Any pattern of behavior acquired through imprinting, training or learning, and more or less definitively fixed.
According to C.S. PEIRCE, repeated inferences are leading to the establishment of a habit (U. ECO, 1979, p.17).
Habit formation in turn is the way to algorithmization and subsequent automatization of behaviors. G. BATESON states that it: "… is a major economy of conscious thought" (1973, p.115), as it applies to "… the solution of classes of problems" (p.245). Moreover, the necessary parsimony in the use of neural circuits implies that: "No organism can afford to be conscious of matters with which it could deal at unconscious levels" (p.116). This is true for man. On a lesser mental level, it is also true for animals, as shown by J.von UEXKÜLL and G. KRISZAT (1928, 1934), K. LORENZ and other ethologists.
Habit formation is a progressive process. It is easy during infancy, less so during adolescence and quite more difficult in adult age, probably because it must be a process of connections formation in the brain's neural network and in adult age, frequently a process of replacement of existing connections.
As to the unconsciousness of habits, BATESON observes "… that the "unconscious" includes not only repressed material but also most of the processes and habits of gestalt perception" as we are "… unable to say clearly how this pattern was constructed, nor what clues where used in our creation of it" (p.272).
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To cite this page, please use the following information:
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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