30 September 2009

Time taken to form a habit

Sweet little study by Philippa Lally, reported at PsyBlog, on the length of time it takes to form a habit. Common wisdom is that it's around 21 days (apparently this is the length of time amputees have been reported to get used to loss of a limb, according to one published surgeion). In fact habit formation can take far longer: ranging from 21 days for simple habits such as drinking a glass of water to become automatic, to up to 254 days for more demanding habits, such as doing 50 sit ups before breakfast; with a mean of 66 days. Length of time varies according to individuals, of course. Technology habits probably have a very short trajectory to automaticity, too.

[via Mindhacks]

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