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Addiction by Design

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Addiction by Design

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?

Facebook lAddiction by DesignThe 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.”

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Please note, this article appeared in the West Plaza Neighborhood Association Newsletter, March/April issue on page 7.

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Author: Martha Childers

Martha Childers, EdS, LPC is a multicultural psychotherapist specializing in couples, grief and caregiver stress. Martha is a licensed professional counselor in Missouri and Kansas. She received her masters and education specialist degrees in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She practiced Zen through a variety of Japanese traditional arts for 3-1/2 years. Since that time, mindfulness has been an integral part of her life. Her interest in human nature, beliefs, and life styles led her to become a counselor.

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