Most people have the best intentions to exercise regularly, eat right and finish work or a home project on time. But gym memberships or home exercise machines often don’t work and we enjoy too many donuts, burgers and french fries. A new study in the magazine Nature, however gives some hope of motivating people. Looking at more than 60,000 participants, the researchers found that paying people – just pennies – for training proved to be a strong incentive.

At this hour we are talking to one of the leading authors, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Katie Milkman, about research findings and about how lessons can be applied to our own lives, so we make habits that stick. Milkman is an expert on behavior change and the author of a recent book, How to change: The science of getting from where you are, to where you want to be.

Guest

Katie Milkman, Professor of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Fellow of The Behavior Change for Good Initiative. She is the author How to change: The science of getting from where you are, to where you want to be. @Katy_Milkman Podcast: Electoral Studies

Recommended reading

Nature, Megastudies improve the impact of applied behavioral science

NBC, The study reveals the secrets of developing a habit of regular exercise – “The best program paid people 22 cents for going to the gym. If they missed one day, they were getting an extra 9 cents before their next visit if they missed just one. ”

CNN, How to create a habit in 5 steps “Having a bite size task makes it less scary to get started and easier to see your progress.”

Washington Post, These are text messages that make people take vaccines – “Why do reminders with text messages with phrases like“ reserved for you ”and“ wait ”work so well? This may be because this language makes patients feel as if the vaccine belongs to them and they may not want to miss “their” dose.

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