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.
|The iPhone Beer Opener|
|The Decline of the Landline|
|Task One: Swiss Army Knife Meets the iPhone|
|Construct a VR Viewer With Your Smartphone and a Piece of Cardboard|
|“Cultured meat is finally on its way towards becoming a commercial reality.”|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“There are but two powers in the world, the sword and the mind. In the long run the sword is always beaten by the mind.”|
|“Although this transition is irreversible, it carries potential for several robotic applications.”|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|“If you really want to save the planet, you should die.”|
|Why, Typewriters Are Alive and Well, Thank you|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|Somebody Needs to Build a New Facebook Stat|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|When the Wrong Hastag Can Get You Killed by an Assassination Drone|
|Bizarre Record Covers|