Changing consumer behaviour is key to reducing the environmental effects of industrialised societies. Social practice theories provide an integrated approach to understanding consumer behaviour. The mechanisms underlying the emergence and diffusion of social practices are however until now poorly understood. This paper presents a conceptual framework and an abstract agent-based simulation model for generating social practices which use and extend approaches from social practice theories. The main results are twofold. First, the simulation model is able to generate social practices, what confirms that the conceptual framework captures relevant elements and processes. Second, a new mechanism for behavioural lock-in is identified that provides additional insights into the widely acknowledged challenge of changing social practices and respective consumption.
by Georg Holtz
Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 17 (1) 17