Habits are learned behaviors, or behavior patterns unlike instincts and motivations, that are embedded genetic traits. Habits are acquired by frequent use and repetition, as in an addiction or in swearing, for example that make up the structure of one’s personality.

Primal vs Inherited

Habits are dictated by these four elements: drive, cue, response and reward. There are both similiarties and important differences between these four elements of learning, and Freud’s Primal Drives and the four underlying perspectives that help us understand our innate motivated behaviors. Motivated behaviors and primal drives are inherited traits that humans are born with, as opposed to learned behaviors that are unnecessary to further our species.


A drive, not to be confused with the drive-reduction theory, is a stimulus that is strong enough to goad a person into action (such as eating, thirst, fear, etc.)


Cues are signals from the environment. These learned signals guide us, such as when a red light at an intersection tells us to stop and wait for it to turn green, so we can continue on our way.

Response & Reward

Responses are learned actions, like pressing the enter key on the computer keyboard. That most likely will bring about a reward. Perhaps the viewing of the next computer page or receiving an answer to a question or search.
The receiving of the desired answer to a question is called self-efficacy – having the capacity for producing a desired result. What also accompanies a habit is habituation, or decreasing responsiveness with repeated stimulation.

Habit or Addiction?

Think for a moment about all the habits you have acquired during the past year, 5 years and 10 years. How many new habits do you have that involve your smart phone, computer or tablet, or even the internet?

When we combine our innate human traits and behaviors that are embedded in our unconscious, with the motivation to satisfy our curiosity or a goal – coupled with Freud’s primal drives, which include our innate seeking system, we find nearly every human drive. The need for love, companionship, self-esteem, even the rewards of gaming and shopping, or just plain searching. These are all available at your fingertips 24 hours a day online. Ask yourself how your habits differ from addiction…

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.
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