Gretchen Rubin

Conversation About the Four Tendencies with Dr. Judson Brewer, Expert in Habits, Mindfulness, and Addiction.

Conversation About the Four Tendencies with Dr. Judson Brewer, Expert in Habits, Mindfulness, and Addiction.

On August 11, 2017, Dr. Judson Brewer and I had a fascinating conversation about how he’s incorporating the Four Tendencies framework into his work, which focuses on helping people to master mindfulness, addiction, and habit change.

I asked Jud to do this interview because I wanted to highlight the findings and insights he’s gained from using the Four Tendencies framework in his practice and research.

My great hope is that when people learn about the Four Tendencies, they’ll be able to make their lives happier, healthier, more productive, and more creative. Jud’s work in this area shows the efficacy of the Four Tendencies framework—and he’s also begun to do the kind of research that’s needed to put the framework to the test.

Yes, Questioners, I know you want that research and data to validate the framework! It's coming!

I'm posting our lengthy conversation below. If you'd like a PDF version, to print it out more easily, just email me to request it.

 

Gretchen: You’ve done so much interesting work on mindfulness, addiction, and habit change. What’s your focus these days?

Jud: In both my startup company, which develops apps, as well as my lab, which does all the related research, we're focusing our energy on developing good tools for how to help people create change.

In particular, in the “Eat Right Now” program, at the pilot level, we’ve started incorporating your Four Tendencies quiz to help us get a sense for how your Tendencies framework can help people engage better with our program and start a new habit of mindfulness related to eating.

Our overarching theme is to understand how people's minds work, so we can better help them develop practices of awareness. Down the road, we aim to have a new program about unwinding anxiety. I'd like to bake the Four Rubin Tendencies right into the fabric of that program.

Gretchen: Why do you think the Four Tendencies model could help make your tool more effective?

Jud: I'm a very pragmatic guy. As a clinician, I always want to figure out what's going to optimize my patients’ engagement in treatment.

A while back, one of my research coordinators gave me your book Better Than Before, about habit change. That's where I was first introduced to your Four Tendencies framework. I was a little skeptical at first, reading it, because I thought, “Who is this person talking about habit change? She’s not a scientist.” But I started reading it, and I was won over. I thought, “Oh wow, she knows what she's talking about. She's actually talking about people's real tendencies.”

As I read your book, I immediately started thinking, “I wonder if people in my Eat Right Now program fall into these four categories. If they do, there are some pragmatic things that we could actually put to the test immediately to try it out.”

Gretchen: What are the aims of the people who participate in your Eat Right now program? Are they trying to lose weight, trying to manage diabetes…?

Jud: I would say 100% of them are trying to change their relationship with eating, and probably 70-80% are trying to manage weight loss or lose a few more pounds.

Gretchen: For health or appearance or both?

Jud: Some people come because their doctors told them they need to lose weight or they need to manage their diabetes, but most folks find this program on their own, because they've been fed up with other weight-loss programs.

Gretchen: So, when you read about the Four Tendencies, and you began to think, “I can see how this model would apply to my program,” what were some ideas that rang true to you? Where you thought, “Wow, I know that kind of person. I’ve run into that behavior before.”

Jud: I recognized all four of the Tendencies, actually.

Gretchen: Oh, really?

Jud: Yes. To give a bit of background on the program: I moderate a weekly check-in group—the Eat Right Now program is based around this. We have mechanistically-based training on how habits are formed and how mindfulness helps people break their habits.

We present the information in bite-sized pieces; people get daily videos and animations and in-the-moment exercises.

In the program, ideally people complete one module per day, and they start learning how to regulate and to change their relationship to eating. As they go through the 28 days, they might then return to the beginning and start again to hone their skills, or they might take a bit more time for each module and take a couple of months.

We’re finding from our evidence that people need about 3-6 months to start changing their behavior. At that point, some stay with the program. Some, they've got the skills and they don't need it anymore.
The main thrust is through app-based training. There's also an online community where people can interact with each other, as well as a weekly live group that I run via Zoom where people can ask questions and interact.

When I talk to people in our live group, I see the Four Tendencies in action. I think, “Oh, here's this person with that Tendency.” It’s a person who keeps asking a bunch of questions, or who has described why they’ve been struggling with the program. Now I’ve got names for them. For example, the “Obligers,” who meet other people’s outer expectations, but don’t take time to take care of themselves.

