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Habit versus choice: the process of decision-making in health-related behaviour.

Lindbladh, Eva LU and Lyttkens, Carl Hampus LU (2002) In Social Science and Medicine 55(3). p.451-465
Abstract
Social differences in the role of habits in health-related behaviour are explored within both sociology and economics, where we define habits as non-reflective, repetitive behaviour. The corresponding theoretical perspectives are the habitus theory, the theory of individualization, and habits as rational decision rules. Sixteen thematically structured interviews are analysed using qualitative methodology.



Three aspects of habits emerged from the narrative: the association between habits and preferences, habits as a source of utility, and the relationship between habits and norms. We find that people in lower social positions are more inclined to rely on their habits and are accordingly less likely to change their... (More)
Social differences in the role of habits in health-related behaviour are explored within both sociology and economics, where we define habits as non-reflective, repetitive behaviour. The corresponding theoretical perspectives are the habitus theory, the theory of individualization, and habits as rational decision rules. Sixteen thematically structured interviews are analysed using qualitative methodology.



Three aspects of habits emerged from the narrative: the association between habits and preferences, habits as a source of utility, and the relationship between habits and norms. We find that people in lower social positions are more inclined to rely on their habits and are accordingly less likely to change their behaviour. These differences are reinforced as not only the disposition to maintain habits but also the tendency to conceive of the habitual as something good seems to be strengthened in lower social positions.



We also note that the intensified individualization that characterizes current society erodes the basis for habit-governed behaviour, which may also contribute to social differences in well-being. Finally, we find that the scientific dialogue has enriched both scientific paradigms, and suggest as a tentative hypothesis that the traditional economic rational-actor model may be relatively less applicable to those with limited resources. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Habits, Attitude to Health, Choice Behavior, Decision Making, Female, Health Behavior, Health Promotion, Human, Interviews, Male, Middle Age, Socioeconomic Factors, Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Sweden
in
Social Science and Medicine
volume
55
issue
3
pages
451 - 465
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • pmid:12144152
  • wos:000176726300008
  • scopus:0036088725
ISSN
1873-5347
DOI
10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00180-0
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
793f6ea7-3a18-41d1-b3b3-f3fdd798a844 (old id 115044)
date added to LUP
2007-07-24 13:44:40
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:32:33
@article{793f6ea7-3a18-41d1-b3b3-f3fdd798a844,
  abstract     = {Social differences in the role of habits in health-related behaviour are explored within both sociology and economics, where we define habits as non-reflective, repetitive behaviour. The corresponding theoretical perspectives are the habitus theory, the theory of individualization, and habits as rational decision rules. Sixteen thematically structured interviews are analysed using qualitative methodology.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Three aspects of habits emerged from the narrative: the association between habits and preferences, habits as a source of utility, and the relationship between habits and norms. We find that people in lower social positions are more inclined to rely on their habits and are accordingly less likely to change their behaviour. These differences are reinforced as not only the disposition to maintain habits but also the tendency to conceive of the habitual as something good seems to be strengthened in lower social positions.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
We also note that the intensified individualization that characterizes current society erodes the basis for habit-governed behaviour, which may also contribute to social differences in well-being. Finally, we find that the scientific dialogue has enriched both scientific paradigms, and suggest as a tentative hypothesis that the traditional economic rational-actor model may be relatively less applicable to those with limited resources.},
  author       = {Lindbladh, Eva and Lyttkens, Carl Hampus},
  issn         = {1873-5347},
  keyword      = {Habits,Attitude to Health,Choice Behavior,Decision Making,Female,Health Behavior,Health Promotion,Human,Interviews,Male,Middle Age,Socioeconomic Factors,Support,Non-U.S. Gov't,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {451--465},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Social Science and Medicine},
  title        = {Habit versus choice: the process of decision-making in health-related behaviour.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00180-0},
  volume       = {55},
  year         = {2002},
}