Have you ever heard of'Miracle



which is popular among people in their 20s and 30s


They wake up early in the morning to meditate, or to have their own time for their goals, such as reading, exercising, or studying a foreign language.

It is said that it is part of an effort to take the time to take the lead in difficult times, as the existing daily life is cut off by Corona 19.

Like this'Miracle Morning', I was




one of

the ways to create a new everyday life


Looking for a mask when going outside, washing your hands first when you go out, etc. are our new habits that have been taken for granted by both children and adults during the Corona 19 era.

So, how are habits created?

On the 10th of last month, the SBS Future Team


Wendy Wood, the author of Habit (Habit), and Professor Wendy Wood of the Department of Psychology and Business Administration at the University of Southern California


Prof. Wendy Wood is a scientist who has observed and explored human behavior the most among existing psychologists, and is the first expert to analyze the'formation principle' and'how it works' of habits by combining brain science and psychology.

In particular, he was recognized as the highest authority on habit research by world-renowned psychologists such as Adam Grant, author of'The Originals' and Angela Dirkworth, author of'Grit', so I really wanted to meet him.

After hearing the news that Lee Chae-ho, a professor in the Department of Business Administration at Dongguk University, was a student and fellow researcher, he proposed a joint interview.

Q. Thank you for working together.

First of all, before the official interview, there is a Korean proverb saying,'I'm going to be eighty-eight at the age of three'.

As an expert on'habit', how do you view the proverb?

When a habit is perceived as a habit in the brain, it is true that it persists.

However, it is not easy to prove that the 3-year-old habit goes to eighty because the nervous system of our brain is still less mature.


, in our late teens, especially around the ages of 18 and 19, our brain's nervous system enters a sufficiently mature stage, so the habits created at that time are likely to last a lifetime.

Q. Could you tell us a little about what the habit studies revealed?

My interest in'habits' began when I became interested in how certain behavioral changes could last.

We usually do something first to make a certain change in behavior.

However, it often turns into a sea bream when viewed weeks or months later.

It is very difficult to keep the change going.

So what I'm interested in is "Why is it so hard?"

Research has shown

that when you repeat certain actions and are rewarded for those actions, habit memory is formed in the brain


If you continue a particular action in a situation and are rewarded in some way, that is, when you feel that the action is more beneficial to you, your brain's habit-memory system connects that context to the action and automatically the next time a similar situation comes. That's how it reacts.

In a very simple way, decisions such as brushing your teeth as soon as you wake up in the morning, fastening your seat belt when you get in the car, what food to eat in your daily life, when to eat it, whether to walk when you go out, or whether to ride a car, etc. These are behaviors that are not driven by habits.

Q. In the book, it was impressive that the area of ​​will that you think'I need to change' in relation to the'habit' and the area of'persistence' that actually keeps changing constantly are stimulated by other areas of the brain.

Habits are usually formed in a different domain than the motive, desire, or will in which we decide.

It's easy to think that the brain is made up of an integrated system, but in fact it has formed in fits and starts over the course of evolution.

Although the parts of the brain that are related to habits are also connected within the brain's nervous system, they are located in different parts of the destination-oriented will area where we consciously think.

Habit is also the way mammals, like dogs and whales, usually learn something.

Habits are not the result of effort accompanied by conscious thinking.

* Figures quoted: David Neal, Jelena Vujcic ,, Orlando Hernandez, Wendy Wood, <The Science of Habit- CREATING DISRUPTIVE AND STICKY BEHAVIOR CHANGE IN HANDWASHING BEHAVIOR>, October 2015, Catalyst Behavioral Science-USAID

So good, we have a collective intelligence Finding a strategy and finding a solution to a problem doesn't make a difference just by knowing it.

Habits are achieved through repetition and training,

only with the willingness to "


it", or

It is not formed only by a change in perception of "yes".

This is where many people are mistaken.

Sometimes one action may bring about change through individual will or effort, but

continuous change is not made by will.

Q. Then,'Why am I so weak in willpower?'

Are you saying you don't have to be stressed?

Yes, it means that stress doesn't help you change your habits.

Habits are not acquired by enduring unbearable pain.

In the short term, you may be able to control your actions one or two times by your will, but if you don't engrave them as habit memories, your previous habit memories are much more powerful and don't easily lead to change.

Because habit memory lasts a lifetime.

That's why change doesn't come from just "I'll make it" or "I won't do that anymore."

Q. So, what do you need to do to make a real difference?

It takes repetitive training to build new habits.

In doing so, your brain's nervous system connects your habits with context for the new situation.

And when you connect like that, you'll behave in a different way without being aware of it.

But to change your habits like that, the

cues you see in a particular context

must change so that your

behavior can change.

It means that the'environment' must change so that the situation can change.

For example, the'no smoking policy' can be a good example.

A century ago, 50% of the people in the United States smoked.

Then I found out that smoking causes lung cancer and is harmful to my health.

However, not many people quit smoking just because it was known.

New knowledge does not change behavior.

Then, this time, the government put in place a policy that prohibits cigarettes from being displayed in stores and smoking in public places.

I also banned cigarette advertising.

All of those measures can be seen as policies to change the queue for smoking.

It makes smoking a lot harder.



it'adding friction'


It made it more burdensome to buy cigarettes by paying more taxes.

Then, the smoking population is now down to 15%.

Q. I understand that if you want to change your habits, you are emphasizing rewards other than changing the situation.

Could you tell me a little more about the reward?

Yes, when I said,'I'm not smoking, I'm going to exercise' to stay healthy, if the compensation for doing so gives me a discount on my health insurance premium, that wouldn't be enough motivation for me to want to change my habits.

