How to keep a resolution

When it comes to keeping a New Year's resolution, researchers say it's better to ask than tell.

A new study spanning 40 years of research has found that asking questions is a better way to influence behaviour than making statements.

It's called the "question-behaviour effect," a phenomenon in which asking people about performing a behaviour influences whether they do it in the future.

Researchers from four universities across the United States looked at more than 100 studies to provide the first comprehensive look at why the effect occurs.

For example, asking someone "Will you recycle?" is more likely to remind people that recycling is good for the environment.

Dave Sprott, a co-author and a senior associate dean at Washington State University, says they found questioning a person about future behaviour causes a psychological response that influences their actions when they actually get a chance to recycle.


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