Tuesday, August 6, 2019

"The Power of Habit" Book Report- Joe Cariddi

This book focuses mainly upon something called the "Habit Loop". In using the habit loop it is possible to explain several of the tendencies and choices that people make. The Habit loop consists of three parts, the Cue, the Routine, and the Reward. This book then goes into the several ways that a Habit loop is seen in real life, such as how febreze became such a successful product, why target sends certain coupons in the mail, and even why people compulsively gamble. It all comes back to gettin a desired result. A certain action sparks a response, which in turn gives you a reward. The reward is mainly why people repeat the action. No people do have the option to try to change and alter such loops, but it is no easy task. In the book it also details certain ways that people can change habit loops, and delves into this with examples of addicts, and thrill seekers. The main overarching themes are how a habit loop works, why repeat tasks, and certain ways we can try to alter our habits.

My favorite part of the book was actually the end of it, when the topic of gambling was brought up. I personally do not gamble, but my roommate does and he is not the best at it. It seems like he rarely wins money, but he always seems to go back. I could not wrap my head around it until I read this section of the book. This part of the book was called the neurology of free will, and explored the life of Angie Bachmann. She was a compulsive gambler who lost everything. Within this chapter Angie went from riding high with a lot of money, to losing it all in one night. There were two reasons for this. Angie was given several incentives to gamble, Harrahs offered her free trips, free rides, and would give her lines of credit to use. They would then guilt trip her into coming back, she had also developed an issue that most gamblers have. When she had almost won the brain registered that as another win. Even though she lost, her brain released dopamine. This is obviously a bad thing for Angie, she literally could not stop. She took a break after she was bankrupt for the first time, but eventually she had a chance to go back and she took it, then lost everything again. She was sued and then ended up being held liable for the money she owed the casino. Her brain really made her go back, she had become an addict. She always wanted to win more than she lost, and in the end she lost everything she had.

In class we talked about rewards, and it really relates to this entire book. If a reward can be achieved then people much more likely to repeat the task that they did. Take Angie for example, she gambled and gambled. When she won she felt like she was on top of the world. This is the reward, then she was reinforced. Harrahs would send her on free trips, would give her coupons, and would give her complimentary rooms. Every time she gambled she would get more opportunities from Harrahs, and then she would win money. If she lost she would try to win it back, then when she won she would try to win more. She risked a lot, and could not handle it. Then Harrahs would keep calling her, and would tell her to come back. This was positive reinforcement in a very negative way for her life.

This is an attempt to explain what a Habit Loop is in a real world example.

I definitely think this book can solve a real life problem. So many people have bad habits that they want to break. Even if it is something as minor as procrastination, if you can see what is your main issue like in the video then it is very possible to change habits. I know a habit that I recently changed was doing homework with people. I would never seem to get as much done, but I always went with my friends to study. I am a social person, but I did not realize that this was hurting my grades. I would study for hours with them and would not retain enough. One day I stopped and said not I am going to study alone I will see you after. My grades started to rise a lot more, and I had changed my habit. I would take study breaks and go see them, but in order to benefit myself I needed to study alone. I think this can be used in all walks of life. Even in the video when the guy discusses why he ate so many cookies. He had a bad habit that he needed to change, and he did and was better off for it. 

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