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Like Facebook, Linked In exploits an asymmetry in perception. Cornell professor Brian Wansink demonstrated this in his study showing you can trick people into keep eating soup by giving them a bottomless bowl that automatically refills as they eat.When you receive an invitation from someone to connect, you imagine that person making a Imagine millions of people getting interrupted like this throughout their day, running around like chickens with their heads cut off, reciprocating each other — all designed by companies who profit from it. With bottomless bowls, people eat 73% more calories than those with normal bowls and underestimate how many calories they ate by 140 calories. News feeds are purposely designed to auto-refill with reasons to keep you scrolling, and purposely eliminate any reason for you to pause, reconsider or leave.by showing a box with a 1-click confirmation, “Tag Tristan in this photo? So when Marc tags me, Facebook can rank this higher in the news feed, so it sticks around for longer and more friends will like or comment on it.Each time they like or comment on it, I’ll get pulled right back.Millions of us fiercely defend our right to make “free” choices, while we ignore how we’re manipulated upstream by limited menus we didn’t choose. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, no matter what you choose. When people are given a menu of choices, they rarely ask: For example, imagine you’re out with friends on a Tuesday night and want to keep the conversation going.
That’s why I spent the last three years as Google’s Design Ethicist caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.But the closer we pay attention to the options we’re given, the more we’ll notice when they don’t actually align with our true needs. If you want to maximize addictiveness, all tech designers need to do is link a user’s action (like pulling a lever) with a . Slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parkscombined Apps and websites sprinkle intermittent variable rewards all over their products because it’s good for business.You pull a lever and immediately receive either an enticing reward (a match, a prize! Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable. But in other cases, slot machines emerge by accident.For example, let’s you “make a free choice” to cancel your digital subscription.But instead of just doing it when you hit “Cancel Subscription,” they force you to call a phone number that’s only open at certain times. Imagine if web browsers and smartphones, the gateways through which people make these choices, were truly watching out for people and helped them forecast the consequences of clicks (based on real data about what it actually costs most people? That’s why I add “Estimated reading time” to the top of my posts.