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New York Times business writer Charles Duhigg explores the science behind why we do what we do, and how companies use our habit-forming tendencies to sell and market products to us.
January 8, 2014 • In softcover nonfiction, William Knoedelseder looks at the family behind Budweiser, Charles Duhigg delves into the science of habit, Fred Kaplan explores an Army revolution, and Whole Foods' founder argues for businesses pursuing a higher purpose.
December 24, 2012 • How is it that some people are able to change their bad habits and reinvent themselves, while others try and fall short? March 5, 2012 • Every habit-forming activity follows the same behavioral and neurological patterns, says New York Times business writer Charles Duhigg. February 27, 2012 • In his new book, Charles Duhigg explores cutting-edge research into the neuroscience of habit formation a€” and how companies and advertisers are using it to their advantage. Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive. Prologue I i¬?rst became interested in the science of habits eight years ago, as a newspaper reporter in Baghdad. As part of our annual series on the books we missed, New York Times investigative reporter Charles Duhigg discusses his book The Power Of Habit and about the science of habit formation. Understanding and interrupting that loop is key to breaking a habit, says journalist Charles Duhigg.


His new book The Power of Habit explores the science behind why we do what we do a€” and how companies are working to use our habits to market products to us. Basic training teaches soldiers carefully designed habits for how to shoot, think, and communicate under i¬?re.
On the battlei¬?eld, every command that's issued draws on behaviors practiced to the point of automation. The entire organization relies on endlessly rehearsed routines for building bases, setting strategic priorities, and deciding how to respond to attacks.
In those early days of the war, when the insurgency was spreading and death tolls were mounting, commanders were looking for habits they could instill among soldiers and Iraqis that might create a durable peace. He was an army major who had analyzed videotapes of recent riots and had identii¬?ed a pattern: Violence was usually preceded by a crowd of Iraqis gathering in a plaza or other open space and, over the course of several hours, growing in size.
He had attended classes that taught him habits for saving money, exercising each day, and communicating with bunkmates. As he moved up the ranks, he learned the importance of organizational habits in ensuring that subordinates could make decisions without constantly asking permission, and how the right routines made it easier to work alongside people he normally couldn't stand. And now, as an impromptu nation builder, he was seeing how crowds and cultures abided by many of the same rules.


In some sense, he said, a community was a giant collection of habits occurring among thousands of people that, depending on how they're ini¬‚uenced, could result in violence or peace.
In addition to removing the food vendors, he had launched dozens of different experiments in Kufa to ini¬‚uence residents' habits.
He told me that prior to entering the military, his best career option had been repairing telephone lines, or, possibly, becoming a methamphetamine entrepreneur, a path some of his high school peers had chosen to less success.
Now, he oversaw eight hundred troops in one of the most sophisticated i¬?ghting organizations on earth.
I tell my soldiers all the time, there's nothing you can't do if you get the habits right." In the past decade, our understanding of the neurology and psychology of habits and the way patterns work within our lives, societies, and organizations has expanded in ways we couldn't have imagined i¬?fty years ago.
We understand how to make people eat less, exercise more, work more efi¬?ciently, and live healthier lives. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.



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the power of habit audible



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