Amit Sood: The Ultimate Happiness Doctor
Looking for a simple 5-step plan to be happier? Our guest has one. Amit Sood, PhD is an author and physician at the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota. He specializes in pediatrics, internal medicine and oncology and he also maintains certificates in acupressure, yoga and reiki. His books include two particularly relevant volumes that formed the basis of our discussion: The Guide to Stress-Free Living and Handbook for Happiness. He’s a remarkably well-rounded and humble healthcare practitioner as well as a highly productive author. It’s clear from talking with him that he cares deeply about his patients and the quality of his work. His passion was inspirational for us and we hope you have the same experience. Our conversation focused on the topic of happiness: things we do to increase it and things we do to reduce it. Amit shared some fascinating insights into specific things that we can do to increase our happiness and we were glad to speak with him. In the grooving session, Kurt and Tim wove these insights into a broader fabric of the environment we’re in when we go to work. Specifically, we addressed how different types of interactions – contentious, transactional or affiliative – influence our happiness and our productivity in the office. We also deliberated the human condition’s increasing need for responsiveness and how our patience for what we consider a socially-acceptable wait time is growing shorter. Finally, Kurt and Tim discussed the importance of intentionality that Amit believes is foundational to living a happy life, which acted as a springboard for Kurt to ask, “What song would you have wanted to write?” That question quickly got our brains into some miraculous and happy dreaming. We hope you enjoy our discussion with Amit Sood and, if you do, please leave us a very brief review on your favorite listening app.LinksAmit Sood, PhD: https://www.mayoclinic.org/biographies/sood-amit-m-d/bio-20054879 and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amit_Sood Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/ The Guide to Stress-Free Living: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mayo-clinic-guide-to-stress-free-living-amit-sood-md/1115183416#/ Handbook for Happiness: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-mayo-clinic-handbook-for-happiness-amit-sood-md/1119972623?ean=9780738217857 A Fragile Culture (by Jonathan Haidt): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lFsc-xGz7o In My Life (Paul McCartney & John Lennon): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xx8h4IBrRY Eleanor Rigby (Paul McCartney & John Lennon): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weN-l8SOiFU If We Were Vampires (by Jason Isbell): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF45uzdPgd4 People Are People (by Depeche Mode): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzGnX-MbYE4 Kurt Nelson: @motivationguru and https://www.linkedin.com/in/kurtwnelson/ Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan and https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-houlihan-b-e/ Subscribe to Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.podbean.com/
31 Mar 2019
Barry Ritholtz: How to Reduce Evolutionary Panic
In this special edition, we sat down with Barry Ritholtz, a Wall Street investment maven, host of the podcast Masters In Business, a regular contributor to Bloomberg TV, CNBC and The Street, as well as an author whose pieces appear in The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post as well as his blog, The Big Picture. To say that our conversation with Barry was unconventional is an understatement. We talked for well over an hour about the application of behavioral science in his investment firm, predicting market downturns, Steely Dan, behavioral science researchers, great investors throughout history and personal anecdotes… all of which were as entertaining as they were insightful. This episode strays from our regular format by including our grooving commentaries as we go through the interview. In other words, we talk about the concepts that our guest brings up as interludes to the live discussion with him. Barry lets us know – right off the bat – that he is not your average Wall Street investment-firm guy. He is insightful and data-driven. He noted one of his earliest influences was Jack Schwager, author of Market Sense and Nonsense. Schwager’s data-driven position was instantly appealing to Barry. Then Tom Gilovich, PhD brought research into Barry’s purview and fueled a deeper dive into behavioral science. Tom is known for his work on biases and heuristics as well as the enlightening research he contributed to on the hot-hand fallacy, which has recently been challenged. In Barry’s career, he became aware of small differences in his coworker’s approaches making big differences to their results. It was the Dunning-Kruger Effect, a common cognitive bias in which people of low ability mistakenly assess their cognitive skill as greater than it is. We’ve all had the experience of hearing a friend make grand predictions about something we’re pretty sure they know nearly nothing about. Barry was also impressed by the research-based Fama-French model and how it addresses three critical basics of investing using data. The model uses three factors to describe stock returns: 1. Market risk. 2. Small company stocks tend to provide better returns than larger company stocks. 2. High book-to-market companies perform better than low book-to-market companies. Barry also noted how he has been influenced by Ray Dalio, author and investor, and how much Barry’s science-based college education helped him appreciate and focus his investment approach by using data. Our musical discussion began with Steely Dan and headed into Steely Dan’s co-founder’s first solo effort, The Nightfly. Donald Fagen recorded and produced The Nightfly in 1982 with audiophile-perfect recording techniques. We also discussed Barry’s quest to discover the Greatest American Band and the constraints he put on the title. Without constraints, we lack focus, he says, so eligibility required that each band be (a) American born and (b) a band, not an individual with a back-up band. If you like listening to this episode and the way we edited our conversation with Barry, send us a note! We’d love to hear what you think. Link to Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.podbean.com/
6 Jan 2019
Leaving the Matrix: Annie Duke and Insights into how you can improve your thinking!
