CRF Blog

The Power of Habit

by Bill Hayes

Reporter Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business examines what science says about habits and how they can be broken.

Writing in the New York Times Book Review, professor of psychology Timothy D. Wilson calls the book “enjoyable,” but his interesting review delves into different kinds of habits.

[T]hen there are compulsions and addictions, behaviors that involve dependence on a chemical substance, like nicotine or alcohol, or behaviors that have become so rewarding that they’re nearly impossible to resist (e.g., gambling). As many wrecked families can attest, these habits are the hardest to change. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet, though intensive treatments and social support can work.

Other behaviors are habitual because they obey social norms — norms that we rarely question or think about. [more]

Below Duhigg is interviewed about his book.