4.25 of 5.0


The bottom line: Ethical and conscience-driven advice to nudge behavior and encourage routines.



In Hooked, Nir Eyal begins with the proposition that a predictable pattern tends to exist behind the use of addictive products. That may seem obvious but what is not obvious is exactly how such products build these persuasive routines. That is the scope and aim of this book.

The main idea of Hooked is derived from the “Hook Model” which explains the four steps involved in an ideally self-perpetuating habit cycle: Trigger, Action, Variable Reward and Investment.

The meat of the book subsequently devotes a section to each component of the hook model, describes the science behind how the component works, why it works, and then gives real-life examples of each component in action. These examples typically involve demonstrating how a popular app or online platform has incorporated the component successfully.

Above giving solid, practical, and actionable advice, I think the greatest value of Hooked is that its suggestions can be applied to any area of life, not just digital applications.

This is because Eyal provides an explanation of the Fogg Behavior Model or B = MAT. That is, behavior happens when motivation, ability and a trigger are all present sufficiently. The author explains this in such a way that the information will be helpful even if you’re trying to induce behavior in grade-schoolers.

Nir Eyal concludes Hooked with a section devoted to the morality of manipulation. Yes, there are some who will use these strategies for evil but the author clearly strives for a high moral standard and makes a sharp case for adding value to the lives of users as opposed to maliciously extracting value from them.

Ultimately, whatever your project is, if you want to make it more appealing, then Hooked will provide concrete advice based on real life. So if you want to influence the behavior of others, or drive user engagement, then read this book.


Dr. C. H. E. Sadaphal

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