Reinforcement framework: strengthening implementation intentions to support habit formation

Wicaksono, Adhi (2022). Reinforcement framework: strengthening implementation intentions to support habit formation. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Mobile apps targeting the formation of new habits are gaining popularity in the market. Although the majority of these apps support repetition of behaviours using reminders, it could lead to a dependency and hinder the development of habits. On the other hand, simple techniques such as implementation intentions remain underused despite having promising results to support habit formation.

This thesis proposes a mechanism to form new habits by using reinforced implementation intentions. Even though it has been suggested that implementation intentions could help to form new habits, they are prone to forgetfulness. We used mood tracking as the intended habit in this study, considering the benefits of regularly tracking mood for mental-health. We proposed a framework for reinforcements targeting the underlying processes of implementation intentions, mainly strengthening the link between a cue and its associated response. We investigated the framework's application in Mood Journal app through a series of empirical studies using different reinforcement strategies: passive, active, and context-aware.

We measured the impact of reinforcements on two important aspects of habits: compliance and automaticity. Our findings suggest that adding reinforcements could maintain the compliance level, but it is not necessarily the same in terms of automaticity. We also discuss how the potential use of reinforcements can be improved in the future.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Computer Science
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software


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