From Psychology Today
How the Tech Industry Uses Psychology to Hook Children
Why do kids struggle to look up from devices? The answer is persuasive design.
Posted Oct 24, 2018 Victoria L. Dunckley, M.D.,
This guest post is written by Richard Freed, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Wired Child: Reclaiming Childhood in a Digital Age, and Meghan Owenz, Ph.D., assistant teaching professor at Penn State University and founder of ScreenFreeParenting.com.
“Something’s wrong with my son. He won’t spend time with us, won’t do his homework… all he wants to do is be in his room and play his game.”
Parents, educators, and health professionals around the world are expressing frustration and alarm that children are being lost to video games, social media, and phones. What’s vital to understand is that children’s fixation with gadgets and entertainment applications is by design. Actually, a relatively new concept called persuasive design.
Persuasive design has been in the news a lot recently. Put simply, persuasive design is the practice of combining psychology and technology to change people’s behavior. Gadgets and applications are developed by psychologists and other user experience (UX) researchers who apply behavioral change techniques to manipulate users. The concept can sound scary, however, these techniques can be used to encourage positive behaviors, such as exercise, healthy eating, and smoking cessation…SNIPRead more →