Habits and behaviour change

Our applied research aims to understand and change habit in a range of domains, including health and environment-related behaviours.

Applying habit to real-world behaviours

Among the questions we investigate are the following:

  • How can we change people's habits?
  • Which methods are best for making or breaking habits?

How can we change people’s habits?

GARDNER, B., & Rebar, A.L. (2019) Habit formation and behaviour change. Oxford Research Encyclopedia.

GARDNER, B., Rebar, A., & LALLY, P. (2020) Habit interventions. In M.S. Hagger, L.D. Cameron, K. Hamilton, N. Hankonen, T. Lintunen (Eds), The Handbook of Behaviour Change (pp 599-616). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Changing sitting habits

ten Broeke, P., GARDNER, B., Beckers, D., Geurts, S., & Bijleveld, E. (in press/2022). Why do people sit? A framework for targeted behavior change. Health Psychology Review.

Dewitt, S., Hall, J., Smith, L., Buckley, J., Biddle, S.J.H., Mansfield, L., & GARDNER, B. (2019) Office workers’ experiences of attempts to reduce sitting-time: An exploratory, mixed-methods uncontrolled intervention pilot study. BMC Public Health, 19, 819.

Changing child-feeding habits

Engels, L., Mons, C., Mergelsberg, E., Kothe, E., Hamilton, K., GARDNER, B., ten Hoor, G., & Mullan, B. (2022) How to improve the diet of toddlers? The feasibility of an online, habit-based intervention targeting parental feeding behaviour. Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine, 10, 1020-1037.

GARDNER, B., Sheals, K., Wardle, J., & McGowan, L. (2014) Putting habit into practice, and practice into habit: A process evaluation and exploration of the acceptability of a habit-based behavior change intervention. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 11, 135.

McGowan, L., Cooke, L.J., GARDNER, B., Beeken, R., Croker, H., & Wardle, J. (2013) Healthy feeding habits: efficacy results from a cluster-randomized, controlled exploratory trial of a novel, habit-based intervention with parents. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98, 769-777.

Changing sleep hygiene habits

Mohideen, A., Bouvin, C., Judah, G., Picariello, F., & GARDNER, B. (2023). Feasibility and acceptability of a personalised script-elicitation method for improving evening sleep hygiene habits. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine, 11, 2162904.