How Habits are Explained in The Power of Habit

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In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg proves his thesis by using a variety of stories as examples of how certain habits can benefit the person or group with this habit and how others can cause catastrophic disasters. An example of this is the story about the habit that was created among the different types of employees at the London Underground which causes Philip Brickell, an employee who collects tickets, to get used to the routine hat was “handed down from employee to employee--told him that he should never, under any circumstances, refer to anything inside the station as a ‘fire’” (Duhigg location 2610). Because Brickell was told this, he did not tell anyone about the burning tissue at the bottom of an escalator and a large fire spread throughout the London Underground, killing several people.
Duhigg uses definition to support his thesis by defining what a habit is and giving many examples of habits. Duhigg actually defines three different ways habits are used. The book is divided into three parts, “The Habits of Individuals,” “The Habits of Successful Organizations,” and “The Habits of Societies” which each describe how habits are used differently in three kinds of environments. Duhigg explains how each use is different, for example, in the second section, “The Habits of Successful Organizations,” he explains how some organizations use the habits of their customers to help advertise and sell their product. For example, Duhigg writes about how, when trying to promote a new song, radio stations will play the new song between two already popular songs to get listeners of that radio station to listen to that song and get it stuck in their head. He tells how the song “Hey Ya!” became popular in 2003 because it was played betwee...

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...rles Duhigg uses many stories in The Power of Habit to prove his thesis that habits affect everyone and are an important thing, but can be bad habits that bring about negative effects. This is a unique aspect about the book that keeps the reader interested in the constant new stories instead of reading one longer one and easily getting bored with it. Duhigg uses definition to explain exactly what a habit is to the reader by providing examples that show the science behind habits and also showing how small changes can make a huge difference. The many examples also strengthen Duhigg’s arguments because he uses relatable stories that the reader can connect to and see habits in their own lifestyle that are similar to those stated in the book.

Work Cited
Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. New York: Random House, 2012. Print.

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