Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) say that bad habits like smoking, eating the wrong foods, drinking too much alcohol and not exercising enough cause half the deaths in the US. Researchers are trying to figure out why we persist in these deadly habits.

In, Jeanna Bryner quotes researcher Cindy Jardine as saying, “?It’s not because they haven’t gotten the information that these are big risks.” In other words, the reason is not that people don’t realize that these habits are shortening their lives, so even if they have a genetic propensity towards whatever bad habit they are indulging in, why don’t they at least make an attempt to break away from their addictions?

This makes it a question for psychologists, and they’ve come up with a short list of reasons for bad behavior: innate human defiance, the need for social acceptance, the inability to truly understand the nature of risk, and the ability to rationalize.


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