In just a few days we’ll have a resolution double-whammy. Not just a new year, but a new decade. Seems like a perfect time to be jotting down those resolutions (or publishing them online), right? Making resolutions is one thing…but what about keeping them? What can social psychology tell us that will help increase the odds that this time next year we’ll be proud of ourselves for the changes we’ve made?
In a recent study Lally et al. found that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a new habit to become automatic. While 254 days of gym trips and healthier eating may seem daunting, there’s small comfort in their finding that missing one day did not seem to influence the habit formation process. Weidemann et al. found that action-planning and coping-planning also affect behavior change, particularly in behaviors related to health. Additionally, developing an action plan early on and preparing mentally for the obstacles you may confront as you try to keep your goal (coping-planning, further explained here) can also help you keep your goal.
- stick with your resolution for the long haul
- don’t beat yourself up too much if you miss a day
- develop a plan to help you reach your goal or keep your resolution
- mentally imagine yourself overcoming any obstacles
- and, while you’re at it, tell your friends, since that seems to help too!
(2009) Lally et al. How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world
(2009) Wiedemann et al. How planning facilitates behaviour change: Additive and interactive effects of a randomized controlled trial
(2005) Sniehotta et al. Action planning and coping planning for long-term lifestyle change: theory and assessment
(2009) Burkeman. This column will change your life, The Guardian
Remember when the iphone came out and people were paying exorbitantly high prices for it? Nevertheless, people made it clear that there was a demand and that they would pay the price deemed by the company selling it. While at first people were lusting for the object eventually some people began to abhor their previously prized technology and took action. One individual went as far as suing the company after the company significantly reduced the price because the object could not be sold or sold at a loss.
Take another story of a group of people wanting to fit in; for example, a rock band with a long history and influence that is nominated for the rock & roll hall of fame. However the band is denied several times after nomination. The band, who thought of themselves as outsiders, members would tell themselves, and others, that it was no big deal to not be inducted to the rock & roll hall of fame. Finally the band was accepted to the rock & roll hall of fame. While some might consider it a positive outcome there seems to be some debate on the importance to some band members with regard to their induction.
What do these two stories have in common? How do we make sense of the counterintuitive reasoning that first, we want something, but at a high cost or many failures, and when we get it perhaps we don’t care so much for it? Litt et al., 2009, reasoned that the mechanisms for wanting and the liking of, although not mutually exclusive, are being dissociated. Litt et al., 2009, noted that affect, how much the object was liked, moderates a person’s decision to pay more for and get rid of the object when given the chance. The researchers suggest that wanting is not necessarily affected by failure to obtain the object. On the other hand liking is more likely to be influenced by attainability. So perhaps paying a large sum of cash or being rejected several times may in turn influence how someone feels about what they wanted.
Read more: Iphone’s price cut 2007 story
Read more: Iggy Pop and the Hall of Fame Induction
Read more: Apple sued over dropping phone prices
Litt, A., Khan, U., Shiv, B. (2009). Lusting while loathing: Parallel counterdriving of wanting and liking.
Reese ended her eight-year marriage, but managed to maintain a friendship with her ex.
For many people, including many relationship scientists, the last stage of relationship dissolution is termination of contact. It seems much easier to hate your ex rather than being friend with her/him. However, more and more studies revealed that the phenomenon of post-dating friendships is common. So why are some former romantic relationships redefined into friendships? And how is it possible?
Foley and Fraser (1998) suggest that romantic relationships that no longer fulfill the romantic needs of partners may undergo a transformation to friendship. To the extent that the resources exchanged continue to be of value to the former partners, the relationship is likely to be maintained in the form of a friendship. Hill, Rubin, and Peplau (1976) found that premarital partners were more likely to stay friends when the breakup was male initiated or mutual. Metts, Cupach, and Bejlovec (1989) found that being friends prior to initiation of a romantic relationship was a significant predictor of maintaining a friendship post breakup. In addition, people whose partners used a positive tone in expressing their desire to end the relationship were more likely to remain friends than those who used such withdrawal strategies as avoidance. Also, those who perceived their former partner as more desirable were more likely to remain friends post breakup (Banks et al., 1987).
Recently, Busboom and colleagues (2002) used social exchange theory framework to examine whether resources and barriers influence the quality of friendship with a former romantic partner. The findings of their study suggested that the more resources people receive from their former partners, the more likely they will be to experience a high quality friendship after breakup. In addition, one’s level of satisfaction with the resources received may also contribute to friendship quality. Lastly, there are several obstacles that can get in the way of a postdating friendship, such as lack of support from family and friends for a post-dating friendship, the participant’s involvement in a new romantic relationship, and the use of neglect as a strategy to end the relationship were all significant predictors of lower friendship quality.
Friends after divorce: one couple trades drama for decency
Busboom, A.L., Collins, D.M., Givertz, M.D., & Levin, L.A. (2002).Can we still be friends? Resources and barriers to friendship quality after romantic relationship dissolution. Personal Relationship, 9, 215-223.
Posted in Emotion and Motivation, Gender, Group/Intergroup Processes, Health, Personality
Tagged breakup, divorce, ending, ex, former partner, friend, friendship, initiate breakup, post-dating friendship, romantic relationship