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Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Author: Kurt Nelson, PhD and Tim Houlihan

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Behavioral Grooves is a discussion of the positive application of behavioral science to work and life. It's the WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO podcast. Kurt Nelson, Ph.D., and Tim Houlihan interview leading researchers, academics, practitioners, and accidental behavioral scientists. Our conversations are lively, spontaneous, full of laughs, and insights into the science behind why we do what we do. We conclude each podcast with a grooving session, recorded after the interview, where we explore the science and reflect on the key takeaways from the interview and the topics we discussed.
190 Episodes
Cornelia Walther has spent most of her professional career with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Program (WFP). She was the head of communications in large-scale emergencies in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. She earned her PhD in Law and is a certified yoga instructor and her current work is a remarkable amalgam of her studies and her life’s journey. In recent years, she developed POZE as a way of exploring the world to help uncover deeper levels of happiness. (POZE is an opening spiral that can stand for, among a few things, to Pause for a moment, Observe what’s going on around you, Zoom in on yourself, and Experience what is going on in the world.) These are wise and weighty thoughts and we thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with her. We also discussed how we are all interconnected – that your world and my world may be very different, yet we share connections if we only give ourselves the chance to experience them. The hope is that we recognize this connectedness – both at a personal level and at a larger global level – and bring greater meaning and happiness to our lives through this connectedness. One of our favorite lines from our discussion with Cornelia was this: “So driven was I by the craving for some thing or another, that I omitted to savor the beauty of now.”  We all need to take a moment, pause, and savor the beauty of now. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Cornelia Walther: POZE: Gary Latham, PhD, Episode 147: Creole Language: Brad Shuck, PhD, Episode 91: Development, Humanitarian Aid and Social Welfare. Social Change from the Inside Out (May 2020): Humanitarian Work, Social Change, and Human behavior. Compassion for Change (June 2020): Development and Connection in times of Covid. Corona’s Call for Conscious Choices (October 2020): Social Change from the Inside Out. From Fixation to Foundation. From Competition to Change: From Individual wellbeing to collective welfare: Musical Links Pink “So What”: Verdi, “Aida”: Dvorak, “Symphony of the New World”:   Beatles, “Don’t Let Me Down”: Depeche Mode, “People Are People”: Mariza, “Quem Me Dera”: Ayub Ogada, “Kothbiro”: Giberto Gil: Fabiano do Nascimento, “Nana”: Tim Sparks, “Klezmer Medley”:  
Kevin Vallier, PhD is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University, where he directs their Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law programs. Kevin’s interests span a wide spectrum including political philosophy, ethics, philosophy of religion, politics, and economics. He is the author of peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles, and his recent books include Must Politics Be War? Restoring Our Trust in the Open Society (Oxford UP 2019) and, his newest book, Trust in a Polarized Age (Oxford UP 2020). We focused our discussion on Kevin’s philosophical viewpoint of political issues, traversing the axes of polarization and trust. We spent some time discussing how focusing on progress and process might be good short-term balms for our broken nation. We also asked him about potential solutions to our current situation in the United States and his answers might surprise you. Kevin offered approaches that only a political philosopher might have, and we enjoyed his unique perspective. His best tip for healing our nation’s divides (in the short term) might be as simple as joining a church or non-political non-profit organization to help your community. We hope you enjoy our conversation with Kevin Vallier. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Kevin Vallier, PhD:  Revolving Door: Ranked Choice Voting: Trump/Obama Valedictorian Speech: Robert Cialdini, PhD: Ideas42: Coleman’s Boat: Robber’s Cave Experiment: Nudge.It North: Musical Links Dolly Parton: Chet Atkins: Alison Kraus: Maynard Ferguson: Sufjan Stevens: Gregorian chant: Valaam chant: Byzantine notation: Organum: “Be Thou My Vision”:
[NOTE: This episode was originally published as a Weekly Grooves podcast. We wanted to share it with our Behavioral Grooves listeners and we hope you enjoy it.] We were inspired by a recent article on CNBC’s website by Cory Steig, called “ ’Psychological safety’ at work improves productivity–here are 4 ways to get it, according to a Harvard expert.” The piece reviews some research on psychology safety that Kurt and I have been focused on for years. Psychological safety is a concept that was identified by Harvard Professor Amy Edmondson from work in the 1990’s. Professor Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a workplace where one feels that one’s voice is welcome with bad news, questions, concerns, half-baked ideas and even mistakes.”  One way we experience this is when we feel that the team has my back through both good and bad.  Kurt and Tim believe that psychological safety is both undervalued and under-implemented in companies today and we hope listeners can apply some of the key points in this brief discussion to their workplace. ©2020 Weekly Grooves / ©2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Kurt Nelson, PhD: Tim Houlihan:   Psychological Safety at work improves productivity: How Making a Mistake in the Interview Could Land You the Job: Re:Work – Google shares much of the insights that they learned from Project Aristotle and how to implement those ideals: Forbes article by Shane Snow that overviews Psychological Safety and describes what it is and is not – nice summary that helps clarify key aspects of this concept: How to foster psychological safety in virtual meetings: Elliot Aronson, PhD Coffee Study:
