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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

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3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  126,043 Ratings  ·  7,385 Reviews
OVER 60 WEEKS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

With a new Afterword by the author

In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardro
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ebook, 313 pages
Published February 28th 2012 by Random House (first published 2011)
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Mohammed Forget about big changes, start with small ones. Every habit will trigger a domino effect and you will be amazed.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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sleeps9hours
I just read Kelly McGonigal's "The Willpower Instinct", so I can't help but compare the two.

Duhigg is an investigative reporter for the NY Times, while McGonigal is a research psychologist, and the differences come across in the writing. McGonigal has a much better grasp on the research and how to apply it, while Duhigg brings in stories that are entertaining but stretch his powers of interpretation. His most annoying stylistic problem is that he breaks his stories up, stopping one to start anot
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Robert Chapman
This is great book, and you need to read it. How is that for a definitive opening line? The reason it’s such a good book is because it uses research to explain how habits are formed and changed. Everyone knows someone who was out of shape, or was a smoker, and then in what appeared as if almost overnight, changed themselves in a short period of time. How did they do that? They formed new habits and changed old ones, that’s how.

Do something enough and it becomes a habit, good or bad. This is expl
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K
Read this because of fascinating NYT magazine excerpt on how Target tracks our buying habits. The rest of the book is not as compelling -- anecdotes sometimes don't support particular arguments he's attempting to illustrate (the Hey-Ya examples being the most egregious), and his section on how social movements occur is weak and unconvincing, and not really about habits, per se. Style and structure were often clunky, and the book seems a bit muddled as its ultimate purpose. I dunno, I guess I was ...more
Rhianna
May 28, 2012 Rhianna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This may be a crappy review since its going up via iPhone. Sorry.

First caveat: I work in research. A big part of my job is creating these habit loops and seeing if they can be altered or enhanced via medication.

Second caveat: I'm a nerd and love journal articles, scientific writing, and technical reading, even off the job.

Third caveat: I only got to chapter eight.

I honestly don't know what I was expecting. By far and large, when there's big buzz about a book I inevitably dislike it with very
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Riku Sayuj

Nothing Succeeds Like Success: A Case Study

Hey. Have you heard of Thomas Baker? How about Carol Wright? Chris Cameron? Vineet Shaw? Let us discuss Baker.

Thomas Baker was an average joe, but not without ambitions. A few years ago, acting on a tip, Tom, a competitive enough guy, decided to take his life into his own hands. What’s more, he decided to pick up one more Self-help book and this time follow up thoroughly on it. No holds barred. He asked around, looked in that wonderful site and finally
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Trevor
Dec 04, 2013 Trevor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jim t
Shelves: psychology
I need to start with the obvious – this guy is one of those writers. One of those writers that make you want to track him down and hurt him. And not just him, maybe even his pets too. He assumes you are as thick as dog-shit and that you won’t get what it is he is talking about unless he makes it painfully (PAINFULLY) clear. He has missed his calling. He really should have gone into the self-help book market – let’s face it, assuming your readers are dumb in that market is just ‘responding to rea ...more
Johnny
Jul 25, 2012 Johnny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, sociology
Judging from the prologue of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, the first thing necessary in modifying one’s behavior is to note the actual components of that behavior. The author cites a visit with a military officer in charge of normalizing a village (Kufa) in Iraq. The officer started by observing video of how riots began and noticed that the trouble usually broke out after people had milled around for a while and food trucks and spectators arrived. He changed the ...more
Diane
This was an interesting collection of research about habits and routines. The book felt Gladwellian in that it combined a variety of case studies while arguing a central theme, just as Malcolm Gladwell tends to do in his books.

I think my favorite sections were the ones on Starbucks' training programs, Procter & Gamble's attempts to market Febreze, the safety record at Alcoa, the applications of Hit Song Science, and the historic Montgomery bus boycott of 1955.

The overall theme is about how
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Arda Aghazarian
Enjoyable. The book presents a framework of understanding how habits work, and serves as a guide to show how to change habits.

“Once you choose who you want to be, believe you want to change, and it becomes real.” “Visualize the kind of person you would like to become, focus on one habit you would potentially develop, and transform that into what would become natural; requiring no effort or thinking.” “To modify a habit, you must decide to change it. You must consciously accept the hard work of
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Nandakishore Varma
I remember reading a story by the famous Malayalam writer Padmarajan called Oru Sameepakala Durantham ("A Tragedy of Recent Times"). It tells of a housing colony in Kerala, bitten by the exercise bug in the early eighties. Someone gets up before sunrise and starts jogging. Soon, he is joined by more and more people until the whole colony is out running, every day. This leaves the houses unattended which comes to the notice of a group of thieves: and they conduct a spate of early morning robberie ...more
Chad Warner
This long-winded book explains how habits form in individuals, organizations, and social groups. Despite the intriguing premise, the verbose anecdotes left me screaming, “I get the point already!” A better book (or article) would have resulted from taking the appendix (a short, practical guide to changing a habit) and adding some of the psychological research and a few brief examples. (After I wrote this review, I discovered Charles Duhigg's New York Times article, which is basically what I desc ...more
Scott
Jan 15, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duhigg's Power of Habit offered a staggering statistic about our lives: 40% of what we do is habitual. 40 percent! That means that a huge majority of what we do in our lives is practically unconscious and habitually helping us progress or digress.

