Let's describe the psychology of behavior. Behavioral psychology is the study of the relationship between our minds and our conduct. You'll hear behavioral psychology often referred to as behaviorism. The psychologists and scientists researching behavioral psychology are seeking to understand why we are acting in the way we do and are concerned with identifying trends in our behaviors and behavior. The hope is that if we can use behavioral psychology to help us predict how human beings will behave, we can build better habits as individuals, create better products as businesses and develop better living spaces as communities.
Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon in the 1950s when his patients started to note a peculiar trend.
If Dr. Maltz was doing an operation — like a nose job, for example — he noticed it would take about 21 days for the patient to get used to seeing their new face. Moreover, when a patient had an amputated arm or leg, Maxwell Maltz found that the patient would feel a phantom limbBoth observations caused Maltz to think about his own transition to changes and new habits, and he found that it took about 21 days to develop a new habit, too. Maltz wrote about these observations and said, "These and many other frequently found phenomena seem to indicate that dissolving an old mental image, and jelling a new one, takes a minimum of about 21 days." And that's how society started promoting the popular misconception that a new habit (or 30 days, or some other magic number) would take 21 days to develop. How much such timelines are cited as statistical evidence is remarkable. Dangerous lesson: When enough people say enough times, then everyone else tends to believe.
By: Sushmita Kumari Jha
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