In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

Maybe Social Media Isn’t Making Teens Depressed, After All. And Here’s What Likely Is. (Medium) The extended quarantine has served as a groundbreaking natural experiment, and the results show that when teens get more sleep and family time, they’re less depressed.

Dads, Commit to Your Family Home and at Work (Harvard Business Review) Without dads doing a more equitable share of daily tasks, moms will continue to struggle with the “double shift” of paid and unpaid labor. …


As the holidays near, consider what it means to be kind.

Babies! They’re such jerks, aren’t they? They wake you up in the middle of the night. They make huge messes for you to clean up. They never even say “thanks.” And let’s not mention the inevitable diaper blow-outs that happen at all the wrong times. Who do they think they are, anyway?

Of course, that’s not a very healthy attitude and it’s a pretty awful way to think of infants. …


Note: This guest post was written by Cheryl Maguire

The laundry hamper was overflowing with dirty clothes. Lacking the motivation to throw it into the wash, I pushed the clothes down deeper into the bin so I could fit more clothes. This occurs almost every other day. When you are married and the mother of three kids, the laundry is a never-ending task especially since we are all active in sports or working out that often require multiple clothing changes in one day.

Mustering up the motivation to do a dreaded task is a common struggle that most people can relate to experiencing. In the case of doing laundry, I end up finding the motivation to do it when I realize that I would not have any clean clothes to wear. Even though the task of doing laundry is tedious, wearing dirty clothes was less appealing to me. …


What do bicycles and social media have in common? Soon after being adopted, each of these technologies brought on a tsunami of unjustified moral panic.

Let’s start with bikes.

When bicycles burst onto the Victorian scene in the 1800s, they were a big deal. This cool contraption made it possible to travel much further and faster than you could ever go on foot. Better yet, bikes were a lot cheaper than horses (not to mention simpler to maintain).

Soon enough, bicycles gained popularity with a group whose transportation options had historically been limited: women. At that time, if women wanted to get somewhere without walking, they’d typically need someone to take them there, in a horse and carriage. Usually, that would be the patriarch of the household. And if he was unavailable or unwilling? Tough luck. …


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

This How the Media is Misleading You on ‘Technology Addiction’ (NirAndFar) When it comes to technology addiction, there are plenty of myths and exaggerations by journalists unable (or unwilling) to interpret scientific studies correctly.

Social Networks Can Curb Addiction WITHOUT Making Their Products Suck (Medium) Social networks should implement Use and Abuse policies to help protect people who are vulnerable. …


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When it comes to technology addiction, there are plenty of myths and exaggerations spread by journalists unable (or unwilling) to interpret scientific studies correctly.

To understand the four most common mistakes journalists make when reporting on the science of screen time and technology addiction, click here.

Posts you may have missed:

Be a Schedule Builder, Not a To-Do List Maker (Letter — October 30, 2020)

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Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Bruce Feiler, a Ted Talk veteran and seven-time bestselling author, who most recently wrote Life is in the Transitions, a guidebook for navigating the times when our lives pivot dramatically.

To read my interview with Bruce Feiler, click here.

Handling Life Transitions: Interview with Bruce Feiler Designer (Letter — October 15, 2020)

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Recently I had the opportunity to sit down for a Q&A with Bruce Feiler, a Ted Talk veteran and seven-time bestselling author, who most recently wrote Life is in the Transitions, a guidebook for navigating the times when our lives pivot dramatically.

To read my interview with Bruce Feiler, click here.


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Nir’s Note: This guest post is by Siri Helle, a clinical psychologist living in Sweden.

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.

According to recent studies, overall screen time has the same negative impact on teen mental wellbeing as wearing glasses.

That goldfish study? It doesn’t even exist!

And as for the studies that “screen time causes addiction,” read on to see why that notion is bunk too. …


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Photo by BRUNO EMMANUELLE on Unsplash

About five years ago, I sat down in a series of meetings with leaders from Reddit, Snapchat, Facebook, and other social media companies. My goal was to discuss social media addiction and what might be done about it.

At the beginning of each meeting, I said something like, “You’ve got users on your platform who really want to use your product less, but they’re struggling to do so.”

Oddly enough, I explained, some people were actually using social media to help each other stop using social media! For example, some Facebook users had created Facebook groups specifically to help each other spend less time on the site. …


In my work as a behavioral designer, I come across important stories on how psychology influences our behavior. Every week, I share my round-up of the most important stories at the intersection of psychology, technology and business. I hope you enjoy them!

Here’s How the Media Turns Research Into Misleading Clickbait (Medium) People tend to care more about whether there’s “an effect’ than how big the effect is.

Anxiety isn’t a pathology. It drives us to push back the unknown (Psyche) Anxiety and philosophy are intimately related because enquiry is how humans respond to this philosophical anxiety.

The Psychology of Focus: How Great Teams Find Traction Amid Distraction (NfX) Teams who engineer focus into their culture have a rare advantage. They know that focus is a set of mindsets and habits that cuts through uncertainty, ambiguity, fear, and distraction. …


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Photo by Good Good Good on Unsplash

Here’s a fact that probably won’t surprise you:

Exposure to social media has a negative effect on teen depression.

Now, here’s a fact that probably will surprise you:

According to a leading researcher, “eating potatoes has the exact same negative effect.”

I’m not kidding!

When you look at the actual research, it turns out that the effect of social media on teen depression is extremely small. Specifically, social media can explain 0.36 percent of teen depression symptoms. And even then, the study only found covariance among girls, there was none for boys.

That means 99.64 percent of teen girls’ depressive symptoms aren’t related to social media. Similarly, 99.64 percent of depressive symptoms aren’t related to potatoes. Not only that, but listening to music — any music — has 13 times the negative effect on teen depression that social media does. …

About

Nir Eyal

Author of “Hooked” and “Indistractable.” Want to overcome distraction? Get my free 80-page guide to becoming “Indistractable” at: NirAndFar.com

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