"Friends in Casino on a slot machine; all obviously are winning" by Kzenon / Shutterstock

The morning the trouble began—years before anyone realized there was trouble in the first place—Angie Bachmann was sitting at home, staring at the television, so bored that she was giving serious thought to reorganizing the silverware drawer. Her kids were in school. Her husband worked all the time. Bachmann had gotten married young and had become pregnant almost right away. She had never held down a meaningful job.

At the time, Bachmann had no idea that - someday - she would become one of the most prominent test cases of whether people should bear responsibility for their habits. Bachmann, in fact, would become a defining example of how neurological discoveries in the science of habit formation are challenging our concepts of right and wrong.

That morning, all she knew was that she was really, really bored.

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