People are even commenting in their online community journals about their Tendencies. I gave them your quiz, then wrote some very simple suggestions for the program based on what their responses were, and then asked people to comment on whether that was helpful or not. This was an early experiment to see if your Tendencies fit well with this population, and whether people could benefit.

Gretchen: Let me pose an initial question before we dive deeper. People sometimes ask me, “Is it a bad idea to give people a label? To tell them, ‘You're an Obliger, I'm a Rebel.’”

Do you think that this vocabulary somehow limits people’s sense of possibility for change? In my view, I think these kinds of “types” are helpful, because they may shine a spotlight on hidden patterns in behavior that we can then work to address. Because maybe you didn't understand why some approach wasn’t working well for you, and now you can try something that suits you better.

That’s my view—but how do you view it? Is it okay that someone thinks, “Oh yeah, I'm an Obliger?”

Jud: I think that’s absolutely okay.

I think of an analogy from sports. Say somebody wants to become a sprinter. Genetically, some people have more fast-twitch muscle than slow-twitch muscle. For people like me who have slow-twitch muscle, we’re going to be more distance runners. If a distance runner really wants to be an Olympics-level sprinter, that person might get a biopsy to see what his or her fast-twitch potential is. Not knowing that fast-twitch potential isn’t going to suddenly make them an Olympics-level sprinter, but knowing it might help them say, “Why don't I focus on distance running?”

Gretchen: Right. This information about yourself helps you direct your energies most effectively.

Jud: Of course, it can do that only if it’s useful information. I think your Tendencies are actually useful. That's what really got me hooked.

Gretchen: Excellent! That’s great to hear. Explain more about how you’ve seen the Tendencies appear in your work.

Jud: For starters, I tallied up the number of people who answered your quiz. In our group, we’ve got about 8.9% Upholders, Questioners at 33.3%, Obligers at 37.8%, and Rebels at 20%.

Gretchen: Interesting. Generally, Obliger is the biggest Tendency, and Questioners are right behind them. Rebel is the smallest Tendency, and the Upholder Tendency is only slightly larger. Because Upholders are less likely to need the kind of program you offer, it makes sense that you don’t have many Upholders.

Jud: Because Upholders are going to meet outer and inner expectations fairly easily.

Gretchen: Yes, a lot of different strategies work for Upholders. If people are coming to you saying, “I've tried this, I've tried that, nothing is working,” they’re unlikely to be Upholders. For the Upholders, probably the first thing they tried worked.

Jud: That makes sense. That fits quite well. We’ve got some selection bias with the program, and that’s exactly what we would expect to see.

Gretchen: You have a very high number of Rebels compared to the population, but again, that’s predictable, because many popular strategies that work for other people—such as monitoring, scheduling, and accountability—often don’t work for Rebels. If they really want to change their relationship to food, they’re more likely to struggle with conventional advice.

If you have a disproportionate number of Rebels, you’d really want to take that into account. A lot of things that work for the other Tendencies don’t work for the Rebels. Your program has the challenge that one strategy could work really well for your Obligers but might actually be unhelpful for your Rebels.

Jud: Right. Absolutely.

Gretchen: How have you seen these differences play out?

Jud: I’ll give you an example of the suggestions I gave to the people in the program based on your framework. We’ll update these as we learn more, but this is the first stab at it.
First, we give participants a brief description of the Four Rubin Tendencies. I also encourage them to read your books. Then based on their Tendency, we give them a one-liner description of that Tendency and then suggest a tip.

For Upholders, we say, "Watch out for taking on too much at once, etc." Then we give some suggestions on how to optimize their personality type to engage with the program. For instance, if you don’t make a to-do list of all the exercises and all the check-ins every day, don’t beat yourself up for not having done everything.

Then I would give this little intrinsic motivation. Look to see where you’re aiming or angling for control instead of suffocating yourself by trying to force yourself to be in control. Simply notice when you feel like you’ve mastered something. We bring in a mindfulness practice around the motivators.

For Questioners, the tip was to take time to clarify what elements of the Eat Right Now program make the most sense, and use those as the foundation upon which to build. The intrinsic motivator was to foster your curiosity, because that’s a key element of the eating program.

For Obligers, a tip was to find a way to hold yourself externally accountable for using the program. That’s key for Obligers. The intrinsic motivation is “Working with others on a team feels good, no? Look to see where you can find the satisfaction of working with others as you go through this program.” Whether it’s the online community, finding a buddy or a family member, etc.

