Breaking Down The Science Of Behavior

If you’re a parent, teacher, coach or healthcare professional – managing care in the doctor’s office, hospital or for an insurer – you are in the business, like it or not, of changing behavior. Maybe it’s your own behavior, maybe that of a colleague, or that of students, patients or physicians. Maybe all of these. Regardless, behavior change is complicated and probably more art than science and so I thought I’d share this interesting piece about influencing and changing behavior change that seems relevant to all of us on some level. In it, psychologists reference an old study from post Vietnam days in which a researcher showed how soldiers addicted to Heroin during the war were unlikely to relapse after returning home. The study found that changing people’s attitudes and behaviors could work, but only for a certain subset of behaviors that they did not perform frequently. Though the piece focuses largely on changing “bad attitudes” or behaviors I suppose there’s some inherent broader value here.

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