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      Towards parsimony in habit measurement: Testing the convergent and predictive validity of an automaticity subscale of the Self-Report Habit Index

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          Abstract

          Background

          The twelve-item Self-Report Habit Index (SRHI) is the most popular measure of energy-balance related habits. This measure characterises habit by automatic activation, behavioural frequency, and relevance to self-identity. Previous empirical research suggests that the SRHI may be abbreviated with no losses in reliability or predictive utility. Drawing on recent theorising suggesting that automaticity is the ‘active ingredient’ of habit-behaviour relationships, we tested whether an automaticity-specific SRHI subscale could capture habit-based behaviour patterns in self-report data.

          Methods

          A content validity task was undertaken to identify a subset of automaticity indicators within the SRHI. The reliability, convergent validity and predictive validity of the automaticity item subset was subsequently tested in secondary analyses of all previous SRHI applications, identified via systematic review, and in primary analyses of four raw datasets relating to energy‐balance relevant behaviours (inactive travel, active travel, snacking, and alcohol consumption).

          Results

          A four-item automaticity subscale (the ‘Self-Report Behavioural Automaticity Index’; ‘SRBAI’) was found to be reliable and sensitive to two hypothesised effects of habit on behaviour: a habit-behaviour correlation, and a moderating effect of habit on the intention-behaviour relationship.

          Conclusion

          The SRBAI offers a parsimonious measure that adequately captures habitual behaviour patterns. The SRBAI may be of particular utility in predicting future behaviour and in studies tracking habit formation or disruption.

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          Most cited references 66

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          A power primer.

           Jacob Cohen (1992)
          One possible reason for the continued neglect of statistical power analysis in research in the behavioral sciences is the inaccessibility of or difficulty with the standard material. A convenient, although not comprehensive, presentation of required sample sizes is provided here. Effect-size indexes and conventional values for these are given for operationally defined small, medium, and large effects. The sample sizes necessary for .80 power to detect effects at these levels are tabled for eight standard statistical tests: (a) the difference between independent means, (b) the significance of a product-moment correlation, (c) the difference between independent rs, (d) the sign test, (e) the difference between independent proportions, (f) chi-square tests for goodness of fit and contingency tables, (g) one-way analysis of variance, and (h) the significance of a multiple or multiple partial correlation.
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            Reflections on Past Behavior: A Self-Report Index of Habit Strength1

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              How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act
                The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
                BioMed Central
                1479-5868
                2012
                30 August 2012
                : 9
                : 102
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Health Behaviour Research Centre, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
                [2 ]Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, University of Exeter, St. Luke’s Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
                [3 ]Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam, Kloveniersburgwal 48, 1012 CX, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                Article
                1479-5868-9-102
                10.1186/1479-5868-9-102
                3552971
                22935297
                Copyright ©2012 Gardner et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Methodology

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