Do Habits Fade Out? Discerning Between Two Theories Using Agent-Based Simulation

Rijk Mercuur, Virginia Dignum, Catholijn M. Jonker
2019 Conference of the European Social Simulation Association  
Inducing behavioural change requires a good understanding of how habits break. We identified two theories in the psychological literature on this process: the decrease theory and persist theory. Both theories are used to explain behavioural change, but one states the original habit fades out, while the other theory states the habit persists. We use agent-based simulation to show that the two theories lead to different behaviour when the agents are motivated to do multiple alternative actions
more » ... g., take the bike or take the train), instead of one alternative action (e.g., take the bike). This finding is relevant for the social scientific field, because (1) it shows a scenario where it matters if habits persist and (2) it enables an empirical experiment to discern the two theories.
doi:10.1007/978-3-030-61503-1_35 dblp:conf/essa/MercuurDJ19 fatcat:rwlqxo4l55b5zn3iayqyaxbm6e