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MentorBox Podcast


Mar 21, 2018

“I want people to understand this is being done to them. Understanding how these hooks work is the only way you can break them.” - Nir Eyal

(click to tweet)

Our smartphones distract us.

Whether it’s Instagram buzzing with a notification or new emails ringing into our inbox, the devices we carry provide an endless symphony of excuses to break focus. The good news is that this isn’t a new phenomenon; Aristotle and Socrates spoke about how humans did things against their greatest interest. Our need to find distraction is innately human and thus, something we must learn more about.

On today’s episode of The MentorBox Podcast, we are joined by Nir Eyal to discuss the psychological principles that go behind habit-forming products. By articulating how major tech companies like the big social media players (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) have employed these processes, Nir hopes to democratize the system, so companies aimed to do more social good can employ these same habit-forming principles. Whether a business owner or smartphone user, tune into this conversation to learn the principles so you can be a more educated user of technology.

You can order Nir Eyal’s Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products here

“The Hook Model connects the user’s problem with your product with enough frequency to form a habit. Through successful cycles of these hooks, customer preferences are shaped and tastes are formed.” - Nir Eyal

(click to tweet)

Points to Keep In Mind

  • The Hook Model connects the user’s problem with your product with enough frequency to form a habit
    • Through successful cycles of these hooks, customer preferences are shaped and tastes are formed
  • Variable rewards give the user intermittent and varied stimuli
  • An investment phase pushes the user to invest in the product’s success
  • You must know the pain point or psychological itch your habit is trying to solve
  • Be sure you distinguish between the techniques and application of techniques when evaluating ethics
  • Be skeptical of the pop-psychology movement framing technology as being “as addictive as cocaine”
  • Ask yourself if the media is serving you or are you serving it?
  • Science shows 40% of our behavior is done from habit
  • Don’t underestimate the human’s ability to adapt to the downsides that come with every technological revolution
  • Use technologies to help you better use other technologies
    • Ex: using Facebook News Feed Eradicator to block news feed
  • Two-thirds of smartphone users never change the notification settings on their phone
  • In many cases, the distraction lies deeper than the technology
    • All addicts have in common the need to escape an uncomfortable reality
  • Studies show the #1 predictor of recovering alcoholics’ success is belief in your own powerlessness
  • Find the nuance in the conversation/debate around distraction