For Rebels—this has really been a fascinating category for me. Because they resist all expectations, the tip is, “You're the decider. Find ways that you do the program on your own terms. Don’t try to tell yourself to do an exercise. Instead, see if you can find ways in which you decide when you’ll watch the module each day, and you decide when to do check-ins.” The intrinsic motivation would be find personal meaning in pursuing a goal that's difficult, but not impossible. Look for the challenge in the program each day to see if you can meet it.

Gretchen: It’s fascinating how you put the Tendencies into action.

Jud: I pulled a couple of their comments, and I’d be very curious to hear your responses.

One Questioner said, “The key for me here as a Questioner was to realize that I had to see the evidence for myself.”

Evidence is an element that I emphasized in the program as I wrote it. I'm a Questioner myself, so I wrote it from that perspective of, “Here’s the information, pay attention. Just look for yourself to see what works for you.”

Gretchen: That message really appeals to Questioners. They’re attracted to customization. They like thinking, “This is what works for me. I’m doing this because this is the most efficient, sensible thing for me.”

Jud: Exactly.

Another Questioner wrote about how she hadn’t previously noticed the importance of curiosity for her, and she reported that the tip about fostering curiosity for intrinsic motivation has been really helpful. In the program, I’d shared a quotation from James Stevenson, who said, “Curiosity will conquer fear more than bravery will.” She wrote, “This is certainly something that I don't think ever occurred to me before. I have a lot of anxiety. I’m noticing how that feels in my body. Seeing that curiosity relieves the symptoms.”

I think fear and curiosity are like fear and faith. It’s hard to experience both deeply at the same time.

Gretchen: That’s fascinating. I need to think through that idea. That is such an interesting and powerful observation: Curiosity can overcome anxiety.

Jud: Yes.

Gretchen: Again, that’s an appeal to the fundamental values of the Questioner.

Jud: Exactly.

Gretchen: To succeed, it helps if we go straight to the heart of that Tendency strength we have.

Fascinating. What did Obligers have to say?

Jud: This Obliger said, “I understand that as an Obliger, I need to be held accountable, otherwise the cards are stacked against me for success with this program. The problem is I don’t want any family members or friends knowing yet what I'm doing.” I think her concern is that that she doesn’t want people to know that she’s trying to lose weight.

Gretchen: Yes, that's very common.

Jud: She continued, “My other issue is getting myself to journal--whether in my own personal journal or through the community journal. I put that last on my list of things I need to do. Therefore, I rarely journal.” I think her idea is that she’s putting other people in front of herself.

Gretchen: Hmmm, in my framework, I don’t characterize the issue in that way, as “putting others first.” That’s a value judgment. It also suggests that if others made no demands on her, she would readily meet her demands for herself, which in my observation doesn't happen for Obligers.

For Obligers, it’s really all about that outer accountability. For Eat Right Now, you have the group around the program. Does she feel accountable to that group? I would say, “Forget about your family and friends, keep your privacy, rely on the Eat Right Now group for accountability.”

Jud: That’s what we had encouraged. We’ve got this closed online community that’s very supportive. That’s something that I can suggest to her, absolutely.

Gretchen: Relying on family can be tricky. Sometimes, too, it doesn’t feel like outer accountability, it feels like inner accountability, because they’re so close to you. This is especially true about spouses.

Also, with family members, an Obliger can also start feeling very resentful, and that triggers Obliger-rebellion. The advantage of your program is that it comes with a built-in accountability group. I would suggest that engaging deeply with this group could be the key for this Obliger’s success.

Also, about the journaling. She feels bad about that. Does the journaling really matter? What kind of journal is it, is it for writing down everything you eat, is it an emotional journal? Keeping a journal could be really burdensome for some people, I would imagine.

Jud: It’s not a food-tracking journal. It’s a personal journal so somebody can track their own progress, and they can also get feedback from community moderators if they feel like they’re struggling. It’s more to record “Here's what I noticed today.”

Gretchen: For what it’s worth, in my observation, health is an area where Obliger-rebellion very often sets in. It happens because no one has control of your body and what you do or don’t do with your body. In this area, the Obliger-rebellion affects only the Obliger themselves, so it’s a very easy place—and often a destructive place—for Obliger-rebellion to play out.

