A3 Book section, Chapters in research books
Habits (2021)

Hagger, M. S., & Rebar, A. L. (2021). Habits. In K. Sweeney, M. L. Robbins, & L. M. Cohen (Eds.), The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, Volume 2 : The Social Bases of Health Behavior (pp. 177-182). John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119057840.ch64

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Hagger, Martin S.; Rebar, Amanda L.

Parent publication: The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology, Volume 2 : The Social Bases of Health Behavior

Parent publication editors: Sweeney, Kate; Robbins, Megan L.; Cohen, Lee M.

ISBN: 978-1-119-05783-3

eISBN: 978-1-119-05784-0

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 02/09/2020

Pages range: 177-182

Number of pages in the book: 824

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119057840.ch64

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


Researchers and practitioners in health contexts are interested in breaking “bad” habits and promoting health‐promoting habits. Habits are impulse‐driven behavioral responses that occur beyond an individual's awareness. Dual‐process theories of health behavior conceptualize habit as part of an “impulsive” pathway to action in which behavior is a function of responses to cues and prompts learned and reinforced over time, contrasted with a “reflective” pathway in which behavior is enacted after deliberative evaluation of its merits and consequences. Strong relations between cues and action make “bad” habits difficult to break but also present an opportunity to promote sustained behavior change if healthy habits can be developed. Research suggests that breaking unhealthy habits requires high motivation and effective self‐regulatory skills so that individuals can override strong cue‐dependent responses. Testing the efficacy of intervention strategies to break “bad” habits and promote healthy habits is an important avenue for future research.

Keywords: health behaviour; habits; self-regulation (psychology); impulsivity; reflection (cognitive processes)

Free keywords: automaticity; implicit; impulsive processes; reflective processes; dual‐process models; nonconscious; self‐regulation

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-19-08 at 19:41