Bill von Hippel, PhD is an evolutionary psychologist from Alaska who has lived in Australia for more than 20 years. Bill teaches at the University of Queensland and his body of research is so wide we struggled to focus our conversation. We spoke with him about his research into the ways in which our species’ behaviors have evolved over millions of years into the behaviors we see in our present-day lives. His insights are clever, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. We talked about reciprocity, collectivism, and most importantly, how being cooperative and social propelled our species forward well beyond anything else in the animal kingdom. We discussed Bill’s latest book, “The Social Leap.” It’s a groundbreaking thesis that applies evolutionary science to help us understand how major challenges from our past have shaped some of the most fundamental aspects of our being. One of the book’s key lessons is for us to remember that it is our collaboration, our collective abilities as a species, that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. This unique capability for humans to cooperate is an important reminder these days and Bill articulated the evolution of collaboration and competition in memorable terms. We talked about the futility of not trusting your friends and the likely risk of getting lots of false positives from motivated thinking. And we discussed how social context matters when it comes to happiness. Bill explained how we choose our contexts wisely, and we do so to compare ourselves favorably to those around us. In this way, we tend to avoid comparisons with those we wouldn’t compare well to. Lastly, Bill shared an evolutionary perspective that really struck us. He noted that, as we age, we are likely to increase our reliance on stereotypes and that can lead to prejudice. As Bill suggested, to stop ourselves from this unnecessary psychological deterioration, we should slow down our judgments and ask if we’re feeling this way because of that person’s group membership or gender or whatever. Stop, pause, and give it some consideration. Bill was recommended to us by Roy Baumeister and we’re grateful for the introduction as well as Bill’s generous conversation. We hope you enjoy our conversation with Bill and that you go out and find your groove this week. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Bill Von Hippel, PhD: University of Queensland: “The Social Leap”: Peter Singer, PhD: Homo Erectus: Michael Tomasello, PhD: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz “Everybody Lies”: Dan Ariely on comparison: Ed Diener on “Wealth and happiness across the world”: Embouchure:,mouthpiece%20of%20a%20brass%20instrument.   Musical Links Lynyrd Skynyrd: Boston: Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”: Mozart: Sonata in C, K. 545, Allegro: Keith Moon: Rush “Tom Sawyer”: Neal Peart: Max Weinberg: Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven”: Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone”: Al Kooper: Max Weinberg Experience:
World Kindness Day is November 13th and has been celebrated in many countries around the world since 1998. World Kindness Day was developed to promote good deeds in communities and focus on how kindness binds us together. Around the world are efforts to encourage “random acts of kindness” for others and acting in a more kind way. We decided to look at kindness in general through a behavioral science lens.  Webster’s definition of “kind” is “of a sympathetic or helpful nature; being gentle.” In other words, kindness is basically doing something nice for someone. A Mother Jones article about World Kindness day, by Daniel King, states, “Don’t worry, kindness is not niceness,” so we looked at how the University of Santa Clara differentiates between KIND and NICE. They used an example of how holding the door for others can be described as either “nice” or “kind.”  If the underlying motivation is to create a favorable impression for the purpose of asking for a favor later, then the action can be considered NICE due to its pleasing effect. On the other hand, if the motivation is to spare the other person from extra effort or inconvenience, then the action can be considered KIND (as well as nice) if it pleases the other person. We encourage each and every one of you around the world today to show some act of kindness to a loved one, friend or stranger. And we hope you enjoy this episode. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Science Made Fun: Celebrating World Kindness Day:    World Kindness Day: Mother Jones: Kindness Day is Actually a Day: World Kindness Day in Wikipedia: Psychology Today: The Importance of Kindness: Time: Random Acts of Kindness make Marriage Better: Rewards of Kindness  Hui, B. P. H., Ng, J. C. K., Berzaghi, E., Cunningham-Amos, L. A., & Kogan, A. (2020). Rewards of kindness? A meta-analysis of the link between prosociality and well-being. Psychological Bulletin.: Psychology Today: Random Acts of Kindness Matter to Your Well Being: Being Kind, Not Nice:,way%20they%20treat%20each%20other.
