The Power of Habit

by

Charles Duhigg

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Themes and Colors
Habits, Human Behavior, and Success Theme Icon
Habit Change and Personal Growth  Theme Icon
Social Habits and Cultural Influence Theme Icon
The Moral Consequences of Habits Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Power of Habit, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Habits, Human Behavior, and Success

In The Power of Habit, journalist Charles Duhigg explores how people’s habits—their automatic patterns of behavior—shape their lives, accomplishments, and identities. By making ordinary decisions automatic, habits save people time and energy. But, for this very reason, they’re also easy to overlook. Every day, people make hundreds of habitual decisions about ordinary issues like what to eat, how to get to work, what to do during their free time, and how to handle stress…

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Habit Change and Personal Growth

Charles Duhigg wants his readers to understand how habits work and why they’re so central to human life, but his real goal is to give people the tools they need to change their habits for the better. This is why The Power of Habit is best known for its detailed advice on how to replace bad habits with good ones. While many people think of their habits as automatic, set in stone, and outside their…

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Social Habits and Cultural Influence

Most readers are likely to associate the word “habit” with individual behaviors (like eating healthy food, exercising regularly, and practicing good hygiene). But in The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg argues that these aren’t the only kinds of habits that affect people’s lives. Instead, he shows that groups, organizations, and even whole societies also depend on the same kind of automatic, unquestioned habits as individuals. This happens because habits are contagious—they can catch on…

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The Moral Consequences of Habits

Because habit change is such a powerful tool, it can do immense good—or considerable evil. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg surveys examples that span the whole moral spectrum. Many cases of habit change are obviously morally good—like overcoming violent tendencies or stopping medical malpractice. But when people develop or fail to overcome their evil habits, Duhigg asks, who is at fault? Habits are complicated because, while they are often involuntary, people ultimately…

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