To curb the trend towards obesity and unhealthy living, people may need to change their entire lifestyle to a healthier alternative, something that is frequently perceived to be problematic. The present research, using a large, representative community sample, hypothesized and found that a key factor responsible for why people do not intend to change lifestyles is a sense of commitment to past behavior. However we also found that the contribution of commitment was attenuated for individuals with a stronger tendency for behavioral disinhibition thus underscoring the “bright side” of this individual difference characteristic that traditionally has been mainly associated with impulsive and indulging behavior. Overall, the present findings add to our understanding of factors inhibiting and promoting healthy behavior change.
Fennis, Bob M., Tor W. Andreassen and Line Lervik-Olsen. 2015. “Behavioral disinhibition can foster intentions to healthy lifestyle change by overcoming commitment to past behavior.” PLoS ONE, 10(11):e0142489