Katherine Milkman, Philadelphia Inquirer, Temptation Bundling

Katherine Milkman, Philadelphia Inquirer, Temptation Bundling

LDI Senior Fellow Katherine Milkman's much publicized study on the novel behavioral intervention known as "temptation bundling," is the subject of a major story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Appearing in both the print and online editions of the paper, the article, "Changing Bad Habits the Smart Way," explores how people can alter unhealthy lifestyle habits and cites Milkman's work in great detail. Milkman, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Operations and Information Management Department at Penn's Wharton School.

Co-authored by LDI Senior Fellow Kevin Volpp, MD, MBA, the original "Temptation Bundling" work was published in the journal Management Science last year. It describes a commitment device concept that creatively pairs an inconvenient self-control goal -- like working out at the gym -- with an indulgent pleasure -- like reading pop novels. The goal is to advance healthy behavioral changes. For example, a person agrees to discipline herself to ONLY read or listen to delicious page-turners like "The Hunger Game Trilogy" while she is exercising at the gym, thus linking or "bundling" the lure of the pleasant indulgence to the grim task of vigorous exercise.

"You aren't extinguishing your bad habit," Milkman told the Inquirer. "You're harnessing it. You're using its motivational power for good. It's not that you can't binge-watch Scandal anymore, but you reorient when you do it. It makes something you should do more attractive."