Dear Dr. Daniel,
We're asking the APA to address persuasive design in tech used by children and teens. To make sure psychologists follow their ethical principle to “take care to do no harm,” we urge the APA to:
Over 50% of parents report that regulating their children’s use of digital devices is a “constant battle.” But kids’ struggle to unplug isn’t a failure on their part: tech companies manipulate children to keep them on their devices.
Psychologists working with tech companies use sophisticated techniques aimed at changing behavior — called persuasive design — that make it difficult for users to put their devices down. Because children are more vulnerable than adults, persuasive design contributes to the compulsive use of smartphones and other devices by young people, increasing their risk for emotional and academic problems.
More than 200 psychologists concerned about persuasive design, including leaders in the field like Drs. Mary Pipher, Jean Twenge, and Sherry Turkle, have sent a letter to the American Psychological Association (APA) asking it to take a stand on the issue.
Now, the APA needs to hear your voice. Please join us in calling on APA President Jessica Henderson-Daniel to take action!