intermittent reinforcement

One of the many reasons social media is addictive is “intermittent reinforcement.” This refers to the infinite scroll or the way endless items reappear when you reach the bottom, creating a feeling of no end in sight.

People can sometimes experience the same sensation in their job. Without a clearly defined endpoint for a task or project, achieving a sense of completion and fulfillment can be difficult.

Social media addiction can be emotionally draining, as can work that feels never-ending.

expensive motivation

Motivating people is hard. Increasingly harder, it seems. Getting people to perform a desired action not only takes a variety of skills, providing incentives can be an expensive enterprise.

Improving your product or service, making it easier to understand and use, is significantly cheaper than increasing your customers’ motivation.

Choose wisely.

trust illusion

Slow (digital) services are annoying. Who has the time to wait? Nobody. However, some of them have to be deliberately slow.

According to the (Walter) Doherty threshold, people are most productive when interactions with a computer take less than 400 milliseconds. Any longer, and we feel like we have to wait for the machine, thus limiting our productivity.

Contrarily, when something looks laborious and takes longer, it increases trust. Human resources -, travel – and medical technology often craft delays on purpose while returning reports. Referred to as the labor illusion; we tend to value results more when they’re presented to us with a small delay.

Timing is everything. Sometimes 400 milliseconds more or less is all it takes.