Habit (psychology)

routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously
(Redirected from Tendencies)

Habits are automatic routines of behavior that are repeated regularly, without thinking. They are learned, not instinctive, human behaviors that occur automatically, without the explicit contemporaneous intention of the person. The person may not be paying attention to or be conscious or aware of the behavior. When the behavior is brought to the person's attention, they may be able to control it.

Each year one vicious habit rooted out,
In time might make the worst Man good throughout.
~ Benjamin Franklin


Not for nothing is habit called a second and a kind of manufactured nature. ~ Augustine of Hippo
To uproot an old habit is sometimes a more painful thing, and vastly more difficult, than to wrench out a tooth. ~ Samuel Smiles
  • Not for nothing is habit called a second and a kind of manufactured nature.
  • Habit is a compromise effected between an individual and his environment.
    • Samuel Beckett (1906–1989), Irish dramatist and novelist. Proust, Grove Press edition (1957), p. 7.
  • HABIT, n. A shackle for the free.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to such unedifying conversation as about kings, robbers, ministers, armies, dangers, wars, food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes, relatives, carriages, villages, towns and cities, countries, women, heroes, street- and well-gossip, talk of the departed, desultory chat, speculations about land and sea, talk about being and non-being, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such conversation.
    • Gautama Buddha M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 1 (Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada)), verse 1.17, p. 70.
  • Addictions come from shortages in infancy. People try to compensate this way. Alcoholism is generally produced from a shortage in mother's milk. And heroin addiction is usually due to a lack of being, the absence of recognition; the drug fills the emptiness of not being loved.
  • Every habit makes our hand more witty and our wit less handy.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900), German philosopher and critic. The Gay Science (1882), Third Book, 'Habit', aphorism 247.
  • To uproot an old habit is sometimes a more painful thing, and vastly more difficult, than to wrench out a tooth.
    • Samuel Smiles, 19th C Scottish author and reformer. 'Character: The True Gentleman', Self-Help (1856), Ch 13.
  • Habits are largely absent from modern social and personality psychology. This is due to outdated perspectives that placed habits in conflict with goals. In modern theorizing, habits are represented in memory as implicit context–response associations, and they guide responding in conjunction with goals. Habits thus have important implications for our field. Emerging research shows that habits are an important mechanism by which people self-regulate and achieve long-term goals. Also, habits change through specific interventions, such as changes in context cues.
  • Being lifted out of your normal routine completely changes your perception of everything. I often think that this time twist is like taking a drug, it alters your consciousness.
    • Andrea Zittel Art Is the Highest Form of Hope & Other Quotes by Artists by Phaidon (2016) p 249

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 436-47.
  • Consuetude quasi altera natura effici.
    • Habit is, as it were, a second nature.
    • Cicero, De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum, V, 25, Tusculanarum Disputationum, II, 17.
  • Habit with him was all the test of truth;
    "It must be right: I've done it from my youth."
  • We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.
  • Clavus clavo pellitur, consuetudo consuetudine vincitur.
    • A nail is driven out by another nail, habit is overcome by habit.
    • Erasmus, Diluculum.
  • A man used to vicissitudes is not easily dejected.
  • Habits form character and character is destiny.
    • Joseph Kaines, address (Oct. 21, 1883); Our Daily Faults and Failings.
  • Consuetudo consuetudine vincitur.
  • Small habits, well pursued betimes,
    May reach the dignity of crimes.
  • Nil consuetudine majus.
    • Nothing is stronger than habit.
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, II, 345.
  • Abeunt studia in mores.
    • Pursuits become habits.
    • Ovid, Heroides, XV, 83.
  • Morem fecerat usus.
    • Habit had made the custom.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, II. 345.
  • Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,
    As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book XV, line 155. Dryden's translation.
  • Frangas enim citius quam corrigas quæ in pravum induerunt.
    • Where evil habits are once settled, they are more easily broken than mended.
    • Quintilian, De Institutione Oratoria, I, 3, 3.
  • Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny.
  • Consuetudo natura potentior est.
  • Vulpem pilum mutare, non mores.
    • The fox changes his skin but not his habits.
    • Suetonius, Vespasianus, 16.
  • Inepta hæc esse, nos quæ facimus sentio;
    Verum quid facias? ut homo est, ita morem geras.
    • I perceive that the things that we do are silly; but what can one do? According to men's habits and dispositions, so one must yield to them.
    • Terence, Adelphi, III, 3, 76.
  • Quam multa injusta ac prava fiunt moribus!
    • How many unjust and wicked things are done from mere habit.
    • Terence, Heauton timoroumenos, IV, 7, 11.
  • In ways and thoughts of weakness and of wrong,
    Threads turn to cords, and cords to cables strong.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)


Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Give a child the habit of sacredly regarding the truth—of carefully respecting the property of others — of scrupulously abstaining from all acts of improvidence which can involve him in distress, and he will just as likely think of rushing into the element in which he cannot breathe, as of lying or cheating or stealing.
  • Centres, or centre-pieces of wood, are put by builders under an arch of stone while it is in the process of construction till the key-stone is put in. Just such is the use Satan makes of pleasures to construct evil habits upon; the pleasure lasts till the habit is fully formed; but that done, the habit may stand eternal. The pleasures are sent for firewood, and the hell begins in this life.
  • Infinite toil would not enable you to sweep away a mist, but by ascending a little you may often look over it altogether. So it is with our moral improvement; we wrestle fiercely with a vicious habit, which could have no hold upon us if we ascended to a higher atmosphere.
  • The diminutive chains of habit are seldom heavy enough to be felt, till they are too strong to be broken.
  • A large part of Christian virtue consists in right habits.
  • Every sinful act is another cord woven into that mighty cable of habit, which binds the spirit to the throne of darkness.
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