Widtsoe, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, debunked the more-women-than-men myth, but many members continue to use it.
When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us.
But I want you to show you where it might do the opposite. Where does technology exploit our minds weaknesses? I learned to think this way when I was a magician.
They play your psychological vulnerabilities consciously and unconsciously against you in the race to grab your attention. I want to show you how they do it.
This is exactly what magicians do. They give people the illusion of free choice while architecting the menu so that they win, no matter what you choose.
When people are given a menu of choices, they rarely ask: You open Yelp to find nearby recommendations and see a list of bars. The group turns into a huddle of faces staring down at their phones comparing bars.
They scrutinize the photos of each, comparing cocktail drinks. Is this menu still relevant to the original desire of the group? They miss the pop-up gallery on the other side of the street serving crepes and coffee.
The more choices technology gives us in nearly every domain of our lives information, events, places to go, friends, dating, jobs — the more we assume that our phone is always the most empowering and useful menu to pick from.
All user interfaces are menus. Does it reflect what we care about? Turn yourself into a slot machine. The average person checks their phone times a day. Why do we do this? Are we making conscious choices? How often do you check your email per day? One major reason why is the 1 psychological ingredient in slot machines: You pull a lever and immediately receive either an enticing reward a match, a prize!
Addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable. Does this effect really work on people? Slot machines make more money in the United States than baseball, movies, and theme parks combined. But in other cases, slot machines emerge by accident. For example, there is no malicious corporation behind all of email who consciously chose to make it a slot machine.
It emerged by accident. But now companies like Apple and Google have a responsibility to reduce these effects by converting intermittent variable rewards into less addictive, more predictable ones with better design.
Social Approval Easily one of the most persuasive things a human being can receive. The need to belong, to be approved or appreciated by our peers is among the highest human motivations. When I get tagged by my friend Marc aboveI imagine him making aconscious choice to tag me.
Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat can manipulate how often people get tagged in photos by automatically suggesting all the faces people should tag e. But through design choices like this,Facebook controls the multiplier for how often millions of people experience their social approval on the line.
Facebook uses automatic suggestions like this to get people to tag more people, creating more social externalities and interruptions. Everyone innately responds to social approval, but some demographics teenagers are more vulnerable to it than others.
Social Reciprocity Tit-for-tat You do me a favor, now I owe you one next time. But as with Social Approval, tech companies now manipulate how often we experience it. Email, texting and messaging apps are social reciprocity factories.
But in other cases, companies exploit this vulnerability on purpose. LinkedIn is the most obvious offender. LinkedIn wants as many people creating social obligations for each other as possible, because each time they reciprocate by accepting a connection, responding to a message, or endorsing someone back for a skill they have to come back through linkedin.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn exploits an asymmetry in perception.editor’s note: This post was originally published in July of but has been updated to include recent events. The first few weeks of grief after losing a child are a mixture of rage, sadness, helplessness and fear: An unstable concoction that can react and explode at any given moment.
[The following letter, posted with his permission, is a thoughtful and considerate email received from Nirmala, a disciple of Neelam, who is, in turn, a disciple of the late Papaji of Lucknow. Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and poet living in Cumbria, England. He is the author of several books, including the poetry collection Kidland and his fictional debut The Wake, winner of the Gordon Burn Prize and the Bookseller Book of the Year Award.
Kingsnorth is the cofounder and director of the Dark Mountain Project, a network of writers, artists, and thinkers. The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
Poetry Analysis: "Apostrophe to the Ocean" - The poem, “Apostrophe to the Ocean,” is one of the most renowned masterpieces of George Gordon Byron, which conveys the author’s love for nature by including his unique, romantic style of writing.
Students are asked to write literary analysis essays because this type of assignment encourages you to think about how and why a poem, short story, novel, or play was written. To successfully analyze literature, you’ll need to remember that authors make specific choices for particular reasons.