[NOTE: This episode was originally published under our sister-podcast, Weekly Grooves. We are republishing it here to share relevant behavioral science information. We hope you enjoy it.] We saw an article in The Atlantic that caught our attention because of its hook into behavioral science: our willingness to believe disinformation. In this week’s episode, we talk about the underlying behavioral science into why we humans are so susceptible to information that is not accurate. What can we do? We can use the OODA loop to interrupt our too-quick decision to simply accept suspicious content: Observe – Orient – Decide – Act. The OODA loop, in a very simplistic manner uses these four elements in this way: to take in and observe the context in which you’re seeing this information; orient yourself with the source in a critical way; make a decision by asking, “if this is from someone I might not trust, would I still believe it?”; and take action by deleting content created to DIS-inform you.   And since our podcast is relatively new, we are very interested in knowing how you think we’re doing. Please leave us a review or drop us a line. @THoulihan or @WhatMotivates Disinformation: “False information, which is intended to mislead, especially propaganda issued by a government organization to a rival power or the media.” Misinformation: “False or inaccurate information, especially that which is deliberately intended to deceive.” Conspiracy Theory: “A belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event.” © 2020 Weekly Grooves / © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links “The Billion Dollar Disinformation Campaign to Reelect the President,” by McKay Coppins in The Atlantic: The Donation of Constantine: The National Enquirer: The Daily Mail: The Messenger Effect: OODA Loop: Leveraging the OODA Loop with Digital Analytics to Counter Disinformation, by Jami Carroll (2019): Viktor Frankl: Snopes: Gallup Polls Believing in the Media:
In their book, “Behavioral Insights,” Michael Hallsworth and Elspeth Kirkman took time to think through the critical steps in the design and execution of a behavioral intervention. It’s a framework that could be applied to any significant behavior change you might consider and it comes from a book that Kurt and Tim consider among the best of 2020. Michael Hallsworth is the Managing Director of the North American Behavioral Insights Team and has helped develop frameworks such as MINDSPACE and EAST. He is a thoughtful researcher with outstanding work to his credit; at the same time, he’s quick to point out when his research ideas don’t play out as he expected them to. Elspeth Kirkman helped open the North American BIT unit but is now back in London, where she is responsible for BIT’s work on health, education, and local government. We first featured Elspeth for her work on frameworks and models in Episode 166 and we're so happy to see that she and Michael co-authored what we consider one of the best behavioral science books of 2020. Their book, “Behavioral Insights,” was commissioned and published by MIT Press for their Essential Knowledge Series. The book very explicitly outlines HOW to design and implement a behavior change initiative. Their 10-step model carefully lays out this process and we were extremely happy to see that the first 7 steps are all about design. We discussed ethics and transparency in the way interventions are implemented. These considerations are central to much of the work that they do, especially when it comes to the development of governmental policies. We also discussed rationality and who gets to decide what is rational and what isn’t. This was a particularly powerful concept since we know that humans do a great job defending their actions. To what degree is it rational or rationalizing? Regrettably, due to time constraints, we were not able to chat about music. We’ll save it for next time. Right now, we hope you enjoy our conversation with Elspeth and Michael. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Michael Hallsworth: @mhallsworth Elspeth Kirkman: @karminker “Behavioral Insights”: Menorca Island: Gerd Gigerenzer: Dan Ariely, “Predictably Irrational”: Common Biases and Heuristics: Eugen Dimant, Episode 169: NYC Cab Driver Study (Loewenstein, Thaler, Babcock and Camerer): Behavioral Grooves Episode 41 on Hallsworth: Behavioral Grooves 100th Episode: Behavioral Grooves Episode 166 on Kirkman:   Nudge.It North: Kurt Nelson, PhD: @whatmotivates Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan
