FOWA 08: Suw Charman: Psychology And Addition To Web Sites

We’re at FOWA listening to speakers and popping around chatting to people. Suw stepped in due to a last noshow but presented a fascinating talk. It’s slightly in note form, but the essential are there.

FOWA08: Suw Charman: Psychology And Addition To Web SitesSuw looks into how humans (that’s us) become addicted to certain Web sites and services like email.

To build proper social sites, we need to understand how people work – their psychology.

It’s about understanding compulsive behavior.

Not all sites are compulsive – let’s look into why that is.

Examples looked at Dilbert and I Can Has Cheez burger.

Only one post per day. No need to return again in the day. Narrative of the strips doesn’t encourage you to go backwards, as the story unveils in reverse. Not satisfying.

No random button, so no position given to start your journey.

__I Can Has Cheezburger
5-7 LOL cats a day. It feels random, but posts are about every three hours.

FOWA08: Suw Charman: Psychology And Addition To Web SitesNo narrative, as each post stand alone.

Random button offers you a ‘new’ one from the past – so you’re fulfilled.

_Symptom of compulsion
Occasional behaviors become addictive
Don’t choose to visit, just find yourself there
Behaviors continues regardless of consequences
Feelings of anxiety if you haven’t checked.
Deny there is a problem

The above Web site checking symptoms are the same as gambling addiction.

The scientific name is Operant Conditioning – you get a reward if you do something.

BF Skinner studied this in the ’50. Experiment was Rats pressed lever – got food, Then changed it to changing it needing a number of presses before food was delivered. Finally random payoff.

When random – the rats became obsessed with pressing the lever, even if it didn’t give food.

Arrival of LOL cats on I Can Has Cheezburger are just the same as this.

Initial behavior – constant rewards – then change this to a random reward

A very interesting talk with lots to think about.

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