Guest blog by Professor Paul Dolan, Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics
Evidence shows that small changes in behaviour can lead to significant changes in wellbeing. However, even with the best intentions, altering your habits can be challenging. One great example of this is that many people say they want to drink less, but very few actually do.
This is why I’m excited to introduce a fantastic new tool that allows people to take control of their drinking habits. Attention Training, featured on BBC’s ‘Lose Weight for Love’, is a simple and effective online tool that is proven to reduce levels of alcohol consumption.
The facts around drinking alcohol are stark: it’s one of the five most addictive substances on earth. It’s the cause of over 3 million deaths a year worldwide and it is a factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions*. But often facts like this are not enough to change behaviour for those that want to.
Attention Training has been developed by an international team of researchers and digital specialists who are dedicated to providing solutions for encouraging happier life-styles. It applies a technique called cognitive bias modification, which is effectively a simple way to redirect your attention away from alcoholic beverages and towards healthier alternatives. Many people who drink a lot of alcohol find that they have a natural tendency to be drawn towards alcoholic beverages. This is known as a cognitive bias. The Attention Training tasks seek to reverse this natural tendency by asking people to push images of alcoholic beverages away from them and pull images of healthier beverages towards them. The result is a reallocation of attention, making it easier for people to resist the temptation of alcohol in the future.
All it takes is 4 simple 5-minute training sessions. That’s 20 minutes out of your week to take back control of your drinking habits.
Give it a try. It’s free, confidential and your results will help researchers like me continue to create solutions that make a positive difference.
Start your training session now.
About Paul Dolan
Professor Paul Dolan is an internationally renowned expert on happiness, behaviour and public policy, and author of best-selling book Happiness by Design. He’s worked with Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman at Princeton University, and regularly advises leading companies on behavioural science. He’s also worked for the UK Cabinet Office, and the Office for National Statistics.
* Worldwide, 3.3 million deaths every year result from harmful use of alcohol, this represent 5.9 % of all deaths. The harmful use of alcohol is a causal factor in more than 200 disease and injury conditions. (World Health Organization)
Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse (Nutt et al, 2007)