Annie Duke’s latest book, Thinking in Bets, Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts, is a masterful mash-up of her life as a researcher, poker player and charitable organization founder. In it, she explores new ideas on how to make better decisions. Our interview with her expanded beyond the book and we talked extensively about probabilistic thinking and having people hold us accountable for our decision making. As expected, our interview covered an eclectic mix of behavioral biases, sociology, language development and, of without fail, music. We noted some remarkable researchers including Anna Dreber, Phil Tetlock, Barb Miller, Stuart Firestein and Jonathan Haidt. We went deep into Annie’s personal history with her mentor Lila Gleitman and their work on Syntactic Bootstrapping, with the help of Donald Duck. Our music discussion included Jack White, Willie Nelson, Jonathan Richman, Prince, Alex Chilton and the Violent Femmes. If you find any of these names unfamiliar, we urge you to check them out. We used the movie The Matrix and the blue pill/red pill metaphor for looking at the world as accurate vs. inaccurate, rather than right or wrong. We discussed how tribes can offer us distinctiveness and belongingness but also confine us with the tribe’s sometimes negative influences. We also examined learning pods and how they can be used to keep our decisions more in line with reality. ----more----Because this is a lengthy discussion we share the following to help you navigate if you’re interested in specific topics (Hour:Minute:Second). We sincerely hope you’ll take time to listen to the entire discussion – it’s both fun and insightful – but we also understand that life can get busy. - Red Pill / Blue Pill begins at 00:07:40 - Tribes begins at 00:11:36 - Learning groups begins at 00:31:08 - Discussion of Lila Gleitman begins at 1:00:55 - Syntactic Bootstrapping begins at 1:05:36 - Jack White begins at 1:17:30 If you like this episode, please forward it on to a friend or colleague and help Kurt win his bet with Tim for who pays the donation to How I Decide. You can find more information on or donate to this wonderful non-profit at www.howidecide.org. Behavioral Grooves
30 Sep 2018
Artem Petakov: Our Biggest Competitor is the Couch
Artem Petakov is a co-Founder of Noom, a behavioral change and weight loss product that marries both psychology and AI to help people form more healthy behaviors and lose weight. You’re probably seeing Noom everywhere these days – on television, social media, YouTube – and with high frequency. The media exposure is generating terrific growth for the company and we wanted to talk to Artem about how Noom applies behavioral science to the core of their offering. Our conversation with Artem was ripe with terrific insights. We discussed behavioral science facets in the app, how Noom grew and changed over time, how the company experiments with interventions, and how the organization has adapted and innovated along their journey. We discussed Artem’s experience of being inspired by Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman and the Heath brothers' concept of Maslow’s Basement. We talked a bit about Burning Man Music (highly tech-driven beats) and were left wanting more. We think you will be, too. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves LinksPiaget Developmental Psychology: https://www.verywellmind.com/piagets-stages-of-cognitive-development-2795457 Maslow’s Basement: https://www.fastcompany.com/1603043/want-motivate-people-get-them-out-maslows-basement Daniel Kahneman, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kahneman Chip and Dan Heath “Switch”: https://heathbrothers.com/books/switch/ Doug Burgum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doug_Burgum 4 Drive Model: https://thelanterngroup.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/four-drive-model-new-theory-on-employee-motivation/ Musical LinksEDM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQzy_TGDEqg Burning Man Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7KGsI9Xgsw
19 Apr 2020
Most Popular Podcasts
Chiara Varazzani: Behavioral Science Needs More Neuroscience
