A1 Journal article (refereed)
Redefining habits and linking habits with other implicit processes (2019)

Hagger, M. S. (2019). Redefining habits and linking habits with other implicit processes. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 46, Article 101606. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.101606

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Hagger, Martin S.

Journal or series: Psychology of Sport and Exercise

ISSN: 1469-0292

eISSN: 1878-5476

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 46

Article number: 101606

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.101606

Publication open access:

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/66034


In their commentaries on Hagger (2019), Gardner, Rebar, and Lally (2019) and Phillips (2019) provide welcome debate on the conceptualization and operation of habits in physical activity. In this response, I extend their comments by (i) calling for a redefining of habits to encompass contemporary views of habit, and (ii) suggesting that descriptions of physical activity habits should make reference to their relations with other implicit constructs that reflect automatic processes. Specifically, I contend that extant definitions of habits for complex behaviors like physical activity should move away from definitions of unitary responses to specific cues or contexts, and, focus on ‘macro’ expressions of the behavior that comprise multiple sub-actions, which can each be controlled by habitual or deliberative processing. It may also be useful for definitions to make the distinction between habitual instigation and execution, affording greater precision in descriptions of the processes that generate habitual behaviors. Finally, physical activity habits as cue-action relations are unlikely to be enacted in the absence of activation of other implicit processes, consistent with behavioral schema. Recognizing this, I contend that descriptions of habit should accommodate these links, and that they may be useful in elaborating on the processes by which habits determine subsequent physical activity behavior.

Keywords: behaviour; automation; behavioural patterns; manners and means; habits; physical training; exercise habits; definitions

Free keywords: behavioral automaticity; habitual behaviors; automatic processes; dual-process theories; behavioral schema

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 15:36