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    Dr. Norcross' Research Cited Again in New Year

    January 5, 2021

    Research on how people succeed with their resolutions and behavior change by University of Scranton Distinguished Professor John C. Norcross, Ph.D. is often cited in the new year.  Here are some highlights from the news that quoted Dr. Norcross or cited his research recently.

    On Impact of Pandemic

    “Particularly in the United States, resolutions are invariably cast as an individually oriented deprivation task, and this may be exactly the worst time to put that onto yourself,” Washington Post

    On Scaling Back

    "Most of us are preoccupied with pandemic concerns," Norcross says. "We can't bring the same commitment, motivation, or prioritization to our resolutions as we could in other years. Think of it like trying to drive while distracted." - Newsweek

    On Nature's Power

    "We call it ‘vitamin N." - WebMD News 

    On Meeting Goals

    "Norcross says that contrary to public opinion, a considerable proportion of New Year resolvers do meet their goals. About 40% to 44% of people who set New Year’s resolutions will be successful at six months, he says." - Washington Times

    On Finding Support

    "There’s hundreds of studies in the health psychology literature suggesting in fact that social support does in fact make a difference," he says. - CBS Baltimore

    On Mulligans or Cheat Day 

    [Excerpt from CNN]

    Slipups happen. So factor them in. Rather than trying to meditate every day, your goal could be to meditate five out of seven days per week.

    That's one way to avoid what behavior change researchers call the Abstinence Violation Effect, in which you say "screw it" after missing a day of routine and let it slide even more. So use your slips as an opportunity to learn. 

    "Don't let a slip become a fall," said John Norcross, distinguished professor and chair of psychology at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania and author of the book "Changeology: 5 Steps to Realizing Your Goals and Resolutions." - CNN

    On Success

    (Excerpt from The Atlantic)

    The four habits associated with successful resolutions are mostly positive: practicing self-liberation (that is, strengthening willpower by reinforcing the belief that one can change); rewarding oneself for ongoing success; avoiding situations of temptation; and engaging in positive thinking (envisioning success). Resolution failure is associated with negative thinking, such as focusing on the harm from the old behavior; berating oneself for slipping up; wishing that the challenge didn’t exist in the first place; and minimizing the threat (denying the importance of the resolution). In sum, the key to success is positive motivation. The Atlantic

    On Timing

    “My resolutions will begin in June, when enough of the vaccines are out to get something done,’” he says. - Yahoo Life

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