The Science of Success

How You Can Use Behavioral Design To Create Any Habit You Want with Nir Eyal

October 26, 2017
In this episode we discuss How To Use “Mind Control” Techniques to Create Any Habit You Want, why we are driven much more by pain than pleasure, the “hook” model for describing human behavior, how to hack your rewards to change your behavior, the power of tiny amounts of friction, and much more with Nir Eyal. 
Nir Eyal is an expert in “behavioral design” having worked in both advertising and video gaming helping companies build and create more engaging products. Nir is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the book Hooked: How To Build Habit Forming Products and has been featured in Forbes, Psychology Today, and more. Nir is an active angel investor and currently writes to help companies create good habit and behaviors in their users on his blog
We discuss:
  • Persuasion, mind control, and behavioral design
  • What is a habit and how do you define it?
  • How we can leverage technology to build healthier habits
  • How 50% of your actions take place with little or no unconscious thought
  • Internal vs External triggers 
  • There is only one reason you use a product or service - to modulate your mood - that’s it
  • Our behaviors are driven NOT by seeking of pleasure, but rather the quelling of a unconformable emotion 
  • Figure out what your frequently occurring internal triggers are
  • We are driven more by PAIN than by PLEASURE
  • There’s no end to what we can accomplish if we can understand that pain is our primary motivator
  • Even seeking pleasure = satisfying the PAIN of WANTING
  • The power of the unknown to draw us in 
  • The 4 stages of the “Hook” Model on how Habits are formed and sustained
  • Rewards are actually wanting to quell the “stress of desire”
  • Discomfort drives us to action
  • How the same mental hardwiring behind addiction also underpins love and desire
  • The easier you can make a behavior the more likely people are to do it
  • The biggest thing that drives people to adopt technology is making life EASIER
  • Reward itself doesn’t have much impact on your brain, its the anticipation of the reward that drives us 
  • 3 Kinds of Variable Rewards
    • Rewards of the Tribe
    • Rewards of the Hunt
    • Rewards of the Self
  • The power of adaptability
  • Belief is as much of a factor in addiction as physical dependency itself
  • How making a behavior just a little bit easier can have dramatic results
  • How to put the hook model in reverse and destroy bad habits
  • How putting space between steps in your habit loop can create massive changes
  • Even small amounts of friction can change the marginal decision and make a habit much harder
  • How can you make bad habits more difficult, take longer, or be harder to do?
  • How you can use “temptation bundling” to break the hold of variable rewards in your habit loop
  • Never do something when you don’t have the end in sight - do things that have a finite END so that you don’t get hooked
  • Key question you must ask yourself: Is this technology serving ME, or am I serving IT?
  • One simple piece of advice to implement the ideas discussed in this interview right away
  • How to leverage technology to combat technology that is distracting you