Can Brain Science Help Us Break Bad Habits?
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Though companies like Nike try to ignite our willpower with their slogans, ultimately willpower cannot squash our subconscious and unconscious behavior.
Repetition of action and thought can make the required change seep into us, turning it into a machine-like, habitual behavior.
If you know that you will eat junk food because your refrigerator is filled with it, remove all the junk food.
Just as removing friction aids in doing the activity more often, adding friction can aid to remove the bad habit, by making it difficult or cumbersome to do so.
Example: Cigarette smoking declined due to adding taxes, banning in public places and removing from vending machines.
Companies make us habitual. Companies like Facebook, NetFlix, and Uber spend millions on R&D of better tools to minimize friction, to get people to use their services more and more and form a habit.
McDonald's, for example, uses brain science to create habits by:
A Strategy to break away from a habitual activity is to:
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...to familiar environmental cues.
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