To me, this Obliger sounds like she’s at the end of her rope, and feeling very resentful. It sounds like she’s thinking, “They’re asking too much of me. I can't do it.” That kind of feeling can lead to an Obliger-rebellion explosion.

I would consider telling her, “The journal is meant to be a tool to help you. It sounds like it’s not working for you. So why don’t you just not worry about that? You’re doing a lot already. Stay with the group, let them help you stay on board. If the journal isn’t helpful, let that go. You’re already working hard.”

Jud: That’s a great idea.

Gretchen: If it's meant to be a tool that’s helpful, there’s no point in doing it if it’s not helpful. It sounds like it might be hampering her because it’s making her feel put upon and overwhelmed.

Jud: Great.

Here’s another comment from an Obliger.

“Obliger, at your service! (I must have also a Questioner part in myself, though, because I ask lots of questions, and I need to decide first from myself if something is worthy that I “oblige” to it.) Still, I didn’t believe it at the beginning. But then, I started looking back at my previous weight loss experiences, and realized… it’s true. Many times I had failed because I had set a goal only to myself, and then inevitably at the first discomfort I had let all go. But I was ashamed of myself and of this addiction I had, that I didn’t want anybody to know! Now, I had just started Eat Right Now, and I wasn’t gonna let this end like the rest. So I gathered all the strength and courage I had (and believe me, I needed a lot!), and called the friend I trust the most, and told him about my condition and this program I started. And he was very comprehensive, and understanding, and told me I was doing the right thing, and encouraged me to keep going, and accepted what I asked him: which is that every day I need to call him and tell him what I did related to food (if I binged or not, what I ate, if I exercised, if I did the lessons, etc.); and that if for some reason I don’t tell, he needs to ask me specifically (cause I know myself too well, unfortunately). But all this, not in a hard way, to beat me if one day I couldn’t make it. I told him: in a gentle way, to keep me accountable, also when it doesn’t go so well, but knowing that I am learning, and that I’ll grow stronger. It’s been 5 days, I’ve been doing this every day, and it’s working!”

Gretchen: What a terrific story. It’s great to hear that she’s been able to use the knowledge of her Obliger need for accountability to get such great success with the Eat Right Now Program.

Her comment reminds of an important point: people often think, “Oh, I must be part Questioner because I love reasons, or I always ask ‘why,’ etc.”

Remember, the Four Tendencies looks only at your response to expectations. That is, why do you act, why don’t you act. I have a friend who is a doctor, highly educated, intensely curious, inhales research, always probes for more information—and she’s an Obliger. Because she meets outer expectations and struggles to meet inner expectations.

Like the commenter above. That person is 100% Obliger. One hundred percent.

Jud: Here, I’ve got a comment from a Rebel, who said, “I’ve definitely been doing the program on my own terms, but realize this even more now. I might even pretend that someone told me not to do the program.”

Gretchen: Yes! The Rebel spirit of resistance!

Jud: I thought that was classic.

Gretchen: Classic. You know, for the program you might consider messages that appeal to the Rebel desire to be free and unchained. Like, “You're not a slave to food. You don’t want to be addicted to sugar. Those big food companies can’t fool you with their crinkly packages and their big ad campaigns. You’re not going to fall for that. They can’t take your money.” Rebels want to be free.

Jud: That's great.

Gretchen: Sometimes a Rebel thinks, “Oh, I feel free because you’re telling me that I'm not supposed to eat fast food, but look, watch me do it.” The answer is, “Hah! You think you're free? Eating that fast food, you’re doing just what those fast food joints want you to do. They've got their hooks deep into you, you’re addicted to that stuff.”

Jud: They’ve got you, right.

Gretchen: So, judging from people’s early responses and comments, do you see that the Four Tendencies framework is striking a chord with them?

Jud: This is very preliminary research, but it does seem that so far, everybody who answered the questions did very much identify with one Tendency or another. That piece seems pretty solid. Some of them have even started sub-categories of discussion topics, where one of the topics was “Any other Obligers out there?” They formed this little huddle where they could support each other and give each other tips as a way to help each other go through the program.

We envision that in the future, we’ll give people your quiz right as they get on-boarded with any of our programs. Then ultimately down the road, the program would algorithmically shuffle the way they get the training or the timing etc. based on their personality type.

But even at the beginning, the program can start by just giving them a brief synopsis and say, “This is the result of your Rubin Four Tendencies quiz. Here's a brief summary. We recommend that you use the program this way as you go through the program.”

