The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Why We Do What We Do and How to Change It

Book - 2012
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Groundbreaking new research shows that by grabbing hold of the three-step "loop" all habits form in our brains--cue, routine, reward--we can change them, giving us the power to take control over our lives.

"We are what we repeatedly do," said Aristotle. "Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." On the most basic level, a habit is a simple neurological loop: there is a cue (my mouth feels gross), a routine (hello, Crest), and a reward (ahhh, minty fresh). Understanding this loop is the key to exercising regularly or becoming more productive at work or tapping into reserves of creativity. Marketers, too, are learning how to exploit these loops to boost sales; CEOs and coaches are using them to change how employees work and athletes compete. As this book shows, tweaking even one habit, as long as it's the right one, can have staggering effects.

In The Power of Habit , award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes readers inside labs where brain scans record habits as they flourish and die; classrooms in which students learn to boost their willpower; and boardrooms where executives dream up products that tug on our deepest habitual urges. Full of compelling narratives that will appeal to fans of Michael Lewis, Jonah Lehrer, and Chip and Dan Heath, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: our most basic actions are not the product of well-considered decision making, but of habits we often do not realize exist. By harnessing this new science, we can transform our lives.
Publisher: Toronto : Doubleday Canada, 2012.
ISBN: 9780385669740
Branch Call Number: 158.1 DUH
Characteristics: xx, 371 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.

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d
darcyhudjik
Dec 12, 2017

This is an awesome book that explains the cycle of a habit, which interesting case studies to go along with it. Strongly recommend it.

k
kahuela
Jun 05, 2017

Good book, would recommend it to read to understand that we can manipulate and change out habits by understanding the way they work.

b
bananbawabiji
Mar 16, 2017

Personally, I haven't read the book yet, but after taking a look at peoples' comments, I would like to read it. Those feedback are encouraging to read.

s
sneha
Aug 16, 2016

This is not a self-help book, so if you are looking for that you may be disappointed, though it does make a helpful starting point for changing your own habits. This book provides an enjoyable look at how habits affect individual lives, corporations and organizations, even societies. Well researched with fascinating stories from many different areas, such as the marketing of a hit song, the transformation of a losing football team, Starbucks employee training, and the spread of a fire in the London Underground.

l
Liblo
Jan 07, 2016

This is essentially a compilation of examples supporting the author's model of how habits are formed. There is virtually no information on techniques for changing habits. A breezy, entertaining read but not very instructive if you're looking for something to help you change.

j
john_doh17
Oct 14, 2015

The book is a good starting point in thinking about habits. The basic pattern of cue-response-reward seems to be correct. Duhigg contends that the only way to change a habit (the golden rule of habit chapter 3) is if you replace it with another one. The habit itself may not be the problem though (the reward may be the real problem). He does point you in the right direction although you need to think for yourself about where your pattern might be a problem. I think there could also be a similar pattern cue-response-punishment that might make you averse to the pattern, but he doesn't get into that at all. He doesn't make any judgements about how others may exploit your habits or seek to create them in order to exploit you (febreeze and target being the main examples) so again you have to think for yourself. Good reporting doesn't judge, so take it at that level. Also read the notes section as it calls out that a lot of the narratives were embellished significantly-like "based on a true story" movies (especially the hospital story).

j
jenny198036
Jun 13, 2015

Extremely informative and very helpful.

bolsen13 Apr 09, 2015

Overall this was quite an enjoyable book. It was certainly interesting and the examples used by the author were effective, though slightly odd. Even after reading the very small application section at the end I was left feeling as though I ultimately hadn't learned much. Very little "practical application" in my opinion.. though that might just be unique to my life. I enjoyed reading the book on the whole, and my only other complaint is the seemingly random cliff-hangers done mid-chapter, which were a lot more frustrating than they were intriguing. Solid read if you would like to learn more about habits, but don't expect it to change your life overnight.

c
cglasser
Jun 04, 2014

Interesting and quick read. Some of the information was familiar from other books on similar subjects (I think I remembered some of it from "Switch: How To Change When Change Is Hard" - though I liked this book better). Helpful for making change in personal life and business.

i
illuzhin
Jun 03, 2014

Nothing revelatory--perhaps because I've seen bits and pieces referenced around the Web--but an interesting and engaging read nonetheless.

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KonaKitsune
Apr 28, 2016

KonaKitsune thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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john_doh17
Oct 14, 2015

The book contends that basis of most of our actions are based off of this pattern. Cue-response-reward. When repeated enough these patterns are ingrained into us and become habits. The book contends in chapter 3 that we can't eliminate habits, only replace them. To do this you identify the cue, replace with a new action, and then are rewarded. For example if you have a cookie everyday at 3 PM, you instead go for a walk, you have replaced the bad habit. At the end of the book he explains how to change a habit. 1. Identify the routine 2. experiment with different rewards 3. Isolate the cue 4. Develop a plan to have alternatives somewhere in the path.

Common Cues are: location, time, emotional state, other people, immediately proceeding actions. Experiment (failures will provide feedback) until you change your habit.

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ALEXIS C SWEARINGEN Jan 18, 2015

"The behaviors that occur unthinkingly are evidence of our truest selves" -Aristotle

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