How Habits Affect Everyday Life Essay

1632 words - 7 pages

At any given moment, customers of all backgrounds rush into Starbucks, only to take their time once engaged by employees. Those same customers head home to receive a flier from Target with coupons directed at their family. Then maybe they will do some light cleaning, such as spraying their homes with Febreze, and eventually they will brush their teeth before heading to bed; only to repeat a similar pattern the following day. After spending the morning in the Starbucks on the corner of Park Avenue and East 34th Street in Manhattan, it became nearly impossible to reject Charles Duhigg’s findings in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business. When I first walked into the store, employees who were eager to take my order and learn my name greeted me. While waiting for my coffee, I observed a cohesive staff behind the bar, preparing food and drinks, laughing, and having fun. Duhigg would note this excellent customer service as the result of habit.
In The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, Duhigg leads readers through a careful analysis of academic studies, interviews, research, and even some anecdotes. Habits are a part of our everyday lives, and while we may believe that we are making conscious decisions, most of what we do is truly a result of habit. Habits are also our brain’s way of being more efficient, rather than consciously thinking all the time, the brain attempts to save effort through these habitual behaviors. Duhigg refers to this phenomenon as “chunking,” a process where “the brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine.”1 If the brain did not have routines to depend on, it would become too overwhelmed to continue processing information. Therefore changing someone’s habits is nearly synonymous with changing their brain1. In Duhigg’s analysis of academic studies, he first speaks about a case within the National Institutes of Health’s research on destructive habits. Readers are introduced to Lisa, a formerly overweight smoker and drinker who completely changed her life. When researchers examined her brain, they found that while the neurologic pathways of her former habits were still present, they were actually offset by new behaviors.
The habit loop, as researched by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professionals, is a “simple neurological loop at the core of every habit.”1 Each habit has a cue, which is followed by a routine, and ends with some sort of reward. The cue is what triggers the brain into completing a routine, and the reward acts as a reinforcement of the habit. If there is a beneficial reward, then the brain will store the habit loop for future use. Duhigg applies this strategy to each of the scenarios he discusses within his book. It is important to note that, “when a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making.”1 Because many habits are good for us, this only becomes a problem when destructive habits prevail or when business...

Find Another Essay On How Habits Affect Everyday Life

How a Divorce Can Affect a Child's Life

2379 words - 10 pages .Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 3 Oct. 2013. This article has the content of explaining how divorce can damage a child’s life "Preface to 'How Does Divorce Affect Children?'." Family. Ed. Karen Miller. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 3 Oct. 2013. "Preface to 'Is Divorce a Serious Problem?'." Divorce. Ed. Mike Wilson. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing

How can a criminal record affect your life?

949 words - 4 pages How can a criminal record affect your life?What is a criminal record?A criminal record is a document that lists a person's criminal and penal convictions pronounced by the courts of Canada in accordance with federal laws such as the Criminal Code of Canada. However, violating a traffic rule of the Quebec Highway Safety Code is not a criminal offence and would not result in a criminal record. In fact, offences to provincial penal laws do not

How Do The Childhood Years Affect Us Later In Life?

859 words - 3 pages How do the childhood years affect us later in life?As infants grow into children, and children to teens, and teens to adults, they are changing in other ways besides their physical appearances. As an adult looking back, I can remember how the friends and environment that I was raised in has developed certain aspects of my behavior today. Baron states, "Evidence indicates that [infants] can be classically conditioned, but primarily with respect

How Do Different Types of Radioactive Isotopes Affect Plant Life

1118 words - 5 pages UV-B rays affect plant life and everything that depends on the photosynthesis resulting from those rays. Yet, not many people have written books on this subject My experiment is about how outside sources such as the UV-B rays other radiation influences the growth of plants. I have conducted an experiment where I use four different types of radiation (cosmic, UV, alpha, and beta). My findings concluded that the cosmic radiation was positive

Alcoholism: How does it affect the drinker’s health and life?

