CBC Marketplace's Virginia Smart speaks to Dopamine Labs, an aptly-named California startup that helps companies make their apps addictive, so that people will spend more and more time with them.
One of the most popular techniques, he says, is called variable reinforcement or variable rewards.
It involves three steps: a trigger, an action and a reward.
A push notification, such as a message that someone has commented on your Facebook photo, is a trigger; opening the app is the action; and the reward could be a "like" or a "share" of a message you posted.
These rewards trigger the release of dopamine in the brain, making the user feel happy, possibly even euphoric, Brown says.
|Choosing a Low Radiation Cell Phone|
|App Allows Blind People to Listen to an Audio Readback of Printed Text|
|Boeing Black: Android-Powered Self-Destructing Smartphone for Spies|
|Lend Your Eyes to the Blind|
|Trio Kit: Multiple Screw-On Lenses for iPhone 5S, Galaxy S4|
|“Facebook is a data collection service for those who want to sell you products.” #deleteFacebook|
|Future Horizon's Plasma Lightsabers|
|“The U.S. is officially fighting wars in seven countries.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“Regular exposure to humans results in white patches in the fur.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“The Pentagon’s relatively quiet tip-toe into converting the U.S. Armed Forces to a machine-majority force.”|
|“Everyone is doing it.”|
|EM Drive Appears to Work in the Vacuum of Space|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|“Contains all the same components as cow’s milk, [...] but doesn’t use any animals in its production process.”|
|“The idea is that someday in the future scientists will scan your bricked brain and turn it into a computer simulation.”|