HabitAT Surrey: Introducing the Habit Application and Theory group

The School of Psychology would like to invite you to this seminar on Wednesday 23rd November 2022, 12:00-13:00

We are delighted to announce our speaker Dr Benjamin Gardner, CPsychol MBPSs – Reader in Psychology, School of Psychology,  University of Surrey


‘Often what we do is what we do often.’ Much of our everyday behaviour is done on ‘autopilot’, driven by learned context-behaviour associations that activate impulses for us to perform specific actions when we encounter situations with which we associate those actions. Understanding habit is vital to understanding human behaviour and how to change it over the long-term. This talk introduces the new Habit Application and Theory research group at Surrey (‘HabitAT Surrey’), based in the School of Psychology. The aim of the group is to foster and undertake research activities to develop understanding of the concept of ‘habit’ as it relates to real-world settings, and to use this knowledge to promote meaningful real-world behaviour change. This talk will outline some of the innovative research undertaken by HabitAT group members to date, including: how to define habit in a way consistent with theory and evidence; the distinction between ‘habitually deciding’ and ‘habitually doing’, and its implications for behaviour change and maintenance; and how to use a novel ‘script elicitation’ intervention technique to raise awareness of ‘bad habits’ and so empower people to make positive lifestyle changes. We are keen to collaborate with researchers across a range of disciplines who are interested in understanding or changing real-world behaviours.


Dr Benjamin Gardner, who joined Surrey in April 2022, is recognised internationally as an expert researcher, lecturer and public speaker in the psychology of habitual behaviour. Over his 15+ years of behavioural science research, he has published over 150 research papers and book chapters, mostly exploring how the concept of ‘habit’ can be drawn on to understand and change everyday human behaviours, with especial focus on health behaviours. He has given talks and hosted seminars and workshops with academic, practitioner, commercial and public audiences across the UK and Europe, and in Australia, Canada, Singapore, and USA. Dr Gardner is Director of the Habit Application and Theory research group at Surrey (‘HabitAT Surrey’), and co-Lead of the European Health Psychology Society Habit Special Interest Group. He has led funded research projects to develop novel habit-based interventions to reduce sedentary behaviour in office workers and older adults, and contributed habit and behaviour change expertise to funded work (e.g. MRC, NIHR) supporting health promotion among older adults, office workers, parents and children. He is Deputy Editor of British Journal of Health Psychology, and holds editorial board positions at Health Psychology Review, International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, and Social Science & Medicine.


We invite you to attend this seminar in person in 35 AC 04.

No registration required.   

A buffet lunch will be provided after the seminar in the staff common room.