Using Attachment Anxiety in Emotional Design & Marketing

How companies use social pain, to stop customers from leaving

By Brian Cugelman, PhD with editorial production from Debra Weinryb

When it comes to emotional design, people typically talk about positive emotions and user experiences, like how products can make people feel happy. But what they rarely discuss is using emotional design to evoke negative emotions, like stress, anxiety, and even pain.

Using Attachment Anxiety in Emotional Design & Marketing Psychology
This is a pop-up that’s triggered on Get Response ( based on tracking mouse patterns that indicate users are about to abandon the page. Their joke message plays off attachment anxiety. 


By | 2018-02-24T23:57:48+00:00 9 January 2017|Categories: Behavioral science, Persuasive design, User experience (UX)|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Using Attachment Anxiety in Emotional Design & Marketing

Emotional Design Psychology & Human-Computer Relationships

Science shows that people interact with technology similar to how they interact with other people, but there's never been a great explanation for why this is. There's now good evidence that the neurochemical oxytocin impacts more than our relationships with other people, and that it may also unlock our understanding of how we form emotional relationships with brands and technology. In this opinion piece, Brian Cugelman, PhD discusses the intersection of emotional design, digital psychology and the biological-basis for why we interact with computers like other people.

By | 2016-10-27T23:52:11+00:00 18 October 2016|Categories: User experience (UX), Digital marketing, Research|Comments Off on Emotional Design Psychology & Human-Computer Relationships

Psychological Backfiring: How Psychology Can Damage your Websites, Apps, and Digital Marketing

In the last few years, UX design professionals, digital marketers, and conversion optimization ninjas have increasingly started using psychology to design intuitive websites, engaging apps and higher converting marketing campaigns.

There’s no shortage of evidence that a good understanding of interactive psychology can can transform your formerly unknown app into a trusted and addictive product.

However, there’s one elephant in the room that nobody likes to talk about.

Psychological Backfiring: How Psychology Can Damage your Websites, Apps, and Digital Marketing Psychology Tai, Banksy’s “elephant in the room”. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP


Why your user experience must foster trust

When it comes to real estate, they say the thing that matters most is location, location, location. Similarly, when it comes to online influence, your user experience must foster trust, trust, trust. Winning online trust will take you down the road to success. Losing online trust can completely undermine everything you do.

In my last post, we discussed some of the clues that your digital platform or campaign may suffer from a credibility deficit. In this post, I’m going to discuss the fall-out from low credibility—which is low trust, or worse mistrust.


Does your website, app or campaign have a credibility deficit? (Part 1)


Anyone who has works in a highly competitive market soon realizes that success depends on constantly learning what works, in an environment with rapidly changing technology, social trends, media consumption habits, and competitors who are constantly striving to outflank each other.

This constant struggle to stay ahead of the competition keeps many companies fixated on finding the next set of digital marketing principles that will give them a competitive edge. When it comes to finding good ideas, the web is full of advice on how to build digital products and campaigns that achieve extraordinary levels of engagement, conversion and retention.

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