The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology A middle-aged woman sits before a computer screen on the 11th floor of Expedia’s glass-clad headquarters in Seattle. Two electrodes are taped to her brow just above her left eye, two more on her left cheek. A one-way mirror reflects her face as she responds to requests issuing from a speaker mounted in the ceiling. Behind the glass, a researcher directs the test subject as a half-dozen designers, engineers, and executives look on in rapt silence. Though she has not been told, Shannon has been brought in to test a new Expedia feature, known as Scratchpad, that the online travel broker hopes will bring travelers back to the site daily between the time they start planning a trip and the day they make a purchase. The first part of Shannon’s test is simply finding the Scratchpad button on the Expedia.com page. Forging new habits has become an obsession among technology companies. The rise of mobile computing has intensified that imperative. Illustration of Nir Eyal’s habit-forming “hook.”
Cumpulsive behavior in companies How to Break a Bad Habit Moving from wanting to change to actually doing so can be a challenge because the repetition of any pattern of behavior establishes neural circuits in the brain. Habits generate biochemical and physiological changes that perpetuate behavior. However, it is possible to break a habit when you address the emotional and physical aspects behind it. Here is a powerful six-step process that can help you succeed: Step One: Identify the Obstacle To relinquish an unwanted habit, you have to acknowledge it by bringing it into conscious awareness. Step Two: Present Moment Awareness When you engage in the habit, do it with your full attention. Step Three: Envision the New Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and envision the change you want to make. Step Four: Clear the Space Set a date for ending the habit. A few suggestions for your weekend retreat: Step Five: Filling the Void Habits fill deep-seated needs, so when you drop an unwanted behavior, you need to replace it with a nourishing one.
A Brief Guide to Quitting a Bad Habit By Leo Babauta There aren’t many of us who don’t have some bad habit we’d like to quit: smoking, sweets, shopping, nail-biting, porn, excessive checking of phones or social media, other distractions … The problem is that we think we don’t have the willpower, faced with past evidence of failure after failure when we’ve tried to quit before. We don’t think we can quit, so we don’t even try. Let me tell you this: quitting a bad habit takes everything you’ve got. It’s hard, but doable — if you put your entire being into it. But if you’re ready to finally quit something, here’s a short guide to doing just that. 10-Steps — Just as Good as the 12-Step Folk You don’t actually need to follow every single one of these steps to quit a habit, but the more of them you do, the higher your chances. Have a big motivation. I’m not saying this is an easy method, but many people have failed because they ignored the ideas here.
Eating sweets forms memories that may control eating habits -- ScienceDaily Eating sweet foods causes the brain to form a memory of a meal, according to researchers at Georgia State University, Georgia Regents University and Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. The findings, published online in the journal Hippocampus, show that neurons in the dorsal hippocampus, the part of the brain that is critical for episodic memory, are activated by consuming sweets. Episodic memory is the memory of autobiographical events experienced at a particular time and place. In the study, a meal consisting of a sweetened solution, either sucrose or saccharin, significantly increased the expression of the synaptic plasticity marker called activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (Arc) in dorsal hippocampal neurons in rats. "We think that episodic memory can be used to control eating behavior," said Marise Parent, professor in the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State. Forming memories of meals is important to a healthy diet.
6 Things You Can Do When You Lack Discipline Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter. One of the biggest problems people face is the lack of discipline — they have goals or habits they want to achieve, but lack that discipline needed to stick with it. Then we beat ourselves up about it. We feel crappy because we can’t stick with it. And that leads to more failure, because we’re forming a mindset that we don’t have the necessary discipline. Here’s what to do when you face a situation like this: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. —If you liked this article, please share it on del.icio.us, StumbleUpon or Digg.
