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on April 16, 2012
It seems that the author prioritized his best material for the intro and first chapter, and then the material stalls. The key examples used (NFL Coach Tony Dungy; Alcoholics Anonymous) appear to only weakly support his thesis. This seems more appropriate for a New Yorker article than a full book.
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on August 24, 2012
The topic is definitely interesting and the book starts off with all the good questions about habits of people who have managed to change their lives, (this was the main reason for me to buy the book looking at the amazon reviews) the first few chapters about human habits and recent scientific studies on how the brain function is of some interest.
The majority of the book is full of chatter specially the topics around organizational habits, habits of societies etc, the author tries very hard to connect everything to some form of habit reasoning .. most of the examples and stories and the habit connections are just silly ..
After the first 30 mins of reading the rest of the book is a complete letdown.
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VINE VOICEon February 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The author tells so many interesting stories and I loved reading about them as I am fascinated about how marketing does and does not work. I had fun reading this book but then it seemed to end before I got what I was expecting. The author did talk on a very basic level about the brain and habits too but, just when I thought it was going to go more extensively into your brain and how it works and how to change it regarding habits, it was all over. As someone else stated, this although interesting, is not at all a step by step guide to mastering or changing habits. I think people need really extensive information to tackle such a topic that often illudes so many of us. I really enjoyed the book though.
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on December 6, 2012
The entire concept for this book is nothing more than a rehashing of psychological theory from the 1950's. If you ever took psychology 101 do not waste your money on this book- remember B F Skinner or Pavlov? then you already know this amazing New? science!
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on April 6, 2013
This book is not at all what it purports to be. It's a series of stories on how habits have impacted individuals, football teams and or businesses. But what isn't made clear is the details on habits. What is a habit? How to identify the important cues? How to replace them with something else? How to identify and then implement a keystone habit? It's interesting stories but it isn't at all helpful in terms of helping to move forward in creating positive habits; replacing negative habits with an alternative habit; identifying and implementing keystone habits in the workplace etc. It's thought provoking- but absent a significant amount of additional investment by the reader in further research and though it's just a nice story book.
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on November 20, 2012
One thin idea stretched to breaking point over a bunch of chapters that have little or nothing to do with it. Laughable attempt to cover the neurology of free will in last chapter. Worst kind of simplistic, one dimensional moralising. The way he stood in judgement over the woman with the gambling habit made me gag. In a year when Khaneman published Thinking, depressing to find this junk on the same best seller lists. The very worst of pop-science.
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on April 11, 2012
Based on all the positive reviews, I was quite optimistic that this book would profoundly increase my insight into habits and how to alter them. Instead, this was nothing more than a thinly veiled attemt to interweave stories that really have no basis being compared, contrasted, or integrated. Anyone with an advanced degree, or a lot of common sense, will probably not benefit from reading it. Contrary to several reviewer's comments, the writing is not at all like other authors of the genre such as Malcolm Gladwell. Waste of time and money.
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VINE VOICEon August 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Life the universe and everything viewed through the lens of habit.

I was very happy to get this book through the Vine program. I got the advanced copy. Sadly, the publisher thought that a book like this didn't need annotation to be reviewed. The footnote are included but not knowing what is being attributed makes them all but worthless.

I did look at a few footnotes and I'll mention two in particular below.

It is well written in that it reads like a novel. There is no doubt that Mr. Duhigg is an able professional writer capable of telling a story in an interesting manner. That is very valuable and I looked forward to reading the book because of it.

What it turned out to be was a long winded fuzzy restatement of known behavioral science.

The book is rife with it but one thing that really stood out was the cabbage story. See, the military started including *fresh* cabbage with meals for soldiers. If you've ever eaten fresh cabbage you know why it wasn't a big hit. They started serving it boiled and soldiers started eating it. Duhigg's analysis is that the resulting increase in consumption was because the dish was now prepared in a way familiar to the soldiers and thus they ate it out of habit! I must ask, has this man ever eaten raw cabbage and cooked cabbage? The taste, texture and appearance are night and day.

One of the stories is about the song Hey Ya. According to research, people say they don't like songs but actually they secretly like and listen to them. When you check the footnote for it the research Duhigg is referring to is a group of 800 people given pager devices. These devices relieve the subject of having to keep a diary. The question is, how do the researchers know that the wearer doesn't just sit the device down on the table and walk off when a crappy song comes on just like people use commercials to do stuff around the house?

I've got some other serious gripes with the book but they are more subjective so I'll put them in a comment.

It is an easy book to read and it is well written and that is about all it has going for it.
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on June 30, 2015
 "This book draws on hundreds of academic studies, interviews with more than three hundred scientists and executives, and research conducted at dozens of companies. It focuses on habits as they are technically defined: the choices that all of us deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about but continue doing, often every day. At one point, we all consciously decided how much to eat and what to focus on when we got to the office, how often to have a drink or when to go for a jog. Then we stopped making a choice, and the behavior became automatic. It's a natural consequence of our neurology. And by understanding how it happens, you can rebuild those patterns in whichever way you choose." ~ Charles Duhigg from The Power of Habit


They're powerful.

"As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives-- in the gym, or a money management program--that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower became stronger, it touched everything." ~ Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is a very cool look at why we have them, how they work, and what we can do to change them. The book is an incredibly well-written, fun read and it's packed with great stories and wisdom. I highly recommend it and trust you'll love it!

I'm excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas and hope you dig it!

1. An Efficient Brain - Why we have habits.
2. Cue + Routine + Reward - How's your loop?
3. Get a Cue! - And shape your life.
4. Keystone Habits - Are H.U.G.E.
5. Believe You Can Change - It's essential.

To find 250+ more reviews visit
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VINE VOICEon February 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In a sentence - this book will be a big seller and you should read it.

Why? Because it's the latest in a series of books similar to Malcolm Gladwell's "The Tipping Point." In other words, "Things we didn't know about ourselves until new psychological research showed us."

Now a book on habit could just deal on how habits control our life, and how we rely on them to get by. If we had to be in control of everything we're doing, we couldn't do it. Driving a car has become so easy for us, we can sometimes make a journey and have no idea what happened during the drive.

But Charles Duhigg is interested in the dark side of habits. He looks at the habits we wish we could lose, and at the amazing stories of the people who actually changed their bad habits. All of these stories are amazing - the woman who gave up smoking, the U.S. major who realized that Kebab vendors were the key to Iraq violence, how Proctor and Gamble got people to buy Febreze, and how Target knows who you are and what you buy. All of these stories and plenty more go against conventional wisdom, but Duhigg makes you see how obvious they are.

He talks about the unlikely ways that people like Starbucks, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rick Warren's Saddleback Church found success. Even something as basic as an NFL league team can be turned around. You'd think teams knew everything about the game, but Tony Dungy found a different way that propelled the Indianapolis Colts to success, and using habits worked for people as disparate as Paul O'Neil's changing Alcoa's corporate mentality and Michael Phelps's winning Olympic swimming medals.

I wish I could put down here what you needed to do to make these changes in your own life, and after reading the book you'll have a pretty good idea. Unfortunately, we reviewers get early versions of some books that are don't have items like an index. There's a missing appendix called "A reader's guide to using these ideas," which will be in the version you can buy at Amazon or in the bookstore.

I was astounded when I read this book - and I've read it twice - and I think Duhigg is really onto something, something very important. In fact, although having read over ninety percent of the finished book twice, I intend to buy it, to get those few nuggets of information that will only be in the final book. I suggest you buy the book for yourself, and you'll be as impressed as I was.

Don't miss this one.
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