Interesting interview with Charles Duhigg – author of new book “The Power of Habit” and NYT columnist.
He provides a very useful framework for researchers to better understand habits (and therefore a large part of behaviour). He says habits are split into three phases – the cue, the behaviour and the reward, here’s his decription:
“The cue is a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. Then there is the routine – the behavior itself – which can be physical or mental or emotional. Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular habit is worth remembering for the future. Over time, this loop — cue, routine, reward; cue, routine, reward — becomes more automatic as the cue and reward become neurologically intertwined.”
Having this framework in mind during ethnography projects will help us to be more systematic with our moderation requests to fully understand people’s habitual behaviours. It may also give us hints that allow clients to change existing habits (i.e. insert their brand in them) or create new ones.