Saturday, January 9, 2010

You Are What You Eat

My latest Science of Willpower column is up on Psychology Today:

"My apologies to any PhD students reading this blog. I recently stumbled upon two studies that suggest you can get college students to abandon an unhealthy behavior if you can convince them it's what graduate students do. Apparently grad students are so uncool, college students do not want to be identified with their habits. Even when those habits include junk food and binge drinking, two mainstays of undergraduate life for many.

The studies, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, provide insight into potential strategies for public health. They also reveal how our desire to shape our self-image, and how others perceive us, lead us to make healthy or unhealthy choices."

Read the full Psychology Today post here.

On a side note, one of the studies was conducted at Stanford University, using dorm flyers warning undergrads they might be mistaken for a "sketchy grad student" if they drank too much. Having been a grad student at Stanford back in the day, I found this enormously funny. As much as the pressures to finish your dissertation might drive you to drink, I personally never met a sketchy grad student who crashed the undergrad parties. But whatever it takes to keep those undergraduates sober (enough)!

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