Chapter in The Psychology of Habit

The Psychology of Habit was edited by Prof. Verplanken and was recently published by Springer. Sanne contributed a chapter on the role of habits in maladaptive behaviour and in therapeutic interventions, focusing specifically on the use of implementation intentions to break unwanted habits and form new, more desirable habits.

From the publisher’s site: This unique reference explores the processes and nuances of human habits through social psychology and behavioral lenses. It provides a robust definition and theoretical framework for habit as well as up-to-date information on habit measurement, addressing such questions as which mechanisms are involved in habitual action and whether people can report accurately on their own habits. Specialized chapters pay close attention to how habits can be modified, as well as widely varying manifestations of habitual thoughts and behaviors, including the mechanisms of drug addiction and recovery, the repetitive characteristics of autism, and the unwitting habits of health professionals that may impede patient care. And across these pages, contributors show the potential for using the processes of maladaptive habits to replace them with positive and health-promoting ones. Throughout this volume attention is also paid to the practice of conducting habit research.

For more information, visit the Springer site

Reference: Verhoeven, A.A.C. & de Wit, S. (2018). The role of habits in maladaptive behaviour and therapeutic interventions. In Verplanken, B. (Ed.), The psychology of habit: Theory, mechanisms, change, and contexts. Cham: Springer

Chapter in ‘Understanding goal-directed decision making: computations and neural circuits‘

In this recently published book by Elsevier (Editors: Morris, Bornstein, & Shenhav), Sanne de Wit contributed a chapter on habits and goal-directed action control in disorders of compulsivity, including substance abuse and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

From the publisher’s site: Goal-Directed Decision Making: Computations and Neural Circuits examines the role of goal-directed choice. It begins with an examination of the computations performed by associated circuits, but then moves on to in-depth examinations on how goal-directed learning interacts with other forms of choice and response selection. This is the only book that embraces the multidisciplinary nature of this area of decision-making, integrating our knowledge of goal-directed decision-making from basic, computational, clinical, and ethology research into a single resource that is invaluable for neuroscientists, psychologists and computer scientists alike.

For more information, visit the Elsevier site

Reference: de Wit (2018). Goal-Directed Action in Disorders of Compulsivity. In Morris, Bornstein, & Shenhav (Eds), Understanding Goal-Directed Decision Making: Computations and Neural Circuits. Elsevier

New paper in press: an fMRI investigation of the conflict between goal-directed and habitual control

“Conflicted between goal-directed and habitual control – an fMRI investigation” by Poppy Watson, Guido van Wingen, and Sanne de Wit will soon appear in eNeuro.

In this functional MRI study we investigated the neural basis of performance on the slips-of-action paradigm -a task that has been used in previous studies to assess the balance between goal-directed and habitual control.

Meer dan 100 vwo-leerlingen op bezoek bij de FMG

Meer dan 100 vwo-leerlingen van het Berlage Lyceum bezochten woensdag 13 juni de FMG. Zij volgden een multidisciplinair FMG-college over junkfood; ook kregen zij profielwerkstukbegeleiding aangeboden. Dit alles gebeurde in het kader van het outreach-project dat de bekendheid van en het enthousiasme voor maatschappij- en gedragswetenschappen onder vwo-scholieren moet vergroten.
De 4-vwo-scholieren bezochten interactieve presentaties van studenten Denise van de Wetering (Communicatiewetenschap) en Emiel Schoneveld (Universitaire Pabo van Amsterdam) en docent Sanne de Wit (Psychologie) over het thema junkfood. Zo was er onder meer aandacht voor de beïnvloeding van eetgedrag door social media influencers en de manier waarop ongezond eetgedrag is vastgelegd in onze hersenen. Ook werd belicht hoe leerkrachten junkfood kunnen behandelen in de klas, bijvoorbeeld door te onderzoeken waar ingrediënten vandaan komen en het bespreken van de invloed van reclames.

Profielwerkstukbegeleiding voor 5 vwo’ers
Ondertussen kregen de 5-vwo-scholieren een profielwerkstukbegeleiding van Marijke Metz, onderzoeker en docent Pedagogische en Onderwijswetenschappen, om de leerlingen alvast op gang te helpen bij het schrijven van hun profielwerkstuk in het zesde jaar.

Evaluatie van de pilot
Het outreach-project, waarvan de pilot in april startte, is een initiatief van de domeinen Psychologie, Pedagogische en Onderwijswetenschappen, Sociale Wetenschappen en Communicatiewetenschap en het Faculteitsbureau. In april werd de pilot afgetrapt met een thematische sessie over sociale media. De eerste sessies worden op dit moment geëvalueerd, om te beslissen hoe het outreach-project in september kan worden vervolgd.

Gepubliceerd door Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen

Paula Ibáñez de Aldecoa is visiting us from the University of Vienna

Paula Ibáñez de Aldecoa is visiting us from the University of Vienna for research into mental fixation and automaticity, as part of her PhD Project under supervisión of Dr. Sabine Tebbich.

After obtaining a BSc degree in Biology (2010) and a MSc degree in Neuroscience (2016) at the Autonomous University of Madrid, I started my PhD at the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna under supervision of Dr. Sabine Tebbich, where I am working on the mechanisms, components and promoters of innovation in humans and animals. Currently I am visiting the Habit Lab during three months as part of a research project on the relationship of habit proneness and mental fixation on innovativeness and problem solving skills in young human adults, in collaboration with Dr. Sanne de Wit and her team at the University of Amsterdam.

New theoretical article on an associative (outcome-response) account of instrumental behaviour

In this theoretical article, Poppy Watson, Reinout Wiers, Bernhard Hommel and Sanne de Wit review investigations of the role of outcome-response associations in goal-directed actions and habits.

Read the article here!

Watson, P., Wiers, R.W., Hommel, B., & de Wit, S. (2018). Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

New publication on individual differences in habitual performance in experimental and real-life settings

The authors investigated whether people differ in their propensity to form habits, by relating individual differences on a computer task measuring habitual behavior to habit formation tendencies in real life. Habit formation in real life was measured by covering the key to the participant’s home with a new cover. This cover was later switched to a different key and changes in the key-selection process were measured. Participants that performed better on the computer task also seemed to require less attention to adjust to the switching key situation.

Read the article here!

Linnebank, F.E., Kindt, M. & de Wit, S. (2018). Investigating the balance between goal-directed and habitual control in experimental and real-life settings. Learning & Behavior.