Maybe each week we check in with them automatically. For example, they might get a message, “Are you noticing an inclination to resist? You might try this tip, this tip, this tip.” Right at the beginning or somewhere early on, I’d encourage them to read your books so they can really dive into what their personality type is.

Gretchen: So interesting!

To change topics, one issue for anybody designing a program, framework, app or anything like that is that it’s very easy to overweight our own Tendency.

Take Questioners. To them, it’s crucial to have clarity about why you want to do something. So often, when Questioners try to help others, they emphasize that it’s all about inner expectations, about getting very, very clear on what's important to you and why a certain action makes sense, and what you want, and the most efficient ways to achieve those aims. And this approach just doesn’t always work very well for the other Tendencies.

You’re a Questioner. As you’ve worked with others, has knowing about the Four Tendencies helped you to think, “I would think about this challenge in this way, but someone else might think about it a different way or need a different set-up to succeed?”

Jud: This is an area where my psychiatric training has been helpful. I try not to let my view dominate, and I really strive to put myself in someone’s shoes so we can approach it from their personality rather than the questioner’s.

But I very much appreciate what you’re saying. We aim not to approach this challenge from my point of view, but as much as possible, from their point of view.

Gretchen: It’s great that you have the training to help you see the world from many perspectives. So many people give the advice that would work for them, and they’re puzzled and frustrated—and often judgmental—when that advice doesn’t work for others. I’ve certainly struggled with that myself.

Jud: That’s why we do the research, to see what works for whom, and why. Our next step is to systematically categorize these folks, ultimately even do a randomized study, where we can have some people get the tips and suggestions based on their Tendency, while others go through the program as usual. We can see how well those Tendency-specific suggestions bolster simple things like adherence to the program.

Gretchen: For what you’re doing, and what so many other people are trying to do, we need a simple, cost-effective tool to communicate more effectively. For eating more healthfully, for taking medication consistently, so many other things.

To be effective, such a tool would need to be easy to use, widely applicable, and something that doesn’t require extensive training to understand or implement. I’ve got to say, I think my Four Tendencies framework is a tool like that. For one thing, once you know the Four Tendencies, they’re very easy to spot. Upholders, Questioners, Obligers, and Rebels look quite different from each other, and that it's easy to tell one person’s Tendency from the other.

For instance, as you were reading those comments from your participants, if you’d read a comment and asked me to guess the commenter’s Tendency, I think I would have guessed correctly each time. It’s obvious that these folks have different perspectives.

It was fascinating to hear all the ways you suggested that a person might adapt the recommendations for your program to the Tendencies. It’s not as if you had to develop a gigantic apparatus within your program to suit each Tendency. It’s as simple as some tweaking of messaging, and reminding people of how they can think about the program in their own ways.

Do you feel that in your program, it’s pretty easy to see, “I can see why different approaches work better for different people?”

Jud: Yes. It’s about getting information to them in a way that’s accessible and reminding of that information until they have internalized it. For example, with the Rebels, first they take the quiz so they know that they’re Rebels. Now they have that information, and the program can take that into account.

It’s awareness training. Everybody knows how to be aware to some degree, and everybody can improve at being aware to a degree as well.

The question is: “How do we personalize medicine?” I think your Four Tendencies framework is a great way to personalize a training delivery: “Let's do the quiz, figure out your Tendency, give you that information, and then help you use that information so that you can utilize the available training in a way that’s personalized for you.”

This is really personalizing medicine in a broad scale, if we think of medicine including behavioral training, which we certainly do these days.

Gretchen: I was struck by an interesting lesson about Duolingo, the language-learning app. Several Rebels have told me when the app sends reminders and notifications, these messages made them turn away from the app. Obligers do well with that kind of accountability and monitoring, but Rebels think, “Even though I want to learn Italian, I refuse to do what this app is telling me to do.” Of course, the solution for a Rebel is to turn off those notifications. This is an important thing to know about yourself, as you’re setting up the app: Do you want to get notifications, or not? What would be more helpful to you?

I think many people assume, “Notifications are great. Accountability is good.” Not for everyone.

Jud: You’ve just described personalized training beautifully. It doesn’t take that much to do it. It’s about knowing what the Tendency is and then knowing the pieces that you want to tweak. For example, with our program, we have notifications. People can turn on or off the notifications. If they’re a Rebel, they can set the notifications for whenever they want. They’re in control. They’re the decider.

