Wendy Wood on How to Make Positive Changes that Stick

May 20, 2020

“What science has shown is that people who score high on self-control scales actually know how to form habits and they have automated the experience so that they don’t need to rely on self-control.” — Wendy Wood

Today it’s great to have social psychologist Wendy Wood on the podcast. Wendy is Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California. She has written for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, and her work has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Time magazine, and USA Today, and on NPR. She lectures widely and recently launched the website Good Habits Bad Habits to convey scientific insight on habit to the general public. Her latest book is called Good Habits, Bad habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick.

Time Stamps

[0:37] Wendy Wood’s background

[2:07] Understanding habits

[3:05] Common misconceptions regarding habits

[3:57] Integrating habits with conscious decision

[6:25] Defining a bad habit

[8:21] How good habits bring out the best version of a person

[13:02] “Habit stacking” and friction

[16:57] Qualities of a self-controlled person

[18:58] Wendy shares about ego depletion

[20:23] “White knuckling” through temptation as a counterproductive quality

[24:16] Habit system working like codes

[25:57] On how long it takes to change habits

[30:47] Changing habits using friction

[35:51] Habit vs. addiction

[37:08] Uber’s surge pricing as an example of friction

[38:51] How humans and animals learn and form habits

[40:14] The difference between a habit and a personality trait

[42:31] Gender differences in social behavior

[46:01] The impact of culture on gender differences

Call to Action

What are the habits that make you successful in life? Please share your experiences with us in the comments section down below and make sure to subscribe for more content.

One Response to “Wendy Wood on How to Make Positive Changes that Stick”

  1. Knightmt says:

    Will you consider talking to Daniel Nettle a psychology lecturer from Newcastle Universty UK. His books are great and his interpretation on personality and the big 5 seems quite objective. Thanks

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