It's too far a reward.

In order to become a new habit, the reward must come immediately.

Even with rewards such as'If I exercise 3 times a week, I can buy what I want on the weekend', exercise is not enough to become a habit.

At the very time you're exercising, you have to find a way to be fun to lead to a habit.

In any case, it is only in the way that the benefit is added immediately, so that we unconsciously choose it.

In the case of me, that's why

I watch my favorite TV dramas while exercising, or listen to podcasts that I wanted to listen to, but I didn't have time.

If that happens, watching and listening to TV dramas or podcasts becomes an immediate and great pleasure that I can't do without this time, so it becomes a reward for continuing exercise and can lead to new habits


In the case of a child who does not want

to do homework, it may be important how to make him or her like the subject or how proud it is

to do the homework

. For example

, while doing homework with certain music that is not allowed at other times. It is

effective to find a way to add more enjoyment at the point where you do your homework, such as

letting you listen to or allowing you to sit at the desk of a dad or mom who does not normally allow you to do

homework. is.

A method like'I will give you pocket money when I finish my homework' is not so effective.

Since the reward is not given at the moment, it does not guarantee continuity. 

Q. In the book'Habit', the professor mentions that too many countries and government agencies are transferring social issues to the individual's'responsibility', leaning on the individual's diligence and will.

How can we achieve the'socialization of the good habits' by expanding this discussion to the public?

The'smoking-smoking policy' mentioned earlier can be a good example.

The use of'nudge' as a way to make choices more beneficial to society can be a good example.

A good example of nudges is the case of organ donation, in which the organ donation option is an opt-out method, that is, if you do not want to donate, you must go and say, "I will not donate," and you must admit that you refused to donate. The number of cases of organ functioning varies significantly depending on whether you will be donated in the way you do it, opt-in, or only if the donor goes and actively says "I will donate the organ".

Especially for those who don't worry too much about organ donation, it is very important how the conditions of choice are formulated in that they are usually more likely to follow the way most do.

From this point of view, it may be more important to find out what kind of institutional maintenance and social consensus are in reality for many of the issues that were thought to be personal issues.

 *'Nudge' refers to a small situation around us that attracts and influences our attention.

For example, when you buy a book, you think that the color or design of the book may be nudged and lead to purchase.

This term was first proposed in 2008 by Professors Richard Tyler and Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago, who received the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Both'nudge' and'habit' are concepts that are interested in getting them to behave in certain ways.

Professor Wendy Wood said that the biggest difference between habit and nudge is that'nudge' affects one-shot decisions, and'habit' is related to long-term and continuous change, and how it reacts to the surrounding environment, not the will. Explain that nudges and habits are different in that it is a problem.  

There is also

the concept

of'socialization of the good habits'


People are usually influenced by neighbors or people around them in their area.

For example, when experiencing Corona 19 and thinking that I want to live a more eco-friendly life in the future, the case that the neighborhood already has a recycling separation and collection system is more eco-friendly than when an individual tries to recycle it alone. You are more likely to live life

In fact, the daily life of an individual is bound to be influenced by what kind of system the community creates.

Therefore, in order to socialize good habits, it is necessary to pay attention to what system the community, community, and local governments are envisioning for the health and happiness of individuals.  

 *An experiment conducted by Volkswagen in Sweden in 2009 can be a good example of'socializing good habits'.

As a result of replacing the subway stairs with the sound of the piano keys, 66% more people than usual used the stairs than the escalator.

(Click here to view the video!-->The Fun Theory 1-Piano Staircase Initiative- Volkswagen)

 Q. So, what would you advise policy makers such as municipalities?

One way to get people to eat healthier food is to put something like calories next to food on a restaurant menu,

and checking the calories in the food you eat doesn't mean people eat less.

It is more likely to eat just the way you used to.

You can't make a difference that way.

What policy makers need to care about is getting people to try different experiences.

It is to provide a first-hand experience that is beneficial for individuals but also for society, and is easy and rewarding.

When policies are considered from that point of view, they can lead to effective policies.

If you do that, over time, people will try it out once in a while and ask,'Is that way better than I thought?'

As the number of people who sympathize with them gradually increases, and they try new ways over and over again, socialization of good habits becomes possible.  

At the end of the interview, I


Professor Wendy Wood

if he knew

about'Miracle Morning'


The professor doesn't know much about'Miracle Morning', but it's always good to have time to look back and reflect on your goals over and over again, whether in the morning or at other specific times 


He answered that it

could lead to


However, it is advised that if you continue to be a habit if you continue for 21 days, if you are suffering from the argument that it becomes a habit if you continue for 30 days, or if you are blaming yourself for failing to practice it, you will never become a habit in such a way. I did.

Habits aren't stressed and struggling, but when

you change the environment to

become a different situation

, combine it with your favorite, and repeat it

, it is said that your body reacts automatically as it is finally engraved in your memory.

  In the era of corona, what new habits are you making?

  Next week, we will tell you about the secrets of habits that we did not know about, the second episode of'The Secret of Habits', which I heard from Professor Chae-ho Lee, a student of Professor Wendy Wood and a fellow researcher at Dongguk University.  

 ***The report files of the SBS Press Headquarters Future Team are prepared all year round by SBS's Future Team members, centered on SBS's representative social contribution knowledge sharing platform called <SBS D Forum>.

It is based on the newsletter <SDF Diary>, a newsletter that provides insight into topics that should be of interest to our society and conveys meaningful new perspectives and attempts from various angles.

If you want to see the contents of the SBS Future Team's coverage file before others, please subscribe to the SBS Diary.


 Subscribe to SDF Diary