The Power Of Habit

Thought you might find this interesting folks Charles Duhigg has deconstructed the process of habit forming and the impact that has on organisational culture.  Interestingly Dughill started a recent study of students at Duke university that distinguishes decision making  from habit and found that the test subjects were using habits about 45% of the time during the day.

I like the definition of a habit something you made a decision on in the past and still demonstrate the behaviour but no longer feel the need to think about. For those of you familiar with a little neuroscience we use the Pre-frontal cortex for decision making whilst we use the basal ganglia for more habitual thinking. So we may not be conscious or overly clear on our own habits unless we reflect upon them.
Every habit has 3 components a cue, a routine and a reward ( sounds a lot like ABC of behavioral analysis:  Antecedant, behaviour and consequence)  There is some useful concept and useful illustrative stories.

Video: Good Life Project: Charles Duhigg – Power of Habit

The cue and reward are the critical parts of an habit that can empower you to change your habits. We can manipulate the cues or the reward. A nice example if you are struggling to get into  exercising then trick your brain and give yourself a small piece of chocolate as a reward.  Apparently your desire for that reward will diminish after a week or 2 or be replaced by other rewards such as  dopamine.

I like the identification of the  different types of cues (other people, an emotion, certain time, certain place,)  to behavior and how to influence that process to create constructive habits.

It endorses the view that instead of trying to stop a habit ;building a new habit to replace an old one is the best way to go.

Anyway we hope you find the video interesting.

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