The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

Book - 2017
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"One of the most mesmerizing and important books I've read in quite some time. Alter brilliantly illuminates the new obsessions that are controlling our lives and offers the tools we need to rescue our businesses, our families, and our sanity." -- Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take

Welcome to the age of behavioral addiction--an age in which half of the American population is addicted to at least one behavior. We obsess over our emails, Instagram likes, and Facebook feeds; we binge on TV episodes and YouTube videos; we work longer hours each year; and we spend an average of three hours each day using our smartphones. Half of us would rather suffer a broken bone than a broken phone, and Millennial kids spend so much time in front of screens that they struggle to interact with real, live humans.

In this revolutionary book, Adam Alter, a professor of psychology and marketing at NYU, tracks the rise of behavioral addiction, and explains why so many of today's products are irresistible. Though these miraculous products melt the miles that separate people across the globe, their extraordinary and sometimes damaging magnetism is no accident. The companies that design these products tweak them over time until they become almost impossible to resist.

By reverse engineering behavioral addiction, Alter explains how we can harness addictive products for the good--to improve how we communicate with each other, spend and save our money, and set boundaries between work and play--and how we can mitigate their most damaging effects on our well-being, and the health and happiness of our children.

Adam Alter's previous book, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave is available in paperback from Penguin.
Publisher: New York :, Penguin Press,, 2017
ISBN: 9781594206641
Branch Call Number: 302.231 Alt
Characteristics: 354 pages : illustrations


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ArapahoeSummer Aug 23, 2018

Have you ever wondered why you can't stop binge watching in Netflix, checking your likes in Facebook, or step away from Candy Crush Saga? Alter provides the research behind online feedback that inspires behavioral addiction, curbing those addictive behaviors, impacts of technology on early infancy emotional development, and positive impacts of educational games and technology.

Feb 01, 2018

Adam Alter tells stories well. The book Irresistible is filled with stories and quotes from interviews. But he draws conclusions from those stories that just aren't justified. He leaps to a conclusion quicker than a kangaroo!

Boil out the stories and the unsupported conclusions and you have next to nothing left. Adam Alter seems to have done no experimentation or real research. While he is a professor of marketing at a business school, I don't remember a single part of the book that draws on his academic expertise.

Like Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Charles Duhigg and Ariana Huffington, all of whom blurb this book, Adam Alter seems to be trying to cash in by providing empty entertainment instead of thought-out ideas. It looks like that is working. These kind of people are raking in millions. Seems a shame.

ArapahoeSarah Sep 10, 2017

One of the best books I have read about addiction. The author highlights how the brain is affected by technological addictions and explains the various types of addictions to technology (addiction to video games, shopping on the internet, social media, etc.). The author provides information on how to overcome addiction; in one example, there is a camp to help young adult men overcome video game addiction. This book is written very well and has good examples of research done on the subject.

Aug 12, 2017

Certainly addressing a serious issue and well considered points.

Jun 05, 2017

"Irresistible" was much more interesting and informative than I initially expected.

To make his point about addiction to the Internet and online devices Alter provides a good overview of behavioral addiction. In short, our brains are wired to respond to seemingly insignificant rewards and punishments (perhaps better termed non-rewards or anti-rewards). Online game designers and social-media site designers exploit these generally unconscious responses to keep users playing their game or visiting their site.

If you're one of those who can't understand why some people can't go a minute without looking at their phones or checking their email, or if you worry about your own apparent addiction to electronic distractions, I recommend "Irresistible". It certainly enabled me to more clearly understand the apparent addiction to online toys I see going on around me...

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Dec 28, 2018

glenneaton thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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