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Hard to Break: Why Our Brains Make Habits Stick Hardcover – May 4, 2021
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The neuroscience of why bad habits are so hard to break―and how evidence-based strategies can help us change our behavior more effectively
We all have habits we’d like to break, but for many of us it can be nearly impossible to do so. There is a good reason for this: the brain is a habit-building machine. In Hard to Break, leading neuroscientist Russell Poldrack provides an engaging and authoritative account of the science of how habits are built in the brain, why they are so hard to break, and how evidence-based strategies may help us change unwanted behaviors.
Hard to Break offers a clear-eyed tour of what neuroscience tells us about habit change and debunks “easy fixes” that aren’t backed by science. It explains how dopamine is essential for building habits and how the battle between habits and intentional goal-directed behaviors reflects a competition between different brain systems. Along the way, we learn how cues trigger habits; why we should make rules, not decisions; how the stimuli of the modern world hijack the brain’s habit machinery and lead to drug abuse and other addictions; and how neuroscience may one day enable us to hack our habits. Shifting from the individual to society, the book also discusses the massive habit changes that will be needed to address the biggest challenges of our time.
Moving beyond the hype to offer a deeper understanding of the biology of habits in the brain, Hard to Break reveals how we might be able to make the changes we desire―and why we should have greater empathy with ourselves and others who struggle to do so.
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“Hard to Break is a brilliant and supremely readable account of the neuroscience of behavior change, combining the latest science with practical advice, and―above all―hope in the bottom of the box."―Daniel J. Levitin, author of Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives
“This book is for anyone who has ever wondered why self-control isn’t enough. In clear, engaging writing shot through with striking personal experiences, entertaining examples, and the latest neuroscience findings, Poldrack introduces us to the hidden brain systems that control our behavior.”―Wendy Wood, author of Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick
"Although we love to attend to our conscious thoughts, our brains succeed mostly thanks to deeply burned-in programs―from our speech to our movements to our behaviors. Poldrack takes us on a wonderful journey, highlighting just how much of our lives are defined by habits, why they are so sticky, and what might (or might not) work to loosen their grip."―David Eagleman, author of Livewired: The Inside Story of the Ever-Changing Brain
“With brilliance and lucidity, Russell Poldrack tells the complex story of why we humans succumb to our huge library of habits and how we might tame some of them for a better life. Read this book!”―Michael S. Gazzaniga, author of The Consciousness Instinct: Unraveling the Mystery of How the Brain Makes the Mind
“In this authoritative and entertaining book, Russell Poldrack explains the breakthroughs that have revolutionized our understanding of how the brain builds and maintains habits. Essential reading for anyone interested in how the mind works.”―Daniel L. Schacter, author of The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers
- Publisher : Princeton University Press (May 4, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 232 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0691194327
- ISBN-13 : 978-0691194325
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.4 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #188,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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