[NOTE: This episode was originally published under our sister-podcast, Weekly Grooves. In our effort to share relevant behavioral science information, we are republishing it here. We hope you enjoy it.] Listeners, especially in the United States, are already aware of the debacle from the Iowa Caucuses and how the Iowa Democratic party used a new app to help streamline the caucus results. You’re probably also aware that the processes and technologies failed, and results were not available for days afterwards. The delay has caused a plethora of online conspiracy theories and that’s our topic for this week. In the absence of good data, we make it up. Some of the richest conspiracy theories Kurt and Tim found include: 1.) The Democratic party didn’t like the results that they were seeing, so they were changing them. 2.) The Russians or the Chinese had hacked the app and were messing with us. 3.) The Republicans had hacked the app and were trying to rig the election. 4.) Hillary Clinton had helped build the app and was using it to get back at Sanders. And our all-time favorite conspiracy theory (5.) involves the Illuminati and how they were controlling the outcome.  With all this swirling around, Kurt and Tim discuss why it’s humans to engage in conspiracy theories and some of their psychological underpinnings, the personality types that are most prone to believing a conspiracy theory, and what we can do to inoculate ourselves from this sort of thinking. We are reason-seeking machines and are more likely to ask “why” before we fully understand “what” happened. Join us for a quick review of why we experience conspiracy theories in the first place and what we can do about them. © 2020 Weekly Grooves / © 2020 Behavioral Grooves Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan Links Online conspiracy theories flourish after Iowa caucus fiasco: The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories, 2017, Douglas, Sutton and Cichocka: The psychology of conspiracy theories: Why do people believe them, John Grohol PsyD: Closed Belief System: Conspiracy theories: the science behind belief in secret plots, The Guardian, Fundamental Attribution Error: Hanlon’s Razor: Illuminati: Lantian, A., Muller, D., Nurra, C., Douglas, K. (2017). “‘I know things they don’t know!’: The role of need for uniqueness in belief in conspiracy theories,” Social Psychology, 48, 160-173 Mercier, H. & Sperber, D., “Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory” BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2011) 34, 57–111 doi:10.1017/S0140525X10000968 Motivated Reasoning: Oliver, Eric on “Big Brains” Episode 25: Pareidolia: Pattern Recognition: Pattern Recognition: The Science Behind Conspiracy Theories, Steven Novella: Project Mogul: Resulting (Annie Duke):
Jez Groom and April Vellacott, our guests in this episode, are co-authors of “Ripple - The Big Effects of Small Behavior Changes in Business.” It’s a practical, application-focused romp that uses a behavioral science lens to solve all sorts of real-world problems. Jez Groom is the founder of Cowry Consulting and has established himself as one of the world's leading practitioners in the field. Jez has played instrumental roles in projects like Babies in the Borough – which we featured in Episode 167 – that used murals of babies faces to fight crime, to changing handwashing behavior in a slaughterhouse in Santiago, to using bright pink walls to reduce unsafe behavior on a high-rise construction site in London. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Department of Psychology at City University, London. April Vellacott is the Behavioral Consulting Lead at Cowry. Aside from being a dedicated and experienced practitioner, she holds degrees in Psychology and Behavior Change. Owning the heavy lifting for the book, April stole the show with some of the best lines (see “you can’t make a bucket without bucketloads of money”). We urge you to check out their book as it’s more than just informative, it’s also a pleasure to read. In our conversation with Jez and April, we discussed the salient points from the book, the case study format they used, the very international feel from those case studies, and some of the techniques they’ve used to get business professionals to adopt behavioral science. We also covered a key pillar of their personal and professional missions: to demystify and democratize behavioral science. It’s a terrific conversation and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Jez Groom: April Vellacott: Cowry Consulting: “Ripple”:  Rory Sutherland: Daniel Levitin “This is Your Brain on Music”: Adam Hansen: Diversifi: Episode 167 – Babies in the Borough:   Musical Links John Legend “Wild”: House Music: Stormzy: Drill: Flava Flav: Public Enemy: Sade:
