This week we take a moment to review the Pavlok Shock Clock 2:
Item: Pavlok Shock Clock 2
Price: $145 USD
Retailer: Behavioral Technology Group, Inc.
The Shock Clock 2 works off the ideas put forth by Ivan Pavlov. Everyone has heard of Pavlov’s dogs, whom Ivan conditioned to salivate in response to hearing the dinner bell. They associated the bell with receiving food, and consequently began to salivate in preparation. What Pavlok aims to do is the same – condition people to associate negative behaviors with a shock, eventually leading to the elimination of undesirable behaviors.
There are a number of behaviors Pavlok devices may help eliminate, but the focus of the Shock Clock 2 is to aid in waking up on time. Once the alarm has been set, the device will vibrate or beep (or both, according to your settings) to alert you. If you ignore it, or decide to go back to sleep, a shock is administered as a consequence. The goal is to wake up the first time to avoid the shock. Some notable features of the device include:
- Adjustable shock levels
- Free app from which to control the device
- Highly adjustable strap
- Option to set multiple alarms throughout the day
Effective: The device did wake me up on time. There was a slight vibration and after, when I didn’t respond by getting up and moving around, a shock. The shock was very effective in waking my mind so that I was alert and didn’t want to fall back asleep.
Free App: The device itself only has one button, but everything from shock levels to what habit you want to work on can be configured through the app. There is also a helpful “Explore” section in the app where self-help books and articles can be found.
Adjustable Shock Levels: I do not enjoy being shocked, which is the whole point of the device in curing bad habits, but the amount of shock felt is adjustable. The shock can be adjusted from 0-100%, increasing in 10% increments. I kept it at 20% and definitely felt it.
They Welcome Feedback: One feature of the app I was most impressed with was their welcoming of feedback. The company realizes their product is new and is open to suggestions on how to make it better.
Uncomfortable Wrist Strap: The strap on the Shock Clock is not very comfortable. It uses a magnet to fasten, which makes it highly adjustable, but the strap itself pulls on hairs on your arm. It is not unbearable, but for someone with very hairy arms this could be unpleasant. The magnet also does not secure well. As I moved around in bed, it came loose and had to be re-fastened.
Bulky: It’s not like wearing a normal watch. The main piece of it is rather bulky when sitting on the wrist, again making it hard to get a comfortable fit. It also causes the device to be more noticeable than one may like.
Little Instruction On Use: There was no user manual that came with my device. The app and website provide some instruction but more would be helpful, especially in getting started.
I think the idea the company is going for is a great one. Habits are hard to change, and providing some sort of consequence to complacency (like a shock) is sure to motivate an actual change. I myself found it very effective in waking up on time.
The only things I would change is the comfort of the device and its ease of use. Especially considering the device is promoted as a more effective alarm clock, it should be more comfortable to wear while sleeping. Also, more instruction on how it can be used, perhaps some video demos of the app, would be extremely helpful for users.