The major takeaways for me include two main insights. First, identifying your habit's cues and rewards gives one understanding of why we do what we do. For example, when analyzing my habit of running, there are specific cues and rewards that both initi
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Thomas
How do some of us wake up for 6 a.m. jogs every day? What leads people to develop gambling addictions? Why do people brush their teeth every day while never remembering to wear sunscreen? Charles Duhigg answers these questions and more in The Power of Habit, a well-researched book on what motivates us to make the decisions we do in everyday life and in business.

Duhigg's background as a reporter shows in this book. He does a good job of stringing together a wide variety of topics to fit his thesi
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Mohamed  Abo-Elgheit
description
بيقولك (بس كلام أكيد يعني) لو جبت فار وحطيته في متاهة زي اللي في الصورة دي كده، وبعدين فجاة مع صوت الكليك شلت الحاجز اللي بيفصل بين الجزء اللي الفار محبوس فيه وبين الجزء اللي في حته الشوكولاته ... الفار هيبدأ يجري علي كل ركن ويشمشم في كل جتى وهياخد وقت طويل على ما هيوصل لنهاية المتاهة وياكل حتى الشوكولاته .. في المرة التانية اللي هتعمل فيها نفس التجربة لنفس الفار، هتلاحظ انه بقا اسرع وبقا بيضيع وقت اقل في التسكع في جنبات المتاهة لحد ما يوصل لحته الشوكولاته..
في المرة التلاتين، هتتفاجأ! لأنك هتلا
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Schmacko
Charles Duhigg has three fascinating half-books here. They’re all joined by the theme of habits. He speaks of habits from a personal perspective. Then he talks about business habits, switching from cognitive psychology to organizational psychology. And finally, he talks about sociology.

What unifying pattern do these three have? That same old model I learned back in college in 1991… The idea of cues, actions, and rewards is throughout this book. It’s not very new nor very strong; in fact, Duhigg
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Joe Soltzberg
Nov 12, 2015 Joe Soltzberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book about habit formation. My favorite parts were the various stories and anecdotes the author provided for each lesson about habits. The book is fairly cohesive and my only complaint is that the 'how to use this book' section at the end is a bit too simple and doesn't encompass the ideas in every chapter (such as incorporating keystone habits, etc.). Nonetheless, definitely worth a read. I didn't get this book to try and change any of my habits, but still learned a ton.

Here's what
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Sue
Jul 10, 2012 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book may be misleading if you want to lose weight, stop procrastinating, or get to appointments on time. It would be easy to think you’d found a self-help book. Okay, maybe it could help a reader break an unwanted habit. Duhigg does try to analyze those behaviors. There are a few good stories of people who quit smoking or started exercising.

But it is more accurately about patterns of behavior in groups as well as individuals: in corporations, the military, and the marketplace.
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Nyamka Ganni
Сэтгэл судлал, хүний зан араншин сонирхдог хэдий ч нарийн мэдлэгээр маруухан надад үнэхээр таалагдлаа.
Зуршил хэрхэн үүсдэг, түүнийг яаж өөрчилж болох зэргийг шинжлэх ухааны үүднээс нь тайлбарлаад бодит амьдрал дээрх жишээнүүдийг дурьдсан байна.

Анхаарууштай:
- Аливаа үйлдлийг хангалттай олон удаа хийхэд зуршил болж хүнээс ямар ч шийдвэр гаргах шаардлагагүйгээр хийгддэг үйлдэл болж хувирч болно.
- Дээрх шинж чанарыг ашиглаж зуршил болгохыг хүсч байгаа үйлдлээ байнга давтан хийхэд өөрийн мэдэлг
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Mary Helene
May 21, 2012 Mary Helene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great story teller! and these stories have been spreading. Every time I talk with someone about this book, they've already heard one of the stories! (Is Mr.Duhigg all over the airwaves or are his stories just re-tellable?)

In light of the recent rebuke of American nuns, I'd like to point out to the bishops that these ladies pop up prophetically in remarkable places, including p.229 in this text. (I misread my notes. The nuns show up earlier; this is a section where the author underestimat
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Hanne
This is a well researched, well written book about habits and the psychology behind it. And yet, it was far from a home run. What I want most of all from reading non-fiction popular psychology books is for them to have an impact on me.
The very basic requirement is to learn something new, but I also want them to make me think about my actions and behaviours and those from people around me, and preferably also to have a changing impact on me, which can be small or large, but has to be meaningful
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Zahra Taher
من المثير للعجب كيف أن أكثر الأعمال أو العادات التي نقوم بها ولا ندرك الدوافع التي تحركها هي اعمال لها أنماط محددة واستجابات من قبل الدماغ . ولكن الأهم هو إمكانية التعرف على هذه الأنماط ثم التحكم بها للتخلص من العادات السيئة وتعزيز العادات الإيجابية
والكتاب يرتكز على هذه الحلقة التي تبدو أنها أساس كل العادات مهما اختلفت