Chiara Varazzani, PhD is the Principal Advisor at the Behavioral Insights Unit in the Victorian Government's Department of Premier and Cabinet in Australia. Chiara is Italian born, French-educated, and employed in Australia, adding her to the list of Italian-born behavioral scientists we’ve had on our show (Cristina Bicchieri, Francesco Gina, and Silvia Saccardo, in case you’re counting). She blew us away with her passion for behavioral science as well as her comments about the way our brain calculates the ratio between effort and reward with dopamine and noradrenaline. It was a reminder that there is hard science behind why we do what we do. She also wondered why so much of behavioral science interventions rely on what she very passionately described as old school methods. Interesting question! If you’re a marketer or a health care provider, Chiara has insights that prove beneficial to your work. And if you have any ideas on how to use smell in the world of sales incentives, we’d love to talk with you about that! We also had a great exchange about music. Chiara has very wide musical interests and her playlists are bound to invite you into some wonderful, and possibly unfamiliar, artists. Please enjoy our conversation with Chiara Varazzani. © 2020 Behavioral Grooves Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan LinksChiara Varazzani, PhD: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cvarazzani/ Antonio Damasio, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Damasio FMRI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_magnetic_resonance_imaging Electroencephalogram (EEG): https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/eeg/about/pac-20393875 Portable EEG: https://imotions.com/blog/eeg-headset-prices/ Common biases and heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit# Sleep, Rotten Eggs and Smoking Study: https://www.jneurosci.org/content/34/46/15382 BETA (Behavioral Economics Team of Australia): https://behaviouraleconomics.pmc.gov.au/ BETA Impact Report: https://behaviouraleconomics.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/resources/pmc-beta-impact-report-web.pdf Dopamine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dopamine Noradrenaline: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/noradrenalin Neuromarketing World Forum: https://www.neuromarketingworldforum.com/ Michael Hallsworth & Music: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/michael-hallsworth-from-mindspace-to-east/ Cristina Bicchieri, PhD: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/cristina-bicchieri-social-norms-are-bundles-of-expectations/ Francesca Gino, PhD: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/francesca-gino-curiosity-and-rebellion-makes-your-career/ Silvia Saccardo, PhD: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/silvia-saccardo-ethics-of-decisions-and-italian-rap/ Jana Gallus, PhD: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/jana-gallus-the-role-of-precision-in-incentives/ James Heyman, PhD: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/behavioral-grooves-1-james-heyman-phd/ Musical LinksLeonard Cohen “Suzanne” with Judy Collins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toEk9DaLrgs Jacques Brel “Marieke”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfGDpzL9H7Y Fabrizio de André “Creuza de Ma”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78YNQ7zzxvQ Antonio Vivaldi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Vivaldi Bombino: https://open.spotify.com/album/4gcKhaSReWjY8R5q2jMdLz?highlight=spotify:track:6p3PMnO8z1I8fPqx2j1Mkj Trent Reznor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trent_Reznor Natural Born Killers Soundtrack: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Born_Killers_(soundtrack) Judy Collins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Collins Stephen Stills “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVUwrifwKrI Tim Houlihan “Those Who Discovered the World”: https://open.spotify.com/track/1UMdtl78cXrrrRZRQ0zRSv Tim Houlihan “Aljezur Sunrise”: https://open.spotify.com/track/1UMdtl78cXrrrRZRQ0zRSv
15 Mar 2020
The Value of Understanding Microexpressions for Leaders
Todd Fonseca is an executive in clinical research and communication for Medtronic and holds an interesting array of certifications including Certified Body Language Trainer. He is also the founder of the Anti-Networking Network Meetup and likes to ask meetup guests "What would be your superpower for an hour?" Needless to say, the interview brought interesting concepts to the floor and we had fun doing it. The interview with Todd included short discussions on the placebo effect, situational awareness, and a lengthy discussion of Paul Ekman PhD's work on microexpressions. The seven key microexpressions (Happiness, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, Contempt, Fear and Surprise) are foundational to human communication and found to be universal - in other words, they exist among people everywhere on the planet. Our conversation delved deep into the identification and application of them. We grooved on the themes of the importance of having these microexpressions in our communication toolbox and talked about music from the Oh, Hello's and Robert Finley, an artist recently produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys.
