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Habit Formation Dynamics: Finding Factors Associated with Building Strong Mindfulness Habits

Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS,volume 1421)

Abstract

Mindfulness is widely recognized as an effective technique for managing mental and physical health. However, a significant challenge remains when attempting to transform its practice into a habit. To understand the individual characteristics and contexts that correlate with habit formation experiences, we conducted a six-week observational study involving 62 participants who planned to adopt a new mindful breathing habit. Overall, 47.4% (N = 1,234) of daily surveys were completed and 41 participants completed the post-study survey. Using a growth curve modeling framework, we confirm the presence of significant overall change in habit automaticity across participants in the first 21 days of habit practice. Furthermore, we identify four factors that are significantly correlated with the gradient of participant habit formation trajectories: how committed a participant is to building the habit before starting the practice period, their prior mindfulness experience, and two dimensions of personality – agreeableness and emotional stability.

Keywords

  • Habit formation
  • Health behavior change
  • Well-being
  • Mindfulness
  • Growth curve modeling
  • Observational study

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Fig. 1.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Behavioral frequency and identity also relate to the notion of habit strength. However, we do not assess these concepts given: i) our study introduces bias on behavioral frequency by asking participants to practice the habit daily, and ii) related work cites disagreements in using identity as a measure of habit strength [11, 19].

  2. 2.

    We use the maximum likelihood (ML) estimation algorithm in R’s nlme package [14].

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Lewis, R., Liu, Y., Groh, M., Picard, R. (2021). Habit Formation Dynamics: Finding Factors Associated with Building Strong Mindfulness Habits. In: Stephanidis, C., Antona, M., Ntoa, S. (eds) HCI International 2021 - Posters. HCII 2021. Communications in Computer and Information Science, vol 1421. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78645-8_44

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-78645-8_44

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