Megan's Reviews > The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
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Dec 21, 12

Read in December, 2012

This book falls into the pop-psychology/popular science genre and, as such, is not as academically rigorous or precise as many readers would like it to be (including myself, at points). The author is a journalist who blends scientific material with anecdotal storytelling (a common journalistic style which is usually compelling for the lay reader, though not very scientific).

That being said, I found this book to be a gem within this genre. The author weaves scientific research and knowledge into more intimate anecdotal narratives quite skillfully, and seemingly without sacrificing too much scientific substance or factual accuracy.

The early chapters on individual habit formation and the neuroscience behind it are perhaps the most interesting and rigorously researched, and I found the information to be educational, fascinating, and inspiring -- it really prompted me to rethink my own behaviors and gave me some concrete strategies for changing and forming habits in my own life.

The sections on organizational and societal habit formation are less rigorous, and the author makes some tenuous causal inferences, as well as conflates "habit" with more well-established concepts actually derived from sociology, political science, etc. Still, the implications of human habit formation for organizational behavior and social movements are interesting and I found the stories and case studies to be thought provoking and potentially quite useful for decision-makers, leaders, policy makers, social leaders, etc.

In all, the book is definitely an entertaining and enlightening read and, if nothing else, is a good launching point for further and more sophisticated reading on habit formation and organizational psychology.
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