Adam Alter is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Psychology at New York University’s Stern School of Business and a New York Times bestselling author of two books on addictive behavior, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked and Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave. Adam’s academic research focuses on behavioral economics and human judgment and decision-making, with a particular interest in the effects of environmental cues on human cognition and behavior. He has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and WIRED, among other publications. He has shared his ideas at the World Economic Forum, and with dozens of companies, including Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and LinkedIn, as well as numerous design and ad agencies around the world.
In this episode Stew and Adam discuss the insidious, incredibly powerful ways by which new technologies have created, perhaps in an unintended way, behavioral addictions that negatively impact our social lives, of inner lives, our finances, and more. They explore some of the ways that, as individuals, we can try to combat these forces in our own lives by first becoming aware of them and then making choices and changes that become habits. Adam talks about how European and Asian countries are well ahead of the U.S. in legislating and curtailing the damage being wrought by companies whose main aim is to make money for shareholders as opposed to improving lives.