20 Daily habits Of Highly Organized People We all have that one person at work or school who is effortlessly organized. They never seem to miss any deadlines, always finish their work with time to spare, and always know where they can find what they are looking for. And let’s face it: you are obviously jealous of them. Being organized isn’t just something you adapt to. Without further ado, let’s get you introduced to the 20 daily habits of highly organized people. 1. Here’s the deal: it doesn’t matter at what time of the day you check your inbox. 2. If you have a pile of mail, then dedicating some of your time to sort these bad boys out on a daily basis, just like your emails, won’t hurt. 3. There should absolutely be no space at all for clutter on your desk. 4. Staying organized isn’t all about being uptight. 5. Each and every thing is supposed to go in its rightful place. 6. Following a to-do list is like your primary source of organization. 7. What’s more important? 8. 9. 10. This is the holy grail of staying organized. 11.
Wanting and Liking: Observations from the Neuroscience and Psychology Laboratory Six Habits of Highly Empathic People Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Andy Dean Photography This article originally appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center. If you think you’re hearing the word “empathy” everywhere, you’re right. It’s now on the lips of scientists and business leaders, education experts and political activists. But there is a vital question that few people ask: How can I expand my own empathic potential? Empathy is not just a way to extend the boundaries of your moral universe. But what is empathy? The big buzz about empathy stems from a revolutionary shift in the science of how we understand human nature. Over the last decade, neuroscientists have identified a 10-section “empathy circuit” in our brains which, if damaged, can curtail our ability to understand what other people are feeling. But empathy doesn’t stop developing in childhood. Habit 1: Cultivate Curiosity about Strangers Highly empathic people (HEPs) have an insatiable curiosity about strangers.
Neuroscience Insight: How to Break Bad Habits Habits are behaviors or thoughts so strongly wired into your brain that you can perform them without thinking. Why, if the brain is plastic and able to change, are bad habits so hard to break? Here you can learn about the neuroscience of how habits form—and how to use that knowledge to replace bad habits with positive ones. The Defining Features of Habits Your brain is fundamentally lazy. During the course of a day, hundreds of habits—automated chunks of thought, emotion, or behavior—come online and offline, usually with little conscious awareness. Good, bad, or neutral, neuroscientists have found that all habits have a few defining features: Habits are triggered by a particular cue, situation, or event.Habits are learned over time by being repeated over and over.Habits are performed automatically, often with little conscious awareness.Habits are persistent—once formed, they are very hard to break. Where Habits Are Stored in the Brain How Habits Form “I’m useless; I’ll never succeed.”
Change A Habit In Three Steps With This Flowchart I'm going to promote your comment by way of calling you out for being a bullshitter extraordinaire. Nicotine is one of the most famously addictive substances known. There are many cases reported of people who were told they had cancer, were on drugs and treatment to help them fight cancer, and yet could not stop smoking tobacco. The BBC had a documentary about this phenomenon at least 15 years ago. If you claim that you simply stopped your addiction to tobacco and 'it was easy', I can only suspect you to be either a liar or someone with above-human psychological abilities. Next, you denounce anyone who can't lose weight as being 'weak, lazy' and lacking motivation. You're a troll, right? Fuck you. I do know many people who have just quit tobacco, even after many many years. The simple fact is some people can do it, others cannot. Plenty of people quit that way.
Brain tune-up may aid self-motivation: Allowing people to see their own brain activity might help them motivate themselves -- ScienceDaily At our best, we motivate ourselves every day to get dressed and go to work or school. Although there are larger incentives at work, it's our own volition that powers us through our innumerable daily tasks. If we could learn to control the motivational centers of our brains that drive volition, would it lead us toward healthier, more productive lives? Using a new brain imaging strategy, Duke University scientists have now taken a first step in understanding how to manipulate specific neural circuits using thoughts and imagery. The technique, which is described in the March 16 issue of the journal Neuron, is part of a larger approach called 'neurofeedback,' which gives participants a dynamic readout of brain activity, in this case from a brain area critical for motivation. "These methods show a direct route for manipulating brain networks centrally involved in healthy brain function and daily behavior," said the study's senior investigator R.