Science Questions

Does peer pressure help with resolutions?

Tue, 14th Jan 2014

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Are old habits hard to break?

Question

Ruth asked:

Are you more likely to achieve your resolutions if other people have the same ones?

Answer

Molly Crockett -   I think absolutely for several reasons.  One is that you've got two minds and two sets of willpower working together to help you both achieve your goals.  Two, one of the most powerful motivators is social reputation.  We really, really care about what others think about us.  It turns out also that having others think of us as being self-controlled is also a really good thing.  So, that just adds an extra boost to the motivational processes behind your resolution.

Chris - Ben, anything to add?

Ben Gardner - I quite agree.  I think it is really about keeping that motivation high because given that to form a habit, you need to repeat a behaviour consistently.  One thing that people don't often realise when they're embarking on a habit formation attempt is that they'll have to repeat the behaviour so they need to keep going at it.  So, anything that can boost your motivation in that respect must be a good thing.

 

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