B.J. Fogg, a behavior scientist at Stanford University, developed the “Fogg Behavioral Model.” His model shows that three elements must be simultaneously present for behavior to occur: motivation, ability and prompt.
Although Fogg’s intentions are humanitarian, his research has been used by designers and entrepreneurs to create addictive products. Nefarious designers joke about making a “diaper product,” or a product so addictive that the user doesn’t even want to get up to answer the call of nature.
Is Addiction by Design Ethical?
The new field of Behavior Design is being used to control behavior in apps, social media, gambling, and more. The ethics of this new area are just now being explored.
For more information on this topic, Nir Eyal has written a book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-forming Products, which is available at the library.
Another resource is: Ian Leslie’s article, “The scientists who make apps addictive.”
Please note, this article appeared in the West Plaza Neighborhood Association Newsletter, March/April issue on page 7.