TradeBriefs Editorial

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For habit changes, hijacking the environment a much more effective strategy than attempting to will change into being

As human beings, steeped in philosophies of free will, we like to think we have total control over our actions. If someone is always late to meetings, we ascribe their tardiness to laziness or poor time management. If someone struggles to lose weight, we often think: "Why can't they just skip dessert and work out?"

Wendy Wood is a social psychologist at the University of Southern California who has studied human behavior, habits, and decision-making for more than 30 years. She is the author of the book Good Habits, Bad Habits: "The science of making positive changes that stick."

"We tend to think it's all us," Wood tells Inverse. "It's all our own agency and self-control that will push us in the right direction or make us fail. And that's just not true."

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