CM 005: Nir Eyal on Rethinking Our Online Habits

Nir Eyal is the bestselling author of Hooked and a contributing writer for Forbes, TechCrunch, and Psychology Today. An entrepreneur, educator, and speaker, Nir writes about innovations at the intersection of psychology, technology, and business.

In this interview, Nir shares the psychology behind why we get hooked by our devices and apps. He talks about how product designers use this knowledge to deliberately build certain features into their products, and he encourages us to use this knowledge to rethink our tech habits.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • the psychology that informs our technology habits
  • the four key elements that make a technology product habit-forming
  • the connection between emotion and our habits with tech
  • what makes certain tech products are more sticky than others
  • tips for what to do when tech becomes too addictive
  • how we can use this technology to form good habits

Nir also shares how what hooks us with tech can be used to improve the quality of our lives, especially when it comes to physical and mental health and wellness, and how he makes that the focus of his work today.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please rate and review it on iTunes. For automatic delivery of new episodes, be sure to subscribe. Thanks for listening!

Links to Topics Discussed

7 Cups of Tea

B. F. Skinner

Operant Conditioning


The IKEA effect

Dan Ariely

Michael Norton

Robert Cialdini

Foot in the Door Technique

Cognitive Dissonance

Marc Andreeson

Getting Unhooked by Nir Eyal


The Acceleration of Addictiveness byPaul Graham 

Thank you to Clark Nowlin for his sound engineering and to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for creating the Curious Minds logo!


  1. Judy Holeva on November 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    I loved the interview with Nir, Gayle! His curiosity about helping people get hooked on things that they benefit from has kept me engaged and frustrated in my practice for 20 years!

  2. Gayle on November 6, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    So glad you liked it, Judy! Yes! Really exciting to hear how he’s thinking about habits for good.

  3. […] about the psychology behind why we get hooked by our devices and apps.  I recently listened to a podcast where Eyal shares tips for what to do when tech becomes addictive, and how we can form good habits […]