Stuff I Say

Biological Need for Information Makes the Web Irresistable

Posted in Blogs, News by 51future on March 13, 2008

Via BoingBoing: Why We’re Powerless To Resist Grazing On Endless Web Data

Blog comments have the power to hammerlock one’s attention. … We’d be impotent to resist looking over the rantings and counter-rantings.

What is it about a Web site that might make it literally irresistible? Clues are offered by research conducted by Irving Biederman, a neuroscientist at the University of Southern California, who is interested in the evolutionary and biological basis of the human need for information.

new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it. The reverse is true as well: We want to avoid not getting those hits because, for one, we are so averse to boredom.

It is something we seem hard-wired to do, says Dr. Biederman. When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we are junkies for those. You might call us ‘infovores.’


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  1. Along Those Lines « 51 Future said, on March 19, 2008 at 9:12 am

    […] title is referencing this entry. « And Now For Something Completely Different: Japan’s […]

  2. […] conducive to the sort of nibbling culture that pervades the internet and the music world (or the brain’s inability to cope with an information overload) that bound books will survive well into the future. « 10.5.3: Apple, Fix […]

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