Episode 5: Creatures of Habit

Click here for a transcript of this episode: Creatures of Habit TranscriptNote: Conversational pieces of transcripts may deviate slightly from the spoken podcast, but all facts and science are preserved. 

Creatures of Habit is about how our habits are built, and how they control our lives. As teenagers, our plastic brains allow us to learn new habits and change old ones more easily than adults. Today, we learn how to make new habits using habit loops, how to change pesky bad habits, and what science has in store for the future of human habit building. This episode will teach teenagers and adults alike how to work with their habits to succeed in life, while adding a special teenage twist.

If you’re interested in learning more about habits and cutting edge-brain research, check out these sources:

  • The book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg is probably one of my favorite psychology/behavioral science books ever written (and I’ve read quite a number of them). Duhigg will teach you about the science of habits and how to use it in your individual life, as well as how things like Febreeze, Target, and Martin Luther King Jr. have taken advantage of habits on a large scale to change the economy and the world.  A must-read for future psychologists and CEOs alike.
  • If optogenetics is fascinating to you, you have to watch this video produced by MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. This stuff is truly amazing, and even if you don’t understand all the science behind it (I don’t), you’ll enjoy five minutes of mind-bending science from the country’s favorite gathering of science geeks.

The sources used in this episode are as follows:

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Beneficial Habits Mediate Bridge Between Self-Control and Life Outcomes (Research Paper)

Breaking Habits with Optogenetics

What is Optogenetics? Video

Reward-Based Learning in Adolescence (Research Paper)

Simple Reward-Based Learning Suits Adolescents Best

 

Image: https://www.ucsf.edu/sites/default/files/legacy_files/headline-images/maze_main.jpg

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