Gretchen: You might even point that out to them: “For this Tendency, we’ve found that notifications are very helpful. We’ve found that maybe for this Tendency, notifications may not be useful. Ponder that, then set yourself up accordingly.”

Jud: Right.

Gretchen: For a Questioner, you could say, “Experiment. You could try it for a couple weeks on, a couple weeks off. See what works. Customize it for you. You might find that it’s effective.” Then they think, “Yes, I'm doing it in the way that’s most effective for me.”

Jud: I’m imagining the seat position in a new car. Car companies set the standard seat position based on average driver height, and when you buy the car, you use the seat controls to adjust the seat to suit your own individual body type. Using the Four Tendencies works the same way.

Gretchen: I think that is a perfect analogy. When the car comes off the assembly line, it’s not going to be customized for you, it has to be something that works for everybody. In the same way, your Eat Right Now program encompasses all Tendencies, so each individual has to customize it. “This program includes a body of tools, and we’ll customize the program for you. That’s just part of the process, because of course you’re not going to be able to drive the car comfortably until you move the seat around. Maybe you’re going to experiment. Maybe you’ll try the seat a little closer, or a little further away, until you find what suits you.”

We know the people who are 6’6 are not going to want a seat adjusted the same way as for the person who’s 5’2. When we know someone’s body type, we can predict many of the adjustments that will make that seat more comfortable. Same thing with the Four Tendencies. When we know your personality type, we can predict what tools will help you succeed.

Jud: It works extremely well when you just tweak it a little bit.

Gretchen: I think this tweaking may be particularly important for Obligers. Obligers feel a lot of frustration because they’re able to meet expectations for others, but not for themselves. They put a lot of emotions around it. “I'm sacrificing for others. I always put the client/patient/customer first. I can always take time for other people, but I can’t take time for myself. I have low self-esteem.” They have a lot of value judgements, to which I say, “No, let all that judgment fall away. It’s really just about accountability.”

If you’re an Obliger, the people around you may say, “If you keep talking about something and saying it’s important to you, why can’t you follow through? Why don’t you keep your promises to yourself? Why did you say ‘yes’ if you didn’t want to do it?” That’s very judgmental. With the Four Tendencies, there’s less judgment, it’s just, “This is a person who needs outer accountability. Let’s give this person the outer accountability they need, and then they’ll be fine. They just need that system in place.”

Jud: Right. Helping them see the difference between the judging versus just holding themselves accountable could be huge for somebody.

Gretchen: Yes. And by the way, the Obliger Tendency is the Tendency that includes the largest number of people. So, to Obligers, I always say, “Lots of people are exactly like you! There’s nothing wrong with you, or exceptional about you. This is a common problem. There’s no shame or weakness in it, you just have to know how to tackle it.”

Jud: That makes a lot of sense.

Gretchen: It’s interesting that you have a lot of Questioners in your program. Do people often ask for a lot of data and research justifications?

Jud: To some degree, but we’ve also built the program with those explanations included. Probably as a Questioner myself, I’ve built those answers to those questions right into the program.

Gretchen: Interesting. They get their questions answered as they go.

Jud: I say, “You might be wondering why we’re doing this today. This is why.”

Gretchen: That’s brilliant. That way they feel like they have all the information that they need. They’re not asked to do anything arbitrarily; every suggestion is justified by sound reasons.

Jud: Right.

Gretchen: Jud, it has been fascinating to hear how you’re applying the Four Tendencies framework to your Eat Right Now program. It’s so exciting to think that my personality profiles could help people find success in a challenging area of their life.

As your research and experimentation continues, I can’t wait to hear what you learn.

Jud: Great to talk to you. I look forward to more conversations.

Gretchen: Onward and upward!

If you'd like to read my interview with Jud Brewer, about his own habits and happiness, it's here.

 

Judson Brewer, MD PhD, is one of the leading minds in the field of habit change and the “science of self-mastery.” He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, trained US Olympic coaches, and his TED talk has received eight million views. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for habit change, including both in-person and app-based treatments, such as www.goeatrightnow.com, www.cravingtoquit.com. He founded Claritas MindSciences to move his discoveries of clinical evidence behind mindfulness for eating, smoking and other behavior change into the marketplace. He is the author of The Craving Mind: from Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love -- Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits.

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