The spontaneous or willful elimination of a habit.
A habit may spontaneously disappear if it is not more or less frequently reinforced. However, it seems that basic habits acquired early in life never disappear definitively, even if the organism is unaware of their survival.
The willful elimination of a habit requires a considerable effort of conscious deconditioning, and retraining if it is to be replaced by another habit. Such a process is generally impossible at the physiological level.
At the psychological and mental level, it is still quite difficult and can be painful as stated by G. BATESON: "… Any freedom from the bondage of habit must also denote a profound redefinition of the self" (1973, p.275).
The different degree of resistance of habits to change seems to be related to the relative paleontological antiquity of the different brain structures, as they were formed.
The study of habit formation and extinction in learning automata will probably teach us much about habits in living systems.
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Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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