Buying Options

The Kindle title is not currently available for purchase
You've subscribed to ! We will preorder your items within 24 hours of when they become available. When new books are released, we'll charge your default payment method for the lowest price available during the pre-order period.
Update your device or payment method, cancel individual pre-orders or your subscription at
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Learn more

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle Cloud Reader.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Loading your book clubs
There was a problem loading your book clubs. Please try again.
Not in a club? Learn more
Amazon book clubs early access

Join or create book clubs

Choose books together

Track your books
Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free.
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change by [Charles Duhigg]

Follow the Author

Something went wrong. Please try your request again later.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do, and How to Change Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 23,103 ratings

Price
New from Used from
Kindle

Only $5.95 a month for the first 4 months on Audible. Limited-time only.
Popular Highlights in this book

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Q&A with Charles Duhigg

Q. What sparked your interest in habits?

A. I first became interested in the science of habits eight years ago, as a newspaper reporter in Baghdad, when I heard about an army major conducting an experiment in a small town named Kufa. The major had analyzed videotapes of riots and had found that violence was often preceded by a crowd of Iraqis gathering in a plaza and, over the course of hours, growing in size. Food vendors would show up, as well as spectators. Then, someone would throw a rock or a bottle.

When the major met with Kufa’s mayor, he made an odd request: Could they keep food vendors out of the plazas? Sure, the mayor said. A few weeks later, a small crowd gathered near the Great Mosque of Kufa. It grew in size. Some people started chanting angry slogans. At dusk, the crowd started getting restless and hungry. People looked for the kebab sellers normally filling the plaza, but there were none to be found. The spectators left. The chanters became dispirited. By 8 p.m., everyone was gone.

I asked the major how he had figured out that removing food vendors would change peoples' behavior.

The U.S. military, he told me, is one of the biggest habit-formation experiments in history. “Understanding habits is the most important thing I’ve learned in the army,” he said. By the time I got back to the U.S., I was hooked on the topic.

Q. How have your own habits changed as a result of writing this book?

A. Since starting work on this book, I've lost about 30 pounds, I run every other morning (I'm training for the NY Marathon later this year), and I'm much more productive. And the reason why is because I've learned to diagnose my habits, and how to change them.

Take, for instance, a bad habit I had of eating a cookie every afternoon. By learning how to analyze my habit, I figured out that the reason I walked to the cafeteria each day wasn't because I was craving a chocolate chip cookie. It was because I was craving socialization, the company of talking to my colleagues while munching. That was the habit's real reward. And the cue for my behavior - the trigger that caused me to automatically stand up and wander to the cafeteria, was a certain time of day.

So, I reconstructed the habit: now, at about 3:30 each day, I absentmindedly stand up from my desk, look around for someone to talk with, and then gossip for about 10 minutes. I don't even think about it at this point. It's automatic. It's a habit. I haven't had a cookie in six months.

Q. What was the most surprising use of habits that you uncovered?

A. The most surprising thing I've learned is how companies use the science of habit formation to study - and influence - what we buy.

Take, for example, Target, the giant retailer. Target collects all kinds of data on every shopper it can, including whether you’re married and have kids, which part of town you live in, how much money you earn, if you've moved recently, the websites you visit. And with that information, it tries to diagnose each consumer’s unique, individual habits.

Why? Because Target knows that there are these certain moments when our habits become flexible. When we buy a new house, for instance, or get married or have a baby, our shopping habits are in flux. A well-timed coupon or advertisement can convince us to buy in a whole new way. But figuring out when someone is buying a house or getting married or having a baby is tough. And if you send the advertisement after the wedding or the baby arrives, it’s usually too late.

So Target studies our habits to see if they can predict major life events. And the company is very, very successful. Oftentimes, they know what is going on in someone's life better than that person's parents.

