The measurement of habit

Amanda Rebar, Benjamin Gardner, Ryan Rhodes, Bas Verplanken

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section

40 Citations (SciVal)


In this chapter, we put forth a theory-based set of criteria for a ‘good’ habit measure, encompassing predictive validity, discriminant validity, convergent validity, and reliability. We apply these criteria to evaluate prevalent measures of habit including past behaviour, frequency in context measures, and the Self-Report Habit Index and its derivatives (the Habit Index of Negative Thinking, and the Self-Report Behavioral Automaticity Index). We outline why implicit measures offer a potentially promising area for habit measurement research. Additionally, we highlight controversies in the habit domain, including the importance of distinguishing habit from behaviour and whether people can self-report habit. We conclude that the most appropriate habit measure is one that most aligns with the theoretical framework, research question, and logistical elements of the study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe psychology of habit
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, mechanisms, change, and contexts
EditorsBas Verplanken
ISBN (Electronic)97833199752903
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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