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Irresistible Audiobook

Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked

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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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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (325 )
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  •  
    Natalie A. Schaffer 04-27-17 Member Since 2016
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Van Loon Seattle, WA USA 04-03-17
    Terry Van Loon Seattle, WA USA 04-03-17 Member Since 2016
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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.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith J. Mcaleer Los Angeles, CA 09-18-17
    Keith J. Mcaleer Los Angeles, CA 09-18-17 Member Since 2016

    kjmacadoodle

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    "Good storytelling; quick and interesting"
    If you could sum up Irresistible in three words, what would they be?

    Thoughtful, interesting story


    What other book might you compare Irresistible to and why?

    I think I liked this book because it reminded me of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, which is about the systematic biases that humans have, and how those biases can make us behave in non self-interested (irrational) ways. Being behaviorally addicted to technology happens because companies understand our biases and exploit them. Alter shows this to be true by presenting evidence and through memorable historical anecdotes (such as Freud's addiction to cocaine).


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

    Atler does a good job, and it's always nice when the author does it personally.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I appreciate that Atler makes explicit that technology can be used for both good and evil, but he seems to present quite a bit of evidence for the evil side, and little for the good in this case. I would have loved to hear more stories of how irresistible technology can be use to help people.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Helena Josue USA 08-29-17
    Helena Josue USA 08-29-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Very interesting to read"

    This book clearly state the case for the modern additions.
    The examples are really easy to connect with. Some "solutions" are practical while others seemed less useful.
    I would recommend this book to any parent that has an interest in their children development and is allowing their kids to play more than 2/3 hours of electronics per day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scottie V. 08-24-17
    Scottie V. 08-24-17
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    "Will Make You Think About Habits They Don't Want You to Think About"

    This book works through many of the impulses guiding human behavior, and it looks closely at how tech companies use these tendencies to drive their bottom line and keep you hooked on all things Internet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rafic Kamaleddine UAE 08-01-17
    Rafic Kamaleddine UAE 08-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Enslaved by addiction"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this book to a friend, a family member and to my kids for its wide reach into everyone's life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The comprehensive look at addiction from all angles and the extensive examples, case studies and experiments cited.


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

    Genuine commitment to what he is writing and the wish to share his thoughts first hand made me appreciate the book even more.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Imprisoned.


    Any additional comments?

    This book material should be made available in different formats to a wider audience who is not in a position to listen or read a full book. Articles, blog posts, twitter posts; any format that would help people realise what they are getting themselves into. Awareness is the first step to action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosalind Winters Everett, WA, US 07-30-17
    Rosalind Winters Everett, WA, US 07-30-17 Member Since 2013
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    "An Excellent Read"

    Informative and engaging. Appreciated the research combined with explanation and related stories that illustrated the pros and cons of technology.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Henderson 07-18-17 Member Since 2014

    Author, reader, listener... interested in Great Books of the Western World, historical fiction, Victorian poetry, and some fiction.

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    "Well done"

    Good for an interested layman to hear sound reasoning behind the danger of potentially addictive technology, how it works, and how to meet the challenge of navigating through it. I think this will turn out to be a forward-looking, prescient perspective.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renny 07-10-17
    Renny 07-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great book overall, really enjoyed the performance"

    Adam Atler was a great narrator for his book he kept me engaged! Performance was solid, the contents we're a bit too much on the why rather than the business of how. I initially picked this title from a marketer's perspective looking for ideas to use in my own business career. Overall however I still would recommend this title to anyone interested in how industries keep us hooked to everything we know to be the norm.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi 07-01-17
    Jodi 07-01-17 Member Since 2015
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    "must read"

    This book is must read, an interesting and excellent book, I loved it. Especially if you have children.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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