Author Charles Duhigg has done some fascinating research regarding human habits in his new book, The Power of Habit. He has been attempting to open the public’s eyes regarding how many of our daily actions are simply habits, not actual choices. Due to this fact, he also points out how companies are cashing in on our routines.
A 2006 study determined that more than 40 percent of our actions are habits, not real decisions. That’s a large portion of our lives being governed for us. Duhigg wants people to view their situation and see how they can nurture good habits and lose the bad ones.
Duhigg created a three step process to explain the development of habits. The process is cue, routine, and reward. The process is explained by using Claude Hopkins, the famous ad man for Pepsodent toothpaste as an example. Hopkins helped create a craving that made toothbrushing a habit. The cue was unsettling tooth film, the routine was brushing, and the reward was clean attractive teeth.
Another case study example of how habits are recognized and then effectively changed into good habits is that of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Duhigg points out how the routine of drinking was replaced with meetings and companionship. AA has become one of the world’s most successful habit changing organizations.