--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Review

Praise for The Power of Habit

Entertaining, an enjoyable book…a serious look at the science of habit formation and change.” —New York Times Book Review

"Duhigg brings a heaping, much-needed dose of social science and psychology to the subject, explaining the promise and perils of habits via
an entertaining ride that touches on everything from marketing to management studies to the civil-rights movement… a fascinating read.”—Newsweek Daily Beast
 
A fascinating exploration of our pathologically habitual society — we smoke, we incessantly check our BlackBerrys, we chronically choose bad partners, we always (or never) make our beds. Duhigg digs into why we are this way, and how we can change, both as individuals and institutionally.” —The Daily

“Charles Duhigg’s thesis is powerful in its elegant simplicity: confront the root drivers of our behavior, accept them as intractable, and then channel those same cravings into productive patterns.
His core insight is sharp, provocative, and useful.”
—Jim Collins, #1 bestselling author of Good to Great and Built to Last
 
The Power of Habit is not a magic pill but a thoroughly intriguing exploration of how habits function. Charles Duhigg expertly weaves fascinating new research and rich case studies into an intelligent model that is understandable, useful in a wide variety of contexts, and a flat-out great read. His chapter on ‘keystone habits’ alone would justify the book.”
—David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
 
“Charles Duhigg masterfully combines cutting-edge research and captivating stories to reveal how habits shape our lives and how we can shape our habits.
Once you read this book, you’ll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way.”
—Daniel H. Pink, author of #1 New York Times bestselling Drive and A Whole New Mind
 
“William James once observed that ninety-nine percent of human activity is done out of mere habit. In this fascinating book, Charles Duhigg reveals why James was right, documenting the myriad ways in which our habits shape our lives. Do you want to know why Febreze became a bestselling product? Or how Tony Dungy gets the most out of his football players? Or how the science of habits can be used to improve willpower?
Read this book.”
—Jonah Lehrer, bestselling author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B006WAIV6M
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cornerstone Digital; 19th edition (April 5, 2012)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ April 5, 2012
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 4237 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 391 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ B0BLNSVNLM
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 23,103 ratings

About the author

Follow authors to get new release updates, plus improved recommendations.
Brief content visible, double tap to read full content.
Full content visible, double tap to read brief content.

My name is Charles Duhigg, and I'm a reporter for The New York Times. I'm also the author of The Power of Habit, about the science of habit formation, as well as Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Productivity in Life and Business (which is available for sale on Amazon on March 8, 2016!)

I've worked at the Times since 2006. In 2013, I was part of a team that won the Pulitzer Prize for a series about Apple named "The iEconomy". Before that, I contributed to NYT series about the 2008 financial crisis, how companies take advantage of the elderly and national violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. (For those series, I won the National Journalism Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors' Medal, the National Academies' reporting award and other recognitions.)

But let’s be honest, you aren’t visiting this page so I can brag about series and awards. (Unless you’re my mom. Hi mom!)

I’m also a native of New Mexico. I studied history at Yale and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. I now live in Brooklyn with my wife and two children and, before becoming a journalist, was a bike messenger in San Francisco for one terrifying day.

I would love to hear from you. I'm at charles@charlesduhigg.com.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
23,103 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 10, 2012
19 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 20, 2012
2 people found this helpful
Report abuse

Top reviews from other countries

Atul Kumar Singh
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this summary and save your money
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on March 13, 2019
Customer image
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this summary and save your money
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on March 13, 2019
Before I begin my book review, for those who are planning to purchase this book, they must know what this book WILL NOT offer you (in case you’re looking for below points):
1. This book will not help you inculcate habits or help you in forming new habits
2. This book will not dramatically change your life (in case you were hoping so. If you wish to change your life dramatically, you’ll have to help your own self)
3. This book will not help you get rid of your bad habits.

Now that we’re clear with what this book doesn’t offer, let us look at what this book offers:
1. The book will tell you how habits work and how are they formed (the scientific approach). So it does not directly help you in forming new habits or getting rid of bad ones, but you can try applying the scientific approach described in the book and see if it helps you or not.
2. The book will help you understand the power of habits among individuals, organizations and societies through powerful and impactful examples
3. The book will describe various instances and stories around products, instances, and individuals etc, to emphasize on the importance of habits and how we can use habits to our advantage.
The book helps you understand why habits are at the very core of anything you do, how you can change them (scientific approach), and what impact that will have on your business, life and society.

The book is primarily divided into 3 parts
Part 1 – Habits of Individuals
Part 2 – Habits of Successful Organisations
Part 3 – Habits of Societies

The book is written by Pulitzer-prize winning author Charles Duhigg, and was first published in 2012. It is one of the bestseller in the ‘Self-help’ category. Duhigg wrote this book when he got fascinated by the intelligence of a US army major in Iraq, who controlled numerous riots by persuading the town’s mayor to keep food vendors away from gatherings. When people couldn’t satisfy their hunger with food, as they usually did (put of habit), they just left. Duhigg published this book after a lot of research, 8 years after this incident.

