General Conclusions

Since the decline of behaviorism, habit has long been a forgotten concept in the social and behavioral sciences. This is the case in spite of the fact that many unhealthy behaviors are strongly habitual and that we would like to see healthy behaviors become habitual. The focus on deliberative thinking and motivated behavior such as represented by the prevalent socio-cognitive models may now be supplemented by the notion that these factors may wear off over time and be replaced by the more automatic and context-driven powers of habit (Dawes, 1998). The habit concept has much to offer to those who want to understand why people behave unhealthily, or why it remains such a challenge to establish healthier lifestyles. Researchers have now a choice of instruments at their disposal for measuring and monitoring habit strength. In all, habit theory seems a valuable contribution to the behavioral medicine field.

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