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Habit reversal is an aspect of learning theory. In studies, an organism is repeatedly given the opportunity to choose between two alternative, A and B, and is initially rewarded for choosing A rather than B until behavioral preference is clearly established. They are then rewarded for choosing B until the preference is reversed.
Birds and mammals show progressive improvement in the time take to switch although fish show limited ability in this regard.
This work has formed the basis of the clinical procedure of habit reversal training.
- Colman, A. M. (2006). Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. OUP:Oxford.