How to ditch bad habits for good ones

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Why is it so hard for us to form good habits—and so easy to form bad ones?

Most people turn to the self-help section to find answers, but this is really a question for behavior science.

“Behavioral science is the study of the way people make decisions and the way they form judgments, and it tends to blend psychology and economics,” says Katy Milkman, a professor at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania who co-directs the Behavior Change For Good Initiative with Angela Duckworth.

Her best-selling book, How To Change: The Science of Getting From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be (Portfolio, 2021), explores that best research—from “nudges” to “temptation bundles”—on how to change our behaviors and habits for good.

“What behavioral science adds to that mix is really a recognition that people sometimes make mistakes and that this can happen in systematic and predictable ways, and once we understand that, we can help people make better decisions,” Milkman says.

Here, in an episode of the University of Chicago’s Big Brains podcast, Milkman explains her work and the science behind changing your habits for the better:

You can find the transcript of this episode here.

Source: University of Chicago