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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2017 Adam Alter (P)2017 Penguin Audio

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Disturbing

The author does an incredible job piecing together anecdotal evidence, clinical presentations and research to provide a convincingly disturbing analysis of the dangers parents (I am a father of 6) unwittingly expose their children to. A MUST READ for every parent of children under the age of 21! For that matter it is also a cautionary tale for adults since smart phones are ubiquitous in western society and most adults polled say that they "can't live without" one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Lives up to all the praise from podcast hosts

Adam Schafer her from mindpump media podcast has been raving about this book for months. I am so happy I took his advice and purchased the book. It completely lives up to all the shining accolades Adam gave it.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Untested Speculative Solutions

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I really enjoyed the description of the problem. There was so much science introduced to outline the problem of addiction. The book takes a big turn for the fantasy when Alter suggests he knows how to conquer addiction and he presents idea's that lack any proof at all. AT ALL! That's the thing that was so disappointing. There are a couple anecdotes, but the treatment facilities that he highlights provide absolutely no evidence that their approach succeeds. He conflates bad habits and addictions. After misrepresenting the program of Alcohol Alcoholics, He dismisses AA, the only treatment program with actual success in treating addiction. He never once even mentions the 12 step program that works for tens of thousands suffering different forms of behavior addiction, and a program most treatment centers use for the current success experienced. He states,"surround yourself with temptation, and you'll be tempted. Remove temptation and you won't be tempted." That seems to sum up his prescription for overcoming internet addiction, after acknowledging that none of us can live in the modern world without technology.

What other book might you compare Irresistible to and why?

Alter uses some of the work presented in the Power of Habit, but in a lot less effective way. Sort of butchers the original theses to fit into his scattered program for recovery.

What does Adam Alter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Understanding brain chemistry as it relates to gaming was fascinating.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No

Any additional comments?

I really wish Alter would have read the Power of Habit more thoroughly, because had he, he might have been able to present a more intelligent description of the 12 step program. I'm returning this book because in the last section of this book the prescription he he presents is almost malpractice. (if he were actually a doctor or counselor trained to dish out advice.) I feel sorry for those suffering from an addiction that might think this book provides a credible solution. After most inevitably fail, they will be left feeling more hopeless. Such a disappointing end to what started as such an interesting discussion.

10 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting.

Some of the content feels a little superfluous and/or repetitive, but overall this book has a very important message and I learned a lot from it.

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Enlightening

If you have ever wondered why you do what you do everyday, this book will tell you.

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Good book on behavioral addiction!

This went really well into behavioral addiction, which I had never heard of before. There was a lot of research and discussion on studies performed on addiction. I was expecting more in depth discussion on just technology, but I do understand the reason to integrate other addiction studies as well in order to show how addictive tech is. Great advice on how to step away too.

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A good theory, but depends on opinion

This is a very good discussion, but you may disagree with its ideas on technology.

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A recap of behavioral addiction struggling for con

Just a recap of common knowledge about behavioral addiction and habits. I was hoping for some insights into the "the business of keeping us hooked" but there was not much.

The book also seems to struggle for content, with some chapters making a pretty weak point about some possibly addictive technologies.

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A Must-Read

This is a must-read for those who care to be informed. Choosing not to be informed puts us at the mercy of those who are.

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Essential listening for any user of technology

This is essential listening for any user of connected technology, increasingly designed to become rapidly addictive and more and more, impossible to put down. I highly recommend the content.