Reflections on past behavior: A self-report index of habit strength

B Verplanken, S Orbell

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Abstract

We argue that habit is a psychological construct, rather than simply past behavioral frequency. In 4 studies, a 12-item index of habit strength (the Self-Report Habit Index, SRHI) was developed on the basis of features of habit; that is, a history of repetition, automaticity (lack of control and awareness, efficiency), and expressing identity. High internal and test-retest reliabilities were found. The SRHI correlated strongly with past behavioral frequency and the response frequency measure of habit (Verplanken, Aarts, van Knippenberg, & van Knippenberg, 1994). The index discriminated between behaviors varying in frequency, and also between daily vs. weekly habits. The SRHI may be useful as a dependent variable, or to determine or monitor habit strength without measuring behavioral frequency. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)
LanguageEnglish
Pages1313-1330
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume33
Issue number6
StatusPublished - 2003

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Self Report
Habits
Reproducibility of Results
Psychology

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Reflections on past behavior: A self-report index of habit strength. / Verplanken, B; Orbell, S.

In: Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Vol. 33, No. 6, 2003, p. 1313-1330.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - We argue that habit is a psychological construct, rather than simply past behavioral frequency. In 4 studies, a 12-item index of habit strength (the Self-Report Habit Index, SRHI) was developed on the basis of features of habit; that is, a history of repetition, automaticity (lack of control and awareness, efficiency), and expressing identity. High internal and test-retest reliabilities were found. The SRHI correlated strongly with past behavioral frequency and the response frequency measure of habit (Verplanken, Aarts, van Knippenberg, & van Knippenberg, 1994). The index discriminated between behaviors varying in frequency, and also between daily vs. weekly habits. The SRHI may be useful as a dependent variable, or to determine or monitor habit strength without measuring behavioral frequency. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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