5 May 2019
Cristina Bicchieri: Social Norms are Bundles of Expectations
Cristina Bicchieri, PhD is the S. J. Patterson Harvie Professor of Social Thought and Comparative Ethics, a Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, a Professor of Legal Studies at the Wharton School, the Head of the Behavioral Ethics Lab, the Director of the Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Program, and is the Faculty Director of the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She’s one busy woman! We met up with her at the NoBeC (Norms and Behavioral Change) conference that her program sponsored in the Kislak Center at UPenn. Cristina’s program is in its 3rd year and hosts 75 students from 12 different countries. The unique program emphasizes practical applications of behavioral science and cross-disciplinary work. Students come from celebrity restaurants, tech businesses, NGOs, non-profits and global corporations and find the program engaging because of its diversity. If you’re interested, we encourage you to check it out – there are links in the episode notes for how to reach them. We had some recording issues when we were talking to Christina. Some edits were made to accommodate our gaffs and we hope you won’t mind. And, because we recorded it on the sidelines of a conference, you might hear some background noise occasionally. © 2019 Behavioral Grooves LinksCristina Bicchieri, PhD: https://philosophy.sas.upenn.edu/people/cristina-bicchieri The Grammar of Society: https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/grammar-of-society/2B063E9C9621C2340DEFB2BE15B3AEA5 Norms in the Wild: https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/norms-in-the-wild-how-to-diagnose-measure-and-change-social-norms/ Master in a Behavioral Decision Science at UPenn: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/mbds Decision Theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_theory Game Theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory Epistemic Foundations of Game Theory: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemic-game/ Multiple Equilibria: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/multiple-equilibria David Kreps, PhD: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/faculty/david-m-kreps Social Norms: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/social-norms/ Conditional Preference: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cb36/files/2010_norm.pdf UNICEF: https://www.unicef.org/ Gates Foundation: https://www.gatesfoundation.org/ Reference Network: http://www.iit.comillas.edu/technology-offer/rnm Soap Opera: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soap_opera Well Told Story: https://www.welltoldstory.com/ Musical LinksGiuseppe Verdi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3UAd3d8I6k Wolfgang Mozart: https://www.biography.com/musician/wolfgang-mozart Bruce Springsteen: https://brucespringsteen.net/ U2: https://www.u2.com/index/home Chicago: https://chicagotheband.com/ The Band: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjCw3-YTffo Styx: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XcKBmdfpWs Journey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMSFsZFFUzo Fleetwood Mac: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBYHwH1Vb-c Kurt Nelson: firstname.lastname@example.org Tim Houlihan: email@example.com
8 Dec 2019
Applying the 4 Drive Model to Rewards & Recognition
Many firms use rewards and incentives to motivate their reps. However, it was only when a complete audit of all the rewards and recognition tools in place at a large pharmaceutical firm did the realization come that they were leaving motivational power on the table. In this interview, James Brewer, Director of Commercial Operations at Eli Lilly & Company, tells us how Lawrence & Nohria's 4 Drive Model acted as a foundational tool to discover what was working and what was missing from Lilly's rewards and recognition models. In a fascinating and in-depth interview into the challenges and outcomes of James' work, we unpeeled the traditional views of how to get the best out of sales reps. At one point, at about the 45-minute mark, James stopped us and said, "We need to talk about outcomes." It was an excellent discussion. We hope you enjoy. Link to James Brewer on LinkedIn.
