Computing Reviews

Digital behaviour change interventions to break and form habits
Pinder C., Vermeulen J., Cowan B., Beale R.  ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction 25(3): 1-66, 2018. Type: Article
Date Reviewed: 08/23/21

In simple terms, a habit is defined as a learned impulse. This paper explores the multifaceted world of behavioral change and the myriad associated theories. It is difficult to summarize the complexity and range of theories explored by this paper in a few paragraphs. However, the rewards for reading it include a deeper understanding of the topic and how each theory compares across the whole issue of habits and lifestyle behaviors.

The authors have synthesized three theories and developed the habit alteration model that can be applied to digital behavior change intervention. The three theories are still the focus of active research, so future enhancements are possible. Habit change takes time and every individual is unique, so a customized process is necessary to ensure success. With ethical and privacy issues included, this topic has several real challenges.

As a professional educator, I found this topic fascinating, and it furthered my understanding of the characteristics I witness in the classroom. I would recommend the paper to professionals who wish to understand how habits exploit and influence our lifestyles.

Reviewer:  S. M. Godwin Review #: CR147338

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