The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit

Bwhy We Do What We Do in Life and Business

Audiobook CD - 2012
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Award-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. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Random House : Books on Tape, p2012.
Edition: Unabridged.
ISBN: 9780307966667
Branch Call Number: BF 335 D871p 2012
Characteristics: 9 sound discs (10 1/2 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: Chamberlain, Mike


From the critics

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Mar 02, 2018

Well worth reading, some valuable learning to be gained. Although I don't believe recreating habits is as easy as he prescribes, it's certainly worth trying.

ArapahoeAnna Dec 15, 2016

Time to create some new good habits? This book has interesting stories. Explains how and why to create new good habits, so you can achieve better lasting results.

Jun 02, 2016

One of the most tedious, repetitive, just bloody awful books I've ever had the misfortune to waste several hours of the my life I'll never get back reading. The audio book is on 9 CDs. I managed to get through the first 2, and was so annoyed with the author taking forever to get to the point, I skipped to the last CD. If the book was a quarter its current length, it might be useful.

CMLibrary_jkrajewski Feb 03, 2016

With a variety of stories, the author explores the nature of habits and offers insight on creating positive habits or changing negative ones. I enjoyed the author's voice as narration, which kept my interest throughout and included anecdotes about the Target chain, football coach Tony Dungy, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, and AA founder Bill Wilson. I have listened to this audio book three times through and picked up new tidbits with each listen.

Jan 02, 2015

I really enjoyed this audiobook. It gave me some real food for thought. Also led me to some other resources in an interesting roundabout way. The information on how the brain works with habits is very valuable.

Apr 17, 2013

A fine book for people who are not familar with different marketing techniques and habit formation.

Nov 05, 2012

Great information on habits, how they work, how they work, how they can benefit and be a disabilty to us. Does give some pointers on how to change them, it would have been even better if there was more time and information on this area.

Sep 17, 2012

I found this more relating to business and sales and was looking for something more related to habits of an individual, in their daily life. While some of the information was applicable, I should have picked a book more personally relevant. Towards the end the elongated stories about the bringing churches to the masses and sales pitches didn’t leave me feeling like this was time well spent

Aug 25, 2012

Interesting exploration of how we develop, and can change habits that are so pervasive in our lives. I thought there was enough information on how to change or enhance habits to make it very worthwhile.

Jun 25, 2012

Early on while listening to this audiobook, I was ready to eject the disc and forget the whole thing. The content was shaping up to be just another business book on how to maximize profits. Take the story of Claude C. Hopkins for example. He was an American businessman and advertising pioneer who applied the science of habits towards helping clients sell products. Active in the early 20th century, Mr. Hopkins is credited with promoting daily teeth brushing by showing that doing so would remove a film that forms naturally on the teeth. Never mind that brushing was overkill (swishing water in your mouth will do the job), people nevertheless bought into the new habit, and millions of dollars were made. Ahh, advertising.

In spite of celebrating the likes of Claude C. Hopkins, I kept listening. After a while I got the impression of a Jekyll and Hyde thing going on. For the most part, this book wants to be a statistical how-to manual for reforming individuals and businesses, but underneath all the rationality lurks a dark side. It's one thing to bite your nails and wish you could stop, but it's another thing entirely to wield the power of habit to manipulate others. More on this in a moment.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg breaks down the structure of a habit into three parts: cue, action and reward. He goes on to show how it's overwhelmingly easier to alter a habit rather than cease doing it entirely. For the bad habits, one need only change the destructive part of the habit, the action, and keep the other parts intact. This works provided an appropriate substitute is found.

The most influential parts for me were the sections on small winds and weak ties. Small winds are like a controlled butterfly effect -- small changes leveraged in the present so that bigger changes can be enacted later on. Weak ties relate to the relational bonds between people. There are family and friends and there are complete strangers, and somewhere in between are the weak ties. A surprisingly strong connection, these are the people you may know of, but not very well. Or you may not know them at all even though they belong to your community, church, etc. Movements are born and political campaigns are won using these weak ties.

The section on corporate retailers (Target being the given example) takes us to more uncomfortable territory. Here they mine consumer buying data to predict a customer's future buying needs. Hardly innocuous coupon advertising; this is big brother stuff, and to the book's credit, it admits the same thing. Profits are up! But so are intrusions of privacy! (Jekyll and Hyde.) We all know this is going on, but to what extent?

The last section ventures into the territory of habit versus free will with biting examples of gambling addiction and committing involuntary manslaughter... while asleep! This isn't your feel good biz org manual anymore. It's this dichotomy that seals the deal for The Power of Habit being one of the most important reads this year.

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Nov 21, 2017

SFPL202 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Nov 20, 2012

Frightening or Intense Scenes: I enjoyed most of this book a good deal, and found it to be very well-written and helpful, but the final chapter was rather disturbing, and told in vivid detail. It is a little intense, and I wish I would have been better prepared for that. I recommend it, but wish I would have skipped the last chapter. I wouldn't listen to it with children in the car.


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