2 Feb 2018
Nudge-A-Thon with Dr. Christina Gravert
Dr. Christina Gravert is a Post-Doc at the University of Gothenburg and Chief Behavioral Economist of Impactfully, a behavioral science consultancy. We talked to her from Gothenburg, Sweden, and we had a very interesting conversation about nudging. Christina has worked closely with Nobel laureate Richard Thaler and we thought she'd be a good one to talk to about nudging. Our discussion began by defining a nudge versus other policy or incentive decisions. We talked about how nudges came about, in part, because Richard Thaler started recording anomalies he witnessed in real-life behavior and how those behaviors were often at odds with what classical economic theories would have predicted. We also talked about the evolving definition of Economic Utility and how it has morphed by the impact of behavioral economics. We also discussed utility functions in broader terms than simply time or financial utility. Although these are not new to the behavioral sciences, we found gravity in how our feelings of right and wrong are now included as a measure of utility. Most importantly, we had fun. Christina was a terrific interviewee and we are seriously going to pursue a Nudge-A-Thon in Minnesota in 2019! You can follow her on twitter @C_A_Gravert. Christina offered a great song to define her passion for surfing: "Pefekte Welle" (Perfect Wave) by Juli. Sweet sounds and solid narrative. Highly recommended.
15 May 2018
Grooving on Branding with Aaron Snyder, PhD from Lexicon
In this episode, we spoke with Aaron Snyder, Director of Special Projects at Lexicon. Lexicon is one of the largest branding companies in the world. They are responsible for creating some of the most famous household brands including Pentium, Blackberry, Dasani, Embassy Suites and Swiffer. What we found interesting in our conversation was the tremendous amount of science that goes into the creation of brands. We also spoke about Mad Cow Disease, how tension = attention and even had a fun conversation about our choice of toothpaste. Lastly, we enjoyed some geeky discussion about research from Zakary Tormula and Baba Shiv.
20 Jan 2018
John Fuisz: Tracking Emotional Vectors
John Fuisz is co-founder of Veriphix and a marketer who believes in building great brands. He does so with a sophisticated system that, on the surface, appears simple and direct; however, it’s built on his astute observations of consumer behavior, the clever use of data, and most importantly, it’s related to Annie Duke’s use of bets to measure future behaviors. We wanted to talk to John because his work tracks the seemingly subtle, yet extremely powerful, ways our buying and voting behaviors can be influenced. Veriphix connects brands with users with three primary tools: First, by tracking emotional vectors, to understand how we feel about things on a weekly basis by asking them to make bets about what they expect to feel. Second by monitoring the emotional triggers that get us to do the things we do. Lastly, he watches for the implicit delta, the measure of the emotional impact of an issue. And he does so with very strict ethical standards. John believes that marketers should elevate their messaging to build great brands, not just influence our subconscious decision making. He wants to dilute the impact that nefarious actors have on consumers (and voters) by challenging us to a meaningful first step. He notes, “We want to believe we’re rational humans, but to have an effective defense [against bad actors], we have to admit we’re irrational.” Please take a moment to rate Behavioral Grooves or leave us a review. Our podcast doesn’t have advertisers; rather, we rely on listeners like to you help us get the word out. Your help is greatly appreciated. We hope you enjoy our conversation with John Fuisz. Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan © 2020 Behavioral Grooves LinksJohn Fuisz: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-fuisz/ Veriphix: https://veriphix.com/ Annie Duke: https://www.annieduke.com/ “Thinking In Bets”: https://www.amazon.com/Annie-Duke/e/B001K88E4U/ Claire McCaskill “Korea”: https://www.vox.com/2018/8/20/17759574/midterm-russia-china-north-korea-iran-hack-cyber DARPA: https://www.darpa.mil/ Christopher Wylie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Wylie “Mind Fuck”: https://www.amazon.com/Mindf-Cambridge-Analytica-Break-America/dp/1984854631 IRB: https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-information/search-fda-guidance-documents/institutional-review-boards-frequently-asked-questions Ozan Varol “Think Like a