Now that you know what led to creation of this book, let’s look at the book summary:

1. Habits work in 3-step loops: cue, routine, reward. The cue is what triggers you to do the habit. The routine is the behavior you then automatically engage in. Lastly, you’ll receive a reward for completing the routine. Example: You get up every morning (Cue), make coffee (routine) and have a rich tasting coffee with a great aroma (reward).

2. You can change your habits by substituting just one part of the loop, the routine. The trick to changing a habit then, is to switch the routine, and leave everything else intact.

3. Your most important habit is willpower, and you can strengthen it over time in 3 ways. These three ways are:
- Do something that requires a lot of discipline. - For example a tough wake-up regimen or strict diet will make you constantly practice delaying gratification and thus give you more willpower
- Plan ahead for worst-case scenarios.
- Preserve your autonomy - When you’re assigned tasks by someone else, which you must do, your willpower muscle tires much quicker.

4. Keystone Habits are those habits which help you transform other habits. Figuring out these habits and working on them can create great transformation. Example – Getting up early can be a keystone habit that can have a positive impact on your other spheres of life such as having breakfast daily without skipping it, reaching work on time, having more time throughout the day for various tasks etc.
The author describes this with wonderful example of Alcoa’s transformation by Paul Neill.

5. Every small habit is like a small win. And a series small wins will help you form a routine/habit. Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage. Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favors another small win. Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.
The author describes this with the story Michael Phelps, the world renowned swimmer.

6. Transformation is always easier in groups, rather than alone or in isolation. Example – If you have a gym buddy, you’re more likely to hit the gym, than skip it.

7. Good leaders seize crises to remake organizational habits. In fact, crises are such valuable opportunities that a wise leader often prolongs a sense of emergency on purpose. The author describes this with transformation of a subway station after a major fire broke out killing many people.

8. People’s habits are more likely to change when they go through a major life event. To encourage people to practice new behavior, it needs to take advantage of patterns that already exists within them. Author uses example of the hypermarket chain Target, and how it uses customer’s demographics and spending habits to extract key inferences that help them sell relevant products to these consumers.

9. Social change and movement only happen with the existence of the weak link – the change as a whole within a group of people without a direct connection – and the strong link – the change of people around with close relationship (peer pressure). The author describes the movement in Montgomery against racial discrimination and how the movement gathered momentum.

10. Habits emerge within the brain and often, we don’t have the ability to control them, but we’re conscious and aware of them. With that said, it’s still our responsibility to cultivate our own habits and take charge of our own life.

The book is filled with multiple stories and instances that reiterate how important habits are and how we can use them to our advantage. I hope this was helpful! Thanks.

Favorite Quote from the book:
“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.” – Charles Duhigg
Images in this review
Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image Customer image
Customer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer imageCustomer image
676 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Callum
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 4, 2018
238 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Liam Kelleher
3.0 out of 5 stars 25% incredibly useful, 75% drivel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on August 18, 2019
104 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fascinating
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on May 12, 2018
148 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Rahul
1.0 out of 5 stars [Read before you buy] - duplicate book
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on October 19, 2020
Customer image
1.0 out of 5 stars [Read before you buy] - duplicate book
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on October 19, 2020
Everyone knows that it’s a really good book by Charles Duhigg, no doubt in that. But this sellers is giving a duplicate version of the book which is having very rough paper quality and poor print. It’s really a shame that such seller exists on amazon which sells product at 4-5 times costlier than offline.
You can easily purchase such low quality printed book at 50-100rs from people selling outside metro station in delhi or at traffic lights in any city or from any local bookstore.
Also you can NOT RETURN THE BOOK ONCE PURCHASED.
It’s better to buy the ebook or kindle book than investing 400-500 on such a cheap quality book.
Purchased at 456 rs.
Seller- uReadStore
Images in this review
Customer image
Customer image
77 people found this helpful
Report abuse
Report an issue

Does this item contain inappropriate content?
Do you believe that this item violates a copyright?
Does this item contain quality or formatting issues?