Michel Pireu Columnist

Hermit crabs rely on acquiring discarded shells for their protection and are constantly on the lookout for better shells. However, faced with environmental stress they prefer to stick with their old shell, however unsuitable, than risk moving to a new one.

Experiments with rats show that under stress habitual behaviour persists longer in the face of changed reward structures — the market conditions may have changed but stressed rats take longer to spot this than unstressed ones...

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