Generalized Inexact Proximal Algorithms: Habit’s/ Routine’s Formation with Resistance to Change, following Worthwhile Changes

This paper shows how, in a quasi metric space, an inexact proximal algorithm with a generalized perturbation term appears to be a nice tool for Behavioral Sciences (Psychology, Economics, Management, Game theory,...). More precisely, the new perturbation term represents an index of resistance to change, defined as a "curved enough" function of the quasi distance between two successive iterates. Using this behavioral point of view, the present paper shows how such a generalized inexact proximal algorithm can modelize the formation of habits and routines in a striking way. This idea comes from a recent "variational rationality approach" of human behavior which links a lot of different theories of stability (habits, routines, equilibrium, traps,...) and changes (creations, innovations, learning and destructions,...) in Behavioral Sciences and a lot of concepts and algorithms in Variational Analysis. In this variational context, the perturbation term represents a specific instance of the very general concept of resistance to change, which is the disutility of some inconvenients to change. Central to the analysis are the original variational concepts of "worthwhile changes" and "marginal worthwhile stays". At the behavioral level, this paper advocates that proximal algorithms are well suited to modelize the emergence of habituation/routinized human behaviors. We show when, and at which speed, a "worthwhile to change" process. converges to a behavioral trap.


Federal University of Goias. 31/March/2014



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