May 6, 2022 – Sometimes the TikTok algorithm shows us things we like, sometimes it doesn’t. Every time we see something we like, our brain produces a little hit of dopamine. This makes it easier to fall into a loop of endless scrolling, searching for the next little dopamine hit. 

Dr. Julie Albright, a professor at the University of South Carolina, told Forbes that this is a psychological term called “random reinforcement.” Many social media platforms use a similar formula to keep users engaged.  The TikTok algorithm is set up to track viewing habits, and to show you personalized videos that are specifically tailored to your unique interests, as previously reported by the Deseret News. A combined study done by two different Chinese universities found that highly personalized video feeds cause users to be become more attached to the app.

Brain scans done on a group of college students “showed that areas involved in addiction were highly activated in those who watched personalized videos. It also found that some people have trouble controlling when to stop watching,” reported The Wall Street Journal.


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