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Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain
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Nir And Far: Business, Behaviour and the Brain

Author: Nir Eyal

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Nir And Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
183 Episodes
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Which of the following is true?     A. Screen time is the leading cause of anxiety and depression amongst teenagers     B. Studies have found that screen time shrinks people’s attention span to less than that of a goldfish     C. Studies show screen time causes addiction     D. None of the above The correct answer: D. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: This is How the Media is Misleading You on “Technology Addiction”  Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Society’s fear of technology destroying our children's future has reached a fever pitch and many parents have resorted to extreme measures. A quick search on YouTube reveals thousands of videos of parents storming into their kids’ rooms, unplugging the computers or gaming consoles, and destroying their devices. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Screen Time for Kids: Give Them What They Need https://www.nirandfar.com/screen-time-for-kids/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-Do List Maker https://www.nirandfar.com/todo-vs-schedule-builder/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
In 1967, a catchy tune by The Beatles, “All You Need is Love,” became the anthem for the Summer of Love. The Flower Power culture embraced the song and its message, “love is all you need.” If someone had asked humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers what the song meant, he might have said, “Unconditional Positive Regard!” Although it didn’t quite roll off the tongue the same way, Rogers introduced the concept nearly a decade before the Beatles song, it has the same basic message: empathy invokes change. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Surprising Benefits of Unconditional Positive Regard https://www.nirandfar.com/upr-unexpected-benefits-beyond-therapy/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
When Harvard’s Leslie Perlow began to study The Boston Consulting Group, she was well aware of the firm’s round-the-clock reputation. After conducting interviews with BCG’s staff, Perlow found that this reputation was coming at a major cost. Employees were leaving the elite consulting firm, in part because they lacked control over their schedules. To address the issue, Perlow offered a simple proposition: If everyone who worked at BCG hated the always-on lifestyle, why not try to give consultants at least a “single predictable night off a week”? This would give people time away from phone calls and email notifications and allow them to make plans without the fear of being pulled back into work. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: This is How to Repair a Toxic Work Culture https://medium.com/the-mission/this-is-how-to-repair-a-toxic-work-culture-24fa03fdb138 Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
What are the ethical responsibilities of companies that are able to manipulate human behavior on a massive scale? It’s a question one hopes technologists and designers ask themselves when building world-changing products — but one that hasn’t been asked often enough. Operant conditioning, intermittent reinforcement, the search for self-actualization — the techniques used by product managers at the world’s largest companies are equal parts psychology and technology. As Sean Parker, founding president of Facebook, recently acknowledged, the company has long been engaged in the business of “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Want to Design User Behavior? Pass the 'Regret Test' First https://www.nirandfar.com/regret-test/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
As parents, we all want to raise kids who are smart and focused, especially in a world where digital distraction seems to be inescapable. (Even tech titans like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have strategies for limiting their children’s screen time.) Why? Because in the future, there will be two kinds of people in the world: Those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves “indistractable.” You can read the post on: This is the No. 1 skill parents need to teach their kids https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/10/stanford-psychology-expert-biggest-parenting-mistake-is-not-teaching-kids-this-important-skill.html Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Nir's Note: This article is part of a series on "The Hooked Model in Action." Previous analyses have included Slack, Fortnite, Amazon's Echo, Tinder, and The Bible App. Note, I never take compensation for writing articles on my blog. Could there be a behavior more antithetical to human nature than exercise? Our caveman ancestors, if they could observe our workout habits today, would think we’ve lost our minds. We lift heavy objects into the air and return them to the exact spot where we picked them up. We buy ridiculous gadgetry to get in shape (Shake Weight anyone?). We elevate our heart rates as if we’re being chased by a hungry predator. And for what? Not to escape danger, but to undo the negative consequences of our overindulgent and underactive modern lifestyles. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The One Fitness App That Hooked Me for Good https://www.nirandfar.com/fitness-app-hooked-me-for-good/ NirAndFar, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Email is the curse of the modern worker. Some basic math reveals just how big the problem is. The average office-dwelling professional receives a hundred messages per day. At just two minutes per email, that adds up to three hours and twenty minutes per day. If an average workday is nine to five minus an hour for lunch, then email eats up nearly half the day. Realistically, though, that’s a very conservative estimate, since those three hours and twenty minutes don’t include the wasted time needed to get back on task between checking emails. In fact, a study published in the International Journal of Information Management found office workers took an average of sixty-four seconds after checking email to reorient themselves and get back to work. Given the hundreds of times per day we check our devices, those minutes can add up. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Email Management: How to Hack Back an Cure Inbox Insanity https://www.nirandfar.com/email-management/ NirAndFar, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Why would the companies that make your phone want you to use it less? If tech is “hijacking your brain” with their “irresistible” products, as some tech critics claim, why are these companies now acting against their own interests? Perhaps the tech giants have had a change of heart or have been persuaded by public pressure to change their ways? Hardly.I studied the sophisticated psychology these companies deploy to keep people hooked and wrote a book about how they do it. At first glance, it appears their business model would benefit from addiction. The more you use your phone, the more money they make through the apps you buy and the ads you view. However, the addiction story falls short when considering the long-term interests of these companies. Apple and Google are making it easier for consumers to cut back on phone use because it is in their interest to do so. In this case, what’s good for the user is also good for these companies’ bottom lines. Apple and Google don’t want you to get addicted. Addiction is a compulsive harmful behavior. Rather, they’d prefer you form healthy habits with your digital devices. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Real Reason Apple and Google Want You to Use Your Phone Less https://www.nirandfar.com/google-apple-less-phone-use/ NirAndFar, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Many parents are concerned with their child’s seemingly obsessive video game play. Fortnite, the most recent gaming phenomenon, has taken the world by storm and has parents asking whether the shooter game is okay for kids. The short answer is yes, Fortnite is generally fine. Furthermore, parents can breathe easier knowing that research suggests gaming (on its own) does not cause disorders like addiction. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Kids' Video Game Obsession Isn't Really About Video Games. It's About Unmet Psychological Needs https://www.nirandfar.com/kids-video-game-obsession/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Habits are hot. Self-help articles extol the power of habits and books on the topic sell by the millions. Yet, like many pop psychology topics, the conventional wisdom about the effectiveness and application of habits is frequently outdated, misapplied, or flat out wrong. Building habits to change behavior the right way can be a wonderful tool to improve your life. But false notions about what habits are and what they can do can backfire. The idea of building a habit is very appealing. The popular notion that tasks can be put on autopilot makes habits sound effortless. Wouldn’t it be great if you could simply make a habit out of doing tasks like exercising, journaling, paying bills, or running a side business? Unfortunately, you can’t. Habits don’t work that way. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know https://www.nirandfar.com/habits/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
I know how distractions work from the inside. For over a decade, I’ve helped tech companies build products to keep you clicking. In fact, I wrote the book about it in 2014: Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products. I wrote Hooked for companies who wanted to help their customers build healthy habits, like going to the gym regularly and eating right. But in the process of researching the book, I found that some products drew some people in too much, including me. I remember sitting with my daughter one afternoon doing activities from a book written to help daddies and daughters bond. One exercise consisted of asking each other the following question: “If you could have any superpower, what would it be?” Between the moment I asked the question and when my daughter could answer, I felt a buzz in my pocket. A work email diverted my attention. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: The Most Important Skill of the Future is Being 'Indistractable' https://www.nirandfar.com/skill-of-the-future/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Nir’s Note: This post part of a series on cognitive bias co-authored with and illustrated by Lakshmi Mani. Discover other reasons you make terrible life choices like confirmation bias, hyperbolic discounting and distinction bias. It’s New Year’s Eve. There I am on the dance floor - it’s teeming with people and there’s hardly space to breathe. Loud thumping music pierces my eardrums and I have no idea where my friends are. Then, the guy next to me takes a misstep, spills an entire cup of beer down my shoulder. I gasp as the cold brew winds its way down my back. But he’s too drunk and the music is too loud for him to notice. Is this supposed to be fun? What am I doing here? I hail a ride to get out of there. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Peak-End Rule: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices https://www.nirandfar.com/peak-end-rule/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