1664 words - 7 pages Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol on extreme. Alcohol has severe and dangerous effects on human body and damages almost every part of the body; from brain to liver, everything is affected by its consumption. But the effects are not only limited to human body; alcohol does not only affect the drinker’s personal health and body, but it also damages the family and social life of him as well as his economic prosperity. Alcohol affects every

Explain how technology contributed to change in the everyday life of Australians in the 1950's

1125 words - 5 pages History Essay Explain how technology contributed to change in the everyday life of Australians in the 1950s. The 1950's was an incredible decade, with major technological advances that impacted nu- merous aspects of everyday life for Australians. The advances in transport not only assisted with faster and easier travel, but they allowed people to go further. In addition, cars were a much sought after status symbol of wealth, class and stability

Personality and Music: Can Traits Explain How People Use Music in Everyday Life?

2584 words - 10 pages This is a critical review of Chamorro-premuxic et al's 2007 study relating to trait theories and the use of music in everyday life. The primary focus will be on the theoretical basis for the study, as well as the methodology as influenced by said theory and finally potential applications and further research. The study used the Five factor trait theory, IQ(obtained using the Wonderlic Personnel Test) and the Typical Intellectual Engagement

Jackie Robinson and how he changed the face of not only sports but everyday life

2072 words - 8 pages Jackie Robinson was only known as a great baseball player during his playing years but fans didn't know how much he would change the face of sports and everyday life. I am doing my project on Jackie Robinson and how he changed how African Americans are viewed in society. Jackie was the first African-American to play major league baseball. Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and played 10 years of his major league career with the Dodgers

Have You Ever Thought About Nuclear War And How It Affects Your Everyday Life?

1360 words - 5 pages Nuclear War Have you ever thought about nuclear war and how it affects your everyday life? In a madder of minutes large parts of are country can be taken out by nuclear bombs. Nuclear consists of many different types of nuclear artillery and, many types of planes and submarines. Also it consists of many effects, accidents, and a history of attacks. These aspects of nuclear war range far from any other type of war.First, are the types of

Discuss how cognitive research into context-dependent memory might be applied to improve our memory in everyday life

3075 words - 12 pages will go further on how that research can be applied in real life to facilitate the accuracy of eyewitnesses’ recall and recognition. The essay will aim to show that despite some obvious limitations of the research, its correct application and attempts to neutralise the hindrances can broadly improve the results of testimonies

Escape Camp 14: How Strict Rules Affect a Persons Perspective on Life

1357 words - 6 pages strict and harsh rules are implemented in the camp, and the repercussions are even worse. Prisoners work long and hard all day long with little to no time for breaks. Shin lives a harsh life not knowing what love is, and feeling pain every day. How do strict rules affect a persons perspective on life? In Blaine Harden’s biography, Escape From Camp 14, Strict rules can change your mindset, your actions, and your thought-process. Shin and every other

Similar Essays

How May Habituation Affect Study Habits Seminar Research

1387 words - 6 pages Page | 1 How does habituation, classical conditioning and operant conditioning adversely affect the development of good study habits? C.C John Watson proposed a process known as classical conditioning; learning by association. Adverse effects on learning: · If a student forms a negative association with, for example revision or school, could negatively affects the child’s study habits. · For example, a student who revises for a maths exam and

How Does Ocean Acidification Affect Ocean Life?

829 words - 4 pages Introduction: The question that the researcher is trying to answer is if there is acidification alters oceanic life due to a change in pH. The hypothesis is if there is a change in pH in the tank then the fish will have altered feeding patterns, stunted growth, and abnormal behavior. Even if there is a slight change in pH distinct abnormalities will occur. This simulation of this experiment will represent a sample for the whole ocean and how pH

How I Will Use Math In My Everyday Life

748 words - 3 pages How Will I Use Math in Everyday Life All throughout the days I spent in school sitting in math class learning Algebra, Geometry, and the various other math courses I pondered whether or not I would ever even use these math skills in my life. The sad truth is that you will mostly likely use most of the math skills that you learned throughout high school in everyday life. There are honestly so many different ways you will use math in life like

How Does Abuse Affect A Person Later In Life?

962 words - 4 pages Proxy. She was abusing Julie to gain attention and sympathy for herself. Julie was not suffering from chronic illness; she was suffering from chronic child abuse. Julie is not alone. Too often in the world today, children are abused, resulting in lasting emotional and physical scars. The question is, how does the pattern of abuse actually affect a person later in life? Julie sought help and seems to be on the road to recovery, but for some, the