate just as much of the stale popcorn as they did the fresh.
4. So if you want to change a bad habit?
- - Change Environmental Cues for Existing Habits: someone who moves or changes jobs has the perfect opportunity to remove old cues, or if eating healthier is the goal – rearrange your fridge so the junk food is somewhere else,
- - Allow for Time to Make the Change, Repetition is Key: it can take up to 254 days to form a new habit; and
- - Link Good Habits Together: if you want to floss more, make brushing your teeth always the cue for flossing after.
Studies have shown that personality plays an important part in exchanging knowledge. Adam Grant at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, created a personality measure to determine people’s natural tendency toward interpersonal knowledge exchange. He found that most people can be classified into one of three groups: givers, matchers and takers:Givers:
not only share more information they also tend to share more important information,
tend to keep important information to themselves,
(you guessed it) are in between and see information exchange as a tit-for-tat strategy.
WHICH ONE ARE YOU?
AND HOW CAN YOU USE THIS MODEL?
Salespeople: Mastering this model might come in handy when trying to get info from clients…
Managers: May realize that it’s not enough to simply provide knowledge management tools, but to also keep in mind the personalities and interaction styles of their employees…
Husbands & Wives: I’ll leave those implications to you…
Until next time…Stay connected!
1. A study in the journal Psychology and Aging has shown substantial differences in brain function throughout the day for older adults.
2. A group of younger adults (aged 19-30) and a group of older adults (aged 60-82) participated in a series of memory tests with built in distractions. During the test, each participant’s brain was scanned to show which areas were activating. During the 1-5pm test, older adults were 10% more likely to get distracted. However, they performed noticeably better during the morning test and were even shown to activate the same areas of the brain that the young adults did.
3. This information shows that as a person ages, they are better able to focus and ignore distractions in the morning than in the afternoon; suggesting that more mentally-challenging tasks be scheduled earlier in the day.
Food for thought regarding when and what you talk about, at what time of the day, and with whom–depending on age (started sounding like Dr. Seuss there for a minute!)
1. New research out of British Columbia suggests that fathers who help with household chores are more likely to raise daughters who aspire to higher paying careers
2. Even if fathers publicly endorse gender equality, if they allow their wives to do a disproportionate amount of household labor, their daughters are more likely to envision having traditional female jobs
3. Which means that the road to achieving gender equality in the workplace may be to focus on gender equality in chores at home…sorry guys!
1. A study in the journal Psychological Science showed that there is a correlation between the feeling of gratitude and financial impatience.
2. The team of researchers assessed impatience by having people choose between instant gratification (receiving $54 now) or being rewarded for waiting longer ($80 in 30 days).
3. Before making their decision, participants were randomly assigned to write about an experience in their past that made them feel either grateful, happy or neutral. The participants who had written about feeling neutral and happy showed a strong preference for the immediate payout, whereas those who wrote about feeling grateful showed more patience and tended to opt for for waiting longer.
- What does this study tell us about the selling process?
- Anything we can learn from this study that applies to career development?
- Something here that might be instructions in raising our kids?
1. New research out of China suggests that if people know what the average opinion on a given subject is, they will change their personal opinion to be closer to the average opinion
2. They will do this even if there is no social pressure to hold an opinion similar to the average opinion
3. Interestingly, this effect only lasts for 3 days or so—after that people tend to revert back to their original opinion
Reference: Y. Huang, K. M. Kendrick, R. Yu. Conformity to the Opinions of Other People Lasts for No More Than 3 Days. Psychological Science, 2014
1. Research out of Carnegie Mellon and Harvard suggests that people tend to give more weight to thoughts that “come out of nowhere” versus ideas that arrive through a deliberate process
2. Rather than dismissing spontaneous thoughts as meaningless or random, people tend to assume these thoughts contain more meaningful insight
3. Even on important topics such as commitment to current romantic partners, people tend to think thoughts out of nowhere reveal their true preferences
Reference: Carey K. Morewedge, Colleen E. Giblin, Michael I. Norton. The (perceived) meaning of spontaneous thoughts. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2014
1. Most people believe that “experts” are made, the product of deliberate practice rather than born out of innate ability (think Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule for his 2008 book Outliers).
2. A new Princeton University study suggests the amount of practice accumulated over time does not seem to play as big of a role as originally thought in terms of skills, capabilities or performance.
3. The study did show a positive relationship between practice and performance, but practice only accounted for about 12% of individual differences.
What do you take away from this finding?While practice may be a lesser component of success–12% can be a game changer. The difference between winning a gold medal in downhill skiing and coming in well off the podium may only be fractions of a second. The difference between winning the Green Jacket in golf and placing well into the pack, may only be a few strokes.
Your call…does practice make perfect or is it just wasted effort?
1. New scientific research suggests that mothers are more altruistic than fathers.
2. The reason is because they know that their children are their own, where as fathers can never be completely certain.
3. When parents from an impoverished area were offered cash for themselves or high quality sandals for their children, fathers opted for cash when they were alone. In contrast, mothers opted for the sandals for their children. However, when the fathers were making the decision in the presence of the mothers, they picked the sandals.
1. New research suggests people who lose their spouses do better when they confide in a close friend rather than a family member
2. Having a non-family member confidant can significantly boost the physical health of widowed individuals
3. The author suggests that family members make suboptimal confidantes because the emotional complexities of family can add stress to the situation