Dr. Wendy Wood is Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California, where she teaches classes on behavior change. Given her research over the past 30 years, she is widely considered the world scientific expert on habit formation and change. She has published over 100 articles, and her research has been supported by Proctor & Gamble, National Science Foundation, the Templeton Foundation, and the Radcliffe Institute. She has a forthcoming book with Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Good Habits, Bad Habits.
Dr. Wood is a popular speaker at scientific conferences and with a broad range of professional groups. In 2018, she gave the inaugural address in Paris for the Sorbonne-INSEAD Distinguished Chair in Behavioral Science. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, on radio shows like Freakanomics, and in podcasts like the People’s Pharmacy.Download Bio
Good Habits, Bad HabitsThe Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A potent mix of neuroscience, case studies, and experiments conducted in her lab, Good Habits, Bad Habits is a comprehensive, accessible, and above all deeply practical book that will change the way you think about almost every aspect of your life.
Transit Habits: Changing the Way We Get Around Drawing on her book, Good Habits, Bad Habits, Wendy offers a science-based analysis of how to get people out of their cars and using active transit.
New Products: It's Not What Consumers Think, It's What They Do A clear, science-based framework for understanding when consumers will embrace—or reject—new products and services.
Benefits of Life TransitionsWendy draws on her book, Good Habits, Bad Habits, to offer an inspiring take on how to turn life disruptions to your advantage.
Self-Control ChallengesLearn science-based strategies for changing behavior and making it stick.
Publishers Weekly included Good Habits, Bad Habits as one of the top 10 lifestyle books in their Fall 2019 announcements and gave the book a starred review in their 7/15 issue, calling Good Habits, Bad Habits “an enlightening debut.”
Read Dr. Wendy Wood’s research on forming and breaking habits.
Freakonomics Radio featured Wendy Wood’s research: How to Launch a Behavioral Change Revolution.
Listen to People’s Pharmacy Show as they featured Wendy Wood’s advice for trading bad habits for good ones.
Daily Mail featured Wendy Wood shares how stress can trigger a healthy behavior.
“It was great to meet and speak with you. You gave an inspirational presentation today!”
“Greetings. I don’t usually send an email to speakers, especially when my work is not closely related to the topic, but I must say your talk yesterday was one of the best talks during my years at Caltech. It was so inspiring to me in many ways.”
“Thank you for having presented so eloquently today at our Behavior Change Community. We had a huge turnout, with most of the 63 participants staying for most of the event (this is unusual).”
Advance praise for Good Habits, Bad Habits "Wood’s research and perspective on the malleability of habits will bring hope to any reader looking to create long-term behavioral change."—Publishers Weekly
"Good Habits, Bad Habits is a huge achievement. Wendy Wood manages to distill the science of habit formation, most of which emerges from her own lab, in a manner that is fascinating but also, above all, extremely useful for people looking to make positive change in their life."—David Kessler, New York Timesbestselling author of The End of Overeating and Capture
“Fascinating and fun, this book will change a lot of lives. So much of human behavior is habitual—sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Wood brings state-of-the-art social science into contact with the most pressing issues in daily life. She’s a tremendous guide.” —Cass R. Sunstein, Robert Walmsley University Professor, Harvard University, and author of How Change Happens
“Wendy Wood is the most thoughtful, innovative researcher studying the central role habits play in human behavior. Her work on habits has guided scientific understanding and will have a similar impact on public knowledge. I can’t imagine a better person writing this book.” —Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational
“Wendy Wood is the world’s leading expert on habits—how we make them, break them, and change them. I expect that her book will be both eye-opening and immensely useful in teaching people how to get more done, quit smoking, start exercising, make better choices, and stop annoying their partners.” —Adam Grant, author of Originals
“Wendy Wood is the world’s foremost expert in the field, and this book is essential.” —Angela Duckworth, author of Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance
“No one has studied how habits form and influence behavior better than Wendy Wood. More importantly for readers, no one has done a better job of showing how to change negative habits into powerful, helpful versions.” —Robert B. Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion
“An insightful guidebook from the world’s preeminent habits researcher. Good Habits, Bad Habits is a captivating tale of the science of habits and how you can use them to improve your life.” —Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On
“Drawing on decades of research, combined with the results of her own meticulous studies, Wendy Wood shows us how conventional advice on creating good habits and eliminating bad habits is bound to fail. Wood's research reveals the surprisingly simple features that lie at the heart of good and bad habits. In Good Habits, Bad Habits, she shows how understanding these features is crucial to making habits stick and teaches us how to shape our own habits to improve our lives." —Samuel D. Gosling, personality and social psychologist
"GOOD HABITS, BAD HABITS is a fascinating tour of the science of habits, and Wendy Wood is the consummate tour guide. One of the world's leading habit researchers, Wood shares decades of her own research with wit, charm, and a keen eye for the stories that illuminate the processes of habit-making, habit-breaking, and habit-reshaping. If you want to understand your own habits—and how they form and can be reformed—Good Habits, Bad Habits is for you." —Adam Alter, NYU Stern School of Business