Captology or Computers as Persuasive Technology – Part 1

There is a battle raging, fought without guns or bombs and not for land or resources… This is a battle for our attention. Big Tech companies are competing for our attention in clever ways and desperately want more and more. If you’re wondering why your children throw tantrums if you ask them to get off their phones, or why you find yourself doom scrolling and obsessively posting and checking for likes, then this podcast is for you. These phenomena did not come about by accident – this was designed.

A few decades ago, a new field of behavioral science emerged from the depths of our advanced computer age. It is called Captology. This is the science of how to grab as much of our time and attention as possible with technology. Nobody is safe from being a lab rat in this giant, unspoken experiment. Whether you’re elderly, a working adult or a child, Big Tech wants to use the principles of Captology on all of us! And guess what, Big Tech is winning the battle by captivating our time, mesmerizing our minds, and taking hold of our deepest emotions for their profit.

Are you scared yet? You probably should be… This topic is so broad and complex that we decided to dedicate three episodes to the people, concepts and impacts involved. We will take you back to the birthplace of Captology looking at people like BJ Fogg and Nir Eyal, exploring the Hooked Model and explaining what Pavlov’s Dog and the principles of Classical Conditioning have to do with our relationships with technology today.

Join Manal and Reinhardt for our first episode of Season 2 and a new year at and join the resistance against the excesses of Big Tech. Tune in to our podcast for Crash Courses in Digital Self Defense and spread the word. We are taking back our digital agency and fighting to keep tech good! For young and old and for our collective future.

00:00 – Season two topics

07:29 – The Facebook whistleblower Francis Haughen

12:27- Captology or Computers as Persuasive Technology 

15:54 – The Hooked Model

22:25 – BJ Fogg Behavior Model

25:02 – Pavlov’s Dog

We want to hear from you. Tune in, and tell us what you think. Email us at Follow us on Twitter: @tech4evil. And if you've spotted Big Tech going too far, use the hashtag #EvilSpotter and mention @Tech4Evil and share your story.

Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do by BJ Fogg
Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Social media copies gambling methods 'to create psychological cravings', the Guardian
Instagram internal research: ‘We make body image issues worse for one in three teen girls’, the Verge

Music and media production by Reinhardt Sosin. 

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