From comic books and radio programs to TV shows and Atari games, the world has always been full of things that distract us. Today, most of us blame our phones or, more specifically, social media, Words with Friends, or Netflix as the reason we can’t get anything done. Yet these aren’t the real culprits. Instead, our distraction is usually driven by our desire to escape discomfort, including boredom, fear, and anxiety. When you binge on The Office rather than doing your taxes, watching Michael, Pam, and Dwight is your (understandable) way of avoiding an activity you deem to be a tedious task. The secret to staying focused at times like these is not to abstain from The Office — you’ll just find another distraction — but to change your perspective on the task itself. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: This is How to be Less Distracted By Having Fun in Tedious Tasks https://www.nirandfar.com/tedious-tasks/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Everyone struggles with dwindling or misplaced motivation from time to time, and I'm no exception. Thankfully, I've learned to overcome my penchant for procrastination: getting what I want done, even when I don't feel like it. Learning the difference between the two kinds of motivation, extrinsic and intrinsic, made all the difference. Take the dirty work of household chores. Today, I'm generally pretty good at keeping things tidy. As a married dad, I clean the dishes, take out the trash, and make sure the shower drain stays unclogged. Don't be fooled though. I wasn’t always this way. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: Extrinsic Motivation: Why You Make Terrible Life Choices https://www.nirandfar.com/extrinsic-motivation/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Is your email inbox taking over your work-life? Are you unable to get any “real” work done because you’re too busy responding to emails? Do you feel stressed, distracted, and overwhelmed when you see new emails pop up in your email inbox? You’re not alone. The average office-dwelling professional received 100 messages per day. Researchers have found that when people are interrupted during a task, by checking email for instance, they tend to subsequently make up for lost time by working faster. However this comes at a cost — higher levels of stress and frustration. You can read the NirAndFar blog post on: 1 Thing You Need to Know to Save You From Your Email Inbox https://www.nirandfar.com/email-inbox-office-hours/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
It doesn’t so much matter what you do with your time; rather, success is measured by whether you did what you planned to do. It’s fine to watch a video, scroll social media, daydream, or take a nap, as long as that’s what you planned to do. To create a weekly timeboxed schedule, you’ll need to decide how much time you want to spend on each domain of your life. How much time do you want to spend on yourself, on important relationships, and on your work? Note that “work” doesn’t exclusively mean paid labor. The work domain of your life can include community service, activism, and side projects. You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: How to Get the Most Out of Your Calendar https://www.nirandfar.com/your-calendar/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
I had just finished giving a speech on building habits when a woman in the audience exclaimed, "You teach how to create habits, but that's not my problem. I'm fat!" The frustration in her voice echoed throughout the room. "My problem is stopping bad habits. That's why I'm fat. Where does that leave me?" I deeply sympathized with the woman. "I was once clinically obese," I told her. She stared at my lanky frame and waited for me to explain. How did I hack my habits? You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: Can't Kick a Bad Habit? You're Probably Doing It Wrong https://www.nirandfar.com/bad-habits/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
Distraction is a curse of modern life. Between our cell phones and computer screens, not to mention our kids and coworkers, our attention is constantly being diverted. It can become difficult to focus on any one task—or any one person—for very long. If anything, the world is becoming a more distracting place. Technology is becoming more pervasive and persuasive. But hoping tech companies change their ways and your boss finally learns to respect your time may take longer than you’re willing to wait. Better to equip yourself to manage distraction with strategies you can implement right away. After all, although distractions aren’t necessarily your fault, managing them is your responsibility. You can read the Nir And Far blog post on: Learn How to Avoid Distraction In a World That Is Full Of It https://www.nirandfar.com/distractions/ Nir & Far, a podcast about business, behaviour and the brain by Nir Eyal. If you enjoy this podcast, please subscribe on iTunes and leave an iTunes review. It will greatly help new listeners discover the show. Please visit my website Nir and Far for other info about my writing, books and teaching: http://www.nirandfar.com/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/nirandfar/support
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Comments (1)

Dee

The particularly devilish scrolls...😄😄 ,indeed.

Aug 6th
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