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Underestimating Habits: Explanations of Habitual Behaviour in the Adult Population

Tang, Sarah (2023) Underestimating Habits: Explanations of Habitual Behaviour in the Adult Population. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Much of human behaviour is shaped by habits. Nevertheless, people may underestimate the role of habit and claim explanations of behaviour that hold a sense of self-agency in favour of internal states such as fatigue. In a snapshot study of adults' daily coffee consumption habits, we explored this misattribution hypothesis. The findings uncovered inconsistencies between actual and attributed behavioural influences: Participants’ attributions for their behaviour placed more emphasis on internal state, but habit strength performed better than internal state in predicting behaviour. Despite being encouraged for accuracy, participants continued to underestimate the role of habit. The current research provides a discussion on how this pattern of attribution may lead to adverse influences on the ability to effectively self-regulate.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Cullen, Brendan
Uncontrolled Keywords: attribution; habits; automaticity; cognitive bias; lay beliefs
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry > Neurology. Diseases of the Nervous System. > Psychiatry > Psychopathology > Personality Disorders. Behaviour Problems. > Substance abuse > Caffeine habit
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Tamara Malone
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2023 14:23
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2023 14:23

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