Rocket Scientist”: https://www.amazon.com/Think-Like-Rocket-Scientist-Strategies/dp/1541762592 Common Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit# Charlotte Blank: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charlotte-blank-52554a2/ Jeff Kreisler: http://jeffkreisler.com/ Neuromarketing World Forum: https://www.neuromarketingworldforum.com/ Darren Brown video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQXe1CokWqQ John Bargh and Replication: https://replicationindex.com/2019/03/17/raudit-bargh/ Moral Foundations: https://moralfoundations.org/ Kids Priming video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=TLf2gOrL1iM&app=desktop Musical LinksDepeche Mode: http://www.depechemode.com/ Sharon Van Etten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7sTHoeH0eA Gary Clark, Jr.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYXMDCNjl8M Guy Clark: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Clark Ziggy Marley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ziggy_Marley New Order: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Order_(band) The National: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_National_(band) Sha-Na-Na: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sha_Na_Na Sinead O’Connor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sin%C3%A9ad_O%27Connor Wolfman Jack: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfman_Jack Iron & Wine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_%26_Wine Calexico: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calexico_(band) Madison Cunningham: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-VSDUqVmnI
8 Mar 2020
Brad Shuck: Being Ignored is Worse Than Having a Stapler Thrown at You
Brad Shuck, PhD is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, Evaluation, and Organizational Development at the University of Louisville. He is also recognized as one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on employee engagement and is a sought-after speaker from around the world. Brad’s work is recognized as some of the most influential research in the field of employee engagement and his insights are invaluable. On top of that, Brad is a drummer, a lover of all sorts of music and our discussion traversed topics from the social determinants of health to having parents that were patient enough to allow him to learn drums as a child. In our grooving session, Kurt and Tim dive deeper into creating a work culture of meaning and we ask the musical question: how does moving from town to town as a child impact your musical tastes? And don’t forget to join us for our 100th Episode Celebration on October 17, 2019 in Philadelphia! Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/behavioral-grooves-100th-episode-event-tickets-73159537145 LinksBrad Shuck email: firstname.lastname@example.org Brad Shuck web page: www.drbshuck.com Brad Shuck Google Connection: @drbshuck Teresa Amabile: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/profile.aspx?facId=6409 Brad’s ResearchShuck, B., Alagaraja, M., Immekus, J., Honeycutt, M., & Cumberland, D. (2019). Does compassion matter for leadership: a two-stage sequential equal status mixed method exploratory study of compassionate leader behavior and connections to performance in human resource development. Human Resource Development Quarterly, X, XX-XX. doi: 10.1002/hrdq.21369 Shuck, B., Peyton-Roberts, T., Zigarmi, D. (2018). Employee perceptions of the work environment, motivational outlooks, and employee work intentions: An HR practitioner’s dream or nightmare? Advances in Developing Human Resources, 20, 197-213. doi: 10.1177/1523422318757209 Shuck, B., #Osam, K., Zigarmi, D., & Nimon, K. (2017). Definitional and conceptual muddling: Identifying the positionality of employee engagement and defining the construct. Human Resource Development Review, 16, 263-293. doi: 0.1177/1534484317720622 Shuck, B., Nimon, K., & Zigarmi, D. (2017). Untangling the predictive nomological validity of employee engagement: Decomposing variance in employee engagement using job attitude measures. Group and Organizational Management. 42, 79-112. doi: 10.1177/1059601116642364 Shuck, B., Alagaraja, M., Rose, K., Owen, J., #Osam, K., & Bergman, M. (2017). The health-related upside of employee engagement: Exploratory evidence and implications for theory and practice. