Hale and Hearty Policies: How Psychological Science Can Create and Maintain Healthy Habits

Alexander J. Rothman, Peter M. Gollwitzer, Adam M. Grant, David T. Neal, Paschal Sheeran, Wendy Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Strategies are needed to ensure that the U.S. Government meets its goals for improving the health of the nation (e.g., Healthy People 2020). To date, progress toward these goals has been undermined by a set of discernible challenges: People lack sufficient motivation, they frequently fail to translate healthy intentions into action, their efforts are undermined by the persistence of prior unhealthy habits, and they have considerable difficulty maintaining new healthy patterns of behavior. Guided by advances in psychological science, we provide innovative, evidence-based policies that address each of these challenges and, if implemented, will enhance people’s ability to create and maintain healthy behavioral practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-705
Number of pages5
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Wendy Wood’s research on habits is currently supported by a grant from the Templeton Foundation: The Neuropsychology of Developing Good Habits (#52316), Wendy Wood PI, John Monterosso co-PI.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s) 2015.


  • habits
  • health behavior
  • intention
  • maintenance
  • policy


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