description

فهناك عادة أو أمر روتيني نقوم به نحتاج أن نبحث عن الدليل الذي يثيره، كالمثال الذي أعطاه الكاتب عن نفسه، فأثناء تأليفه للكتاب كان معتاداً على النهوض من مكتبه والذهاب إلى الكافتيريا
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Pradnya K.
Nov 11, 2015 Pradnya K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
That's one awesome book I keep reading in bits n pieces every time I see it. Of course there are lot many great books on human psychology of habits but this one states it in simple words through various case studies and proven experiments. I particularly liked Walmart and data scientist, the odor free solution of P&G case study, the case of compulsive gambler and of sentries at Iraq, and Starbucks to name a few. (Did I just cover a half book in them? Lol) But it's wonderful read. Besides it ...more
Louise
Jul 18, 2015 Louise rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Charles Duhigg's premise is that habits are formed when behaviors are rewarded. Because the brain is wired to anticipate a reward it directs behavior towards getting the reward. The author presents some studies that show brain activity in the anticipation and reward cycles. He poses a "golden Rule" of habit change which is to identify the cue that anticipates the reward and find an alternative route to that reward. He cites AA, group/team and religious experiences to show that for habits to stic ...more
Franz
Mar 14, 2012 Franz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a how-to book, in the strict sense this isn't it. But if you want to change your habits you can glean how to do so from the main text, and Duhigg provides specific hints in an appendix. Duhigg does tell us how habits form without our awareness (every habit follows the pattern of cue-response-reward loops with cravings--expectations of the reward--thrown into the mix) and why they form (the brain's method of saving effort by turning any routine into an unthought habit) and ...more
Mirek Kukla
Review
The “Power of Habit” is a frustrating book to review. At its core, it presents ideas that are both interesting and practical: this book will - or at least might – change the way you think about, form, and conquer habits. At the same time, it’s flooded with same fuzzy and irrelevant “case studies” that pollute your average pop psychology book. The first part of this book nicely summarizes recent findings in the field of psychology concerning habits – how they form, how they function, and ho
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Yousif Al Zeera
Jun 02, 2016 Yousif Al Zeera rated it really liked it
This book delves into some science behind the notion of "habits". It hands out the "scientific" process of changing habits. In between, there are interesting stories of how individuals, societies and companies can make the best use out of their habits or other people's habits.
Whitley Birks
Mar 04, 2012 Whitley Birks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a review of an ARC received through a First Reads giveaway.

For most of my adult life, I have struggled with bad habits that have kept me unemployed, ineffective when I was employed, unable to do the things that I want, and generally unhappy. About once a year I try and reinvent myself, and it'll work for a few days and then fail. Still, I have done quite a bit of research into habits and how to change them, and I've collected a lot of tidbits of information that float around in my brain.
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Atila Iamarino
Jan 08, 2016 Atila Iamarino rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muito bom para entender o poder que a mudança de hábitos pode trazer. Foi o autor que descobriu a história de como a Target acompanhava os consumidores para predizer gravidez. Tem boas ideias e ótimos exemplos de como hábitos acontecem e regem a vida. Mas o livro é bem mais longo do que precisa, detalha demais os exemplos e muitas vezes dá uma boa forçada no que é explicado por hábito ou não para poder citar como exemplo ou incluir.
Ruel
Feb 19, 2014 Ruel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating look at the process of habit-forming. Duhigg discusses the science of habits and provides excellent anecdotes to support his theories. The chapters cover various topics, all seen through the prism of people's habits: exercise and diet, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, shoppers at Target, the birth of the civil rights movement, and more.

I'm a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell and there are parts of this book that read like something from him. Like Gladwell, Duhigg takes the science and appli
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بسام عبد العزيز
معلومتان جديدتان مهمتان جدًا ستعرفهما بعد قراءة هذا الكتاب المعجزة:
أولًا : الإنسان عندما يقوم بأي فعل فإنه يفكر مسبقًا فيما سيعود عليه من فائدة من فعله.
ثانيًا : الإنسان عندما يقوم بفعل ما بشكل تكراري يصبح هذا الأمر عادة عنده.

لحظة!
من قال أنهما "جديدتان"؟
أليس كل شخص يقوم بالفعل بالبحث عن الفائدة في كل ما يفعله؟
هل ننتظر مثلًا أن نجد شخصًا ما يقوم بفعل ما وهو يدرك أنه سيكون ضارًا به أو لن يعود عليه بأي فائدة أو متعة أو خير بأي شكل؟!!! أليس هذا بتعريف "الجنون"؟؟؟ هل الكاتب يوجه الكتاب إلى المجانين؟؟
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“Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” 90 likes
“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.” 81 likes
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