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 30, 165-178. doi: 10.1002/piq.21246 Shuck, B., Adelson, J., & Reio, T. (2017). The employee engagement scale: Initial evidence for construct validity and implications for theory and practice. Human Resource Management, 56, 953-977. doi: 10.1002/hrm.21811 Rose, K., Shuck, B., #Twyford, D., & Bergman, M. (2015). Skunked: An integrative review exploring the consequences of dysfunctional leaders and implications for the employees who work for them. Human Resource Development Review, 14, 64-90. doi: 10.1177/1534484314552437 Musical LinksFolk Music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folk_music A Lion Named Roar: http://www.alionnamedroar.com/ Mumford & Sons: https://www.mumfordandsons.com/ For King and Country: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For_King_%26_Country_(band) John Coltrane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH3mb3oXCpw Rodd Stewart: https://www.rodstewart.com/ Kenny G: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenny_G
6 Oct 2019
Using Behavioral Science to Save Lives with Anurag Vaish,TheFinalMile
In this episode, we talk with Anurag Vaish, Co-Founder of TheFinalMile, one of the largest behavioral science consultancies in the world. TheFinalMile has offices in Mumbai and Chicago and we caught up with Anurag while he was in India in December of 2017. Our conversation covered topics from how the unconscious influences our decision making, why organizations should do more testing of their ideas as well as the influence that Robert Cialdini, PhD had on Anurag. We also discussed some of the projects that TheFinalMile has done – particularly the train safety project in Mumbai – which now saves thousands of lives every year. It is a great example of the power that companies can have if they use good science and really focus on understanding what actually drives our behavior. We followed some rabbit holes into how the human brain is lazy and the impact that environment and choice architecture have on our behaviors. NOTE: There are a few moments of bad internet connection where some words get jumbled; however, the majority is clear and we are grateful for that clarity being 10’s of thousands of miles apart when we spoke.
20 Jan 2018
David Yokum: Science is Hard
David Yokum may not be a household name but that shouldn’t stop you from listening. If you’ve ever wondered about police officer body cameras and the effect they’re having on crime, policing and adjudication, we have David to thank for conducting the first major randomized study on the use of police officer body cameras. We came to know his work by a stroke of good fortune. He and Tim met as guests of George Loewenstein at the 2016 inauguration of Carnegie Mellon University’s undergraduate degree in Behavioral Economics. It was clear from the first handshake that David is not just another guy who’s curious about behavioral sciences. Even though he’s earned a law degree and a PhD in psychology, he’s not just another science geek. He’s a doer. When they were introduced, David was transitioning from the White House Social and Behavioral Science Team to be a founding member of The Lab @ DC, which resides in the Executive Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia. Among their many accomplishments, David and his colleagues conducted the foundational study on the impact of police officer body cameras. They set out to understand how body cameras might influence the use of force, how the cameras might impact crime and how the cameras might impact the flow of cases through the courts. But they discovered much more. They realized that the context in which the study was rolled out mattered a great deal. The District of Columbia is not a static laboratory – it’s a city with nearly 4,000 law enforcement officers that represent a spectrum of quality, ability and experience on the job. Police officer training, police force reform, the urban crime environment, the population of the city, the support from other governmental agencies…all of these create a context that impacted the study’s results. David shared with us about how, at the launch of the study, the team considered how body cameras might create an effect to increase the perceived legitimacy of the police force. And in some cases that happened. They believed that pairing the body camera data with existing datasets would reveal great insights for potential changes to police work. However, even with the tremendous amount of adjudication data and the dreaded police reporting paperwork, known to every viewer of a television police drama, there were still surprises. They discovered that some of the correlations (and sometimes lack of correlations) on arrests and quality of adjudication simply weren’t what they expected. To some degree, they got a null result. On that