quinta-feira, 13 de dezembro de 2018

Phones, tablets and their impact on kids brains

CBS News

Programa americano "60 minutos", emitido pela CBS News em 9 de dezembro de 2018.

"60 Minutes has been asking: What impact do mobile devices have on the brain? The most recent report goes inside a groundbreaking study of young minds.

It's pretty easy to find the parent of a preteen with strong opinions about the amount of time their children spend on smart phones or tablets. I need to look no further than my own living room, where there seems to be a loud nightly struggle with our 14-year-old son over the hours he spends staring at his smartphone. However, it's extraordinarily difficult to find well-established neurological studies that can determine whether all that swiping, scrolling, and texting is actually shaping the development of his young mind. The reporting on "Screen Time" allowed us a peak into early research that may answer that riddle.

We first began looking into this when we met Tristan Harris in the winter of 2017. Harris was a former manager at Google and one of the first Silicon Valley insiders to reveal that apps were being designed by software engineers to capture and keep users' attention.

"Every time I check my phone, I'm playing the slot machine to see, "What did I get?" Harris told us. "This is one way to hijack people's minds and create a habit. What you do is you make it so when someone pulls a lever, sometimes they get a reward, an exciting reward. And when they pull a lever another time, they don't get an exciting reward. And it turns out that this design technique can be embedded inside of all these products. And when it's variable, that makes it addictive."

Programmers call it "brain hacking," and Anderson Cooper reported on it in the 2017 piece embedded below. He found that brain hacking depends heavily on building unexpected rewards into apps. As users stumble onto these hidden treasures, the surprise stimulates production of a brain chemical called dopamine. Neurologists told us dopamine signals the body that something pleasurable is about to occur. It plays a pivotal part in cravings and desire".

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