(2017-08-20) Watters Dunces App

Audrey Watters: Dunce’s App

Behaviorism never really went away. Today it shapes much of how new digital technologies are imagined and built. Stanford psychologist B.J. Fogg calls it “behavior design,” and his Persuasive Technology Lab teaches software engineers and entrepreneurs how to construct products that can manipulate and influence users, encouraging certain actions or behaviors and discouraging others, by cultivating addiction.

According to Jacob Weisberg, some of Silicon Valley’s most successful app designers are alumni of the lab—now doing time at Google or Instagram—so it’s no surprise that investors have come to expect these sorts of habit-forming hooks and nudges in the products they fund, particularly in education. (EdTech)

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