Monday, September 26, 2011

Intermittent Reinforcement: Exploiting The Way We Undervalue Privacy

[Doctorow] insists data-driven companies such as Facebook actively exploit users by soliciting as much data as possible. “Facebook trains you to undervalue your privacy. These companies are [full of] social scientists now and those people have read their Skinner (an American behaviorist), have read their Adler (founder of the school of the school of individual psychology) and they understand intermittent reinforcement.” In exchange for posting status updates, photos and other information, Facebook users are intermittently rewarded with attention from people they care about. This mechanism can have addictive qualities similar to gambling. more

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