Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups
By Cindy Lyles
Chapter one of Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit focuses on
what he calls the habit loop and establishes how to simply understand
the cycle. A three-step sequence—cue, routine, and reward—forms the
foundation of all habits. In instances of amnesia, as the author
demonstrates, longstanding habits are powerful enough to dictate and
direct people’s actions although they cannot retain new and recent
Actions based on the three-step process become so programmed that they
can be done without much actual thought. “The process—in which the brain
converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine," notes
Duhigg, "is known as ‘chunking,’” (17). Chunking conserves the efforts
of human brains, but chunking can also be detrimental.
Based on the reading, what is one key benefit of chunking for the
formation of a productive habit? Or, what is one key detriment of
chunking for the development of a productive habit? How so?