[NOTE: This episode was originally published under our sister-podcast, Weekly Grooves. In our effort to share relevant behavioral science information, we are republishing it here. We hope you enjoy it.] Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Noah Weiland of The New York Times wrote an article titled, “Study Finds ‘Single Largest Driver’ of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump.”  The article is based on research from the Cornell Alliance for Science that analyzed over 38 million articles around the world on the pandemic. They found that “Mentions of Trump made up nearly 38% of the overall “misinformation conversation,” making the president the largest driver of the “infodemic.” Of the 38 million articles on the pandemic, 1.1 million of them “disseminated, amplified or reported on misinformation related to the pandemic.”  The study found 11 topics of misinformation that were prevalent in these articles – ranging from the pandemic being a hoax facilitated by the Democrats to the virus being a deep state or bioweapon of China to the most common one – miracle cures. Kurt and Tim decided to break down the discussion into three parts: 1.) The psychology of misinformation.  2.) The messenger effect and 3.) The psychology behind why Donald Trump might be doing this. © 2020 Weekly Grooves / © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links “Study Finds 'Single Largest Driver' of Coronavirus Misinformation: Trump”: CORONAVIRUS MISINFORMATION: Quantifying sources and themes in the COVID-19 ‘infodemic’: What drove the COVID misinformation ‘infodemic’: “Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why”:  
The presidential election is going full tilt in the United States and we want to emphasize the importance of acting on your constitutional rights if you are eligible to vote here. However, Kurt and Tim’s Behavioral Grooves is in the running for Best Podcast and Best YouTube on Samuel Salzer’s Habit Weekly Annual Awards. We’d love it if you’d take this opportunity to cast a vote in our direction. Thank you!   Voting for Habit Weekly: Voting in US Presidential Election:
Jessica Mayhew, PhD teaches Biological Anthropology as well as Primate Culture & Cognition at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. She got our attention when her comments about how primates play together are related to the way humans play. Not that that in and of itself is a big surprise, but the way we play and the context we play in are – of course – highly influential in how we play. She reminded us about the important role reciprocity has in the animal kingdom, just as it does among humans. She talked about context and environment and she gave us a couple of key examples. She noted how primate communities that value cooperation with their juveniles end up with adults that cooperate. And the opposite is true as well. Highly competitive groups foster more competitive behaviors in their juveniles. Kinda gets you thinking about human communities, right? Jessica inspires us with her interdisciplinary focus and the way she’s always looking for ways to cross into new fields. That’s why we call her a hedgefox: she’s super deep into primatology, but she also likes to dabble in anthropology and other disciplines as well. And, in a related note, she reminded us that none of us are disconnected from the whole – we are all a part of the same ecosystem, and we can take a lesson from that. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Jessica Mayhew, PhD: Mia Hamm: Scottie Pippen: Jane Goodall: Dian Fossey: Birutė Galdikas: “Clue” Movie on Monkey’s Brains: “Where the Wild Things Play,” by Erik Vance in The New York Times: Frans de Waal “Mama’s Last Hug”: “Homo Ludens”: Michael Boden, Episode 136: Diversifi: Jez Groom/Cowry Consulting: Minneapolis Uses Opera to Reduce Crime: Todd Fonseca, Episode 8:   Musical Links Yo-Yo Ma: Pablo Casals: Kendrick Lamar: Planet Earth II Soundtrack:
Kwame Christian, Esq. is the author of “Nobody Will Play With Me: How to Use Compassionate Curiosity to Find Confidence in Conflict.” He is the host of two podcasts, “Negotiate Anything” and “Ask With Confidence.” He is a professor at The Ohio State University Law School and is the director of the American Negotiation Institute. Kwame’s educational background combines an undergraduate degree in psychology, a masters in public policy, and a juris doctor. Yup – a classic underachiever. (NOT) Kurt and Tim got to talk to Kwame about the behavioral science hidden in his practical techniques. For instance, we discussed how to be more effective in negotiations by managing our emotions and how to reframe our negotiations as opportunities. He went on to say that negotiations are really “the art of discovery.” We also discussed the decades-old myth of the win-win negotiation – you guessed right: it’s a myth! Kwame also dropped more sound-bite bombs in our conversation than any other guest. There are tons and tons of takeaways from this conversation that you can put to use in your work or home life right away. And if that’s not enough, he’s got the most eclectic musical tastes of any guest on Behavioral Grooves so far. Check it out. We are grateful to our friend Brian Ahearn who introduced us to Kwame in May 2020.   © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Kwame Christian on LinkedIn: Kwame on Twitter: @KwameNegotiates Kwame on Negotiations: Kwame (and Kai) on Instagram: KwameNegotates Finding Confidence in Conflict: How to Negotiate Anything and Live Your Best Life: Kwame’s Podcast Negotiate Anything: Kwame’s TED talk: Kwame as Ohio State Law Professor: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Matthew Walker, “Why We Sleep”: Them-Us-Fit-Action:   Musical Links Bob Marley “Wait in Vain”: Calypso: Soca (Soul Calypso): Reggae: Dub Step: Hip-hop: Rap: Ska: Smooth Jazz: AC/DC: “Under the Graveyard” by Ozzie Osbourne: Major Lazer: The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go”: The Police: George Benson “Breezin”: Grover Washington “Just the Two of Us”: David Benoit “Lucy and Linus”: Earl Klugh & Bob James: Lee Ritenour: The Rippingtons:
Matt Johnson, PhD and Prince Ghuman are the authors of “Blindsight: the mostly hidden ways marketing shapes our brains.” We caught up with them to discuss the book, basketball, ethics, and old school hip hop. Matt is a professor at Hult International Business School and he likes to explore the intersections of neuroscience, psychology, and consumerism in his graduate and undergraduate classes. Prince is also at Hult International Business School where he teaches marketing. He is also the founder of PopNeuro, a firm that helps companies to ethically apply neuroscience to their marketing strategies. In our conversation, Matt and Prince introduced us to a new term in neuromarketing they call mid liminal. Not subliminal, but mid liminal. We also talked about the natural partnership between neuroscience and marketing and we covered one of our favorite linguistic games – the Kiki and Bouba studies. Most importantly, we discussed their views on the ethical application of neuromarketing. We also want to note that Prince and Matt are hosting the World’s First Neuromarketing Certification Bootcamp. It will be held live on December 4th through the 6th of 2020. They will be condensing years of neuroscience and marketing insights into a three-day Bootcamp with the intent of outfitting professionals with the latest tools in neuromarketing. Best yet for those looking to build credibility at work: successfully completing the Bootcamp earns you a certification. They also shared a link to the Bootcamp along with a special code (GROOVES) to save $500 off of the registration fee. Use the link in the notes below and type in GROOVES to receive your discount. Of course, this fantastic discount code is ONLY available to listeners of Behavioral Grooves. We encourage you to check it out as we think these guys have a lot to share. Thanks for listening and we hope you go out and find your groove this week.   © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Matt Johnson: Prince Ghuman: “Blindsight”: Neuromarketing Certification Course: Special Discount Code: GROOVES Master Classes: Nick Van Exel: Steph Curry: Klay Thompson: Wine Shop Study: Kiki and Bouba Effect: Phillip Kotler: OCEAN/BIG 5: Cass Sunstein on Ethics: Charlotte Blank on Don’t Be Creepy episode 9: Porsche: Breitling: Purple: Serta: IKEA: Sleep Number Bed: Onomatopoeia:   Kurt Nelson, PhD: Tim Houlihan:   Musical Links “Old Town Road” remix: Grandmaster Flash: Busy Bee Starski: Tribe Called Quest: Van Morrison: The Beatles: Al Green “Let’s Stay Together”: Beatnick Music: Flora Cash: Sea Wolf: Iron & Wine: Angus & Julia Stone: Ministry: Debussy: Hank Williams: The Romantics “What I Like About You”:  
Annie Duke on How to Decide

Annie Duke on How to Decide


Annie Duke first guested on Behavioral Grooves on Episode 31, which was released on September 30, 2018. For some reason, the three of us hit it off and we’ve had the pleasure of each other’s company for several more episodes (more than any other guest). She even asked Kurt and Tim to provide some feedback on an early draft of her latest book. With that background, Kurt and Tim sat down with Annie to talk about the new book (hitting the store shelves on October 13, 2020), the key themes in it, and the decision tools a reader can put to use in their own life. We love it and we hope you get a copy of “How To Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices.” “How To Decide” is really the first of its kind as a book that offers decision tools that the reader can try out through Annie’s guided narrative and exercises. Better decision making can lead to all sorts of