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The Making of a Habit: The Moderating Role of Construal Level on the Development of Automaticity

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dc.contributor.advisor Freitas, Antonio en_US
dc.contributor.author Sweeney, Allison Marie en_US
dc.contributor.other Department of Social/Health Psychology en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2017-09-20T16:51:12Z
dc.date.available 2017-09-20T16:51:12Z
dc.date.issued 2016-12-01 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11401/76798 en_US
dc.description 68 pg. en_US
dc.description.abstract Through practice, erratic behaviors become consistent. Numerous daily actions, including health-related behaviors such as exercise, are guided by habits that function automatically. However, considerable variability exists in the time it takes for a new behavior to become consistent and automatic. To date, little research has examined why the speed of habit formation varies across individuals and situations. I tested whether focusing on the concrete procedures of action (concrete thinking) facilitates the development of behavioral consistency and automaticity more so than focusing on the abstract purpose of action (abstract thinking). In Experiment 1, I examined whether concrete vs. abstract thinking influences consistency of exercise behavior across a two-week period, and whether goal-related affect explains why differences in exercise consistency emerge. In Experiment 2, I aimed to replicate the findings from Experiment 1 and to test whether concrete vs. abstract thinking leads people to develop a greater increase in subjective experiences of exercise automaticity across a two-week period. Experiment 3 examined whether concrete relative to abstract thinking promotes consistency and automaticity in repeated judgments that are executed increasingly rapidly across time. Although Experiment 1 provided initial support for the hypotheses, Experiments 2 and 3 did not. The present experiments suggest that concrete vs. abstract thinking does not moderate the speed at which repeated behaviors become automatic. Although numerous studies suggest that abstract and concrete thinking impact immediate acts of self-regulation, the present experiments suggest that changes in automaticity do not appear to be the mechanism through which mental construal promotes effective self-regulation. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work is sponsored by the Stony Brook University Graduate School in compliance with the requirements for completion of degree. en_US
dc.format Monograph en_US
dc.format.medium Electronic Resource en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY. en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Psychology en_US
dc.subject.other affect, automaticity, construal level, goals, motivation en_US
dc.title The Making of a Habit: The Moderating Role of Construal Level on the Development of Automaticity en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US
dc.mimetype Application/PDF en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Moyer, Anne en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Lerner, Matthew en_US
dc.contributor.committeemember Buhrau, Denise. en_US


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