improvements in your life, including more happiness, and our guest is all about people living happier lives. As much as we love books describing the neuroscience behind decision making and the behavioral consequences of the biases and heuristics that impact our decisions, we find “How To Decide” to be a fantastic journey into the practical world of the tools to help you make better decisions. To emphasize these principles, Annie talked about the Archer’s Mindset, Free Rolls, and how negative thinking can be a boon to your goal setting and goal achievement. Of course, there’s a mention of Jack White, her musical hero, and lots of pop references from the mind of a certifiable news junkie (at least these days). We hope you enjoy our conversation with Annie, and we ask that you take a moment to subscribe to our Patreon page. For the price of one coffee per month, you can advance our mission to bring insights from thought leaders, researchers and practitioners to those who are curious about behavioral science. We hope you go out and find your groove this week with the help of Annie’s decision-making tools. [Photo of Annie by Jessica Evelynka] © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Annie Duke:    “How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices”:    Alliance for Decision Making: False Dichotomy: Robert Cialdini, PhD: Michael Phelps on the Worst Case Scenario: Cass Sunstein & Annie Duke on Free Rolling:  Common Biases & Heuristics: Perry Mason (2020 TV series): Elizabeth Schoenfelt, PhD study:   Lantern Group: BehaviorAlchemy: Patreon Site:   Musical Links Drake: Jack White: The Beatles:
Andy Luttrell, PhD is an assistant professor of psychological science at Ball State University and the podcaster/host of Opinion Science, one of Kurt and Tim’s favorites. Andy’s research centers on people’s opinions, including when and how attitudes change. More importantly, Andy is curious about what happens when people moralize their attitudes and how moral arguments can sometimes be compelling and sometimes backfire. Our conversation focused on these areas and we loved the research Andy presented. We were particularly interested in hearing about how people who based their positions on careful analysis tend to be the ones who open enough to be persuaded with the right argument. So our willingness to be open to a fresh idea is in part based on how strong or weak the arguments were in coming to our own conclusions. We found the research fascinating that indicates that people with weak arguments are harder to persuade to new ideas. That was a head-scratcher. Our discussion also covered some thoughtful positions on the so-called Replication Crisis and Andy’s first-hand experience with replication – and non-replication – was insightful. We also want to remind you that Andy’s podcast, Opinion Science, is one of our favorite podcasts – period. We highly recommend it. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Andy Luttrell, PhD: Opinion Science Podcast: Richard Petty, PhD: Arie W. Kruglanski, PhD: Need for Closure: PSA (Public Service Announcement): Matt Feinberg and Rob Willer on Moral Reframing: Moral Foundations: Registered Report Experiments: RadioLab: 99% Invisible: Petty, DeMarree, Brinol, Xia, “Documenting individual differences in the propensity to hold attitudes with certainty”:   Musical Links Weird Al Yankovic: Blue Man Group: “Robots” Movie Sound Track:
Eli Finkel, PhD is a social psychology professor who studies interpersonal attraction, marriage, and how our social relationships influence our goal achievement. He is the author of the bestselling book The All-Or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work and is a professor at Northwestern University, where he has appointments in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management. In his role as director of Northwestern’s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published over150 scientific papers and is a contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. Eli got our attention because his book points to some very important tips about how to make the best of a relationship during a global pandemic. We thought it would be good to check in with him. He also shared a historical perspective on marriage that is instrumental in understanding how marriage got to where it is today and why marriage is so much more complicated, for some people, than it has ever been. Thanks for listening. If you enjoy what you hear there are three things that you can choose to do: first, leave a quick 5-star rating, second, write a brief review, and lastly, you could subscribe on our Patreon site at Thanks for your help and keep on grooving.   © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Eli Finkel, PhD: “The All or Nothing Marriage”: Romeo & Juliet: Tristan & Isolde: Anna Karenina: The Scarlet Letter: “Wild”:   “Eat Pray Love”: Netscape Navigator: eHarmony: Nate Silver “The Signal and The Noise”: John Gottman, PhD: Brad Shuck, PhD: Indian Matchmaking:   Musical Links Nirvana “Nevermind”: Pearl Jam: Alice In Chains: Red Hot Chili Peppers: Screaming Trees: Poison:
[NOTE: You may or may not know that Kurt and Tim host a sibling podcast called Weekly Grooves. We thought this was such an important topic that we wanted to share it with the Behavioral Grooves community.] We got a call recently from Eugen Dimant, a friend of ours who is an associate professor in behavioral and decision sciences at the University of Pennsylvania, about how the University of Michigan was trying to let students know that they should only gather in groups of 25 of less. Eugen suggested we tee it up as a topical issue for Weekly Grooves and we readily agreed. It led to a discussion about what colleges are doing to regulate student activites to contain the coronavirus, the punishments involved in breaking those regulations, the environment in which students make deicisons on how to behave, and the importance of proper communication. Also, in this episode we include some of the conversation we had with Eugen, which is a departure from our standard approach and we hope you enjoy it. Eugen’s insights from a  sociological perspective make for important reminders in an age when when the words we choose to communicate impacts whether get sick or not people. As always, please let us know what you think and share it with a friend or colleague. © 2020 Weekly Grooves   Links Eugen Dimant, PhD:  University of Michigan Tweet: University of Alabama outbreaks: 
Eric Oliver, PhD is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Although the majority of his work is squarely in the realm of how we view our political systems and make political decisions, some of his work echoes moral psychology and sociology, and we find it fascinating. And, frankly, some of it is just downright fun to talk about. Eric’s observations come from more than 20 years of research, dozens of peer-reviewed papers, and he is the author of 5 books on political science. We specifically talked about how liberals and conservatives name their children, the rise of intuitionism, having dinner with a sports star rather than a rock star, and of course, he spoke in-depth about conspiracy theories. Most importantly, he walked us through some key aspects of how to have a conversation with someone who is on the opposite side of the conspiracy-theory belief system and, interestingly enough, it begins with empathy. Listen to the entire episode to hear all his insights and research anecdotes. They’ll put a smile on your face as well as fresh ideas into your brain! We have been fans of his work for some time and are grateful that Eric shared his insights with us. We think you’ll become a fan, too, if you’re not already one. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Eric Oliver, PhD: Jonathan Haidt, PhD: James Frazer, “The Golden Bough”: Katherine Surma on Credulity: Laurie Santos, PhD: The Joe Effect: Steve Kerr: Colin Kaepernick: Charles Manson:   Musical Links LCD Sound System: Kurt Weil: Phillip Glass: Keith Richards and Chuck Berry:
Roy Baumeister, PhD is a world-renowned researcher known for his work on the subjects of willpower, self-control, and self-esteem and how they relate to human morality and success. Most recently, he is the author of The Power of Bad, with John Tierney, which explores how powerful bad experiences can be and how life is better when we seek out the good. We discussed a bit of the new book as well as some of his highly researched topics. Roy’s peer-reviewed papers have been cited more than 200,000 times and he’s published more than 30 books. As one might imagine, our conversation was packed with insights into how we feel, think and act based on the complex ways we view and experience the world. We felt like we were starting a master class when we hit the record button and we love sharing this conversation with you. Suffice it to say, we thoroughly enjoyed our conversation with this pioneer and we hope you do too. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves   Links Roy Baumeister, PhD: George Loewenstein, PhD: “The Power of Bad”: Dan Gilbert, PhD: John Gottman, PhD: Suzanne Segerstrom, PhD: Mark Maraven, PhD: John Cacioppo, PhD:   Musical Links YoYo Ma: Louis Armstrong: John Coletrane: Miles Davis: Cannonball Adderley: Big Bands: Bix Beiderbeck: John McLaughlin: Stan Getz:  Snarky Puppy: Ministry:  
Comments (2)

Prashant Kumar

Great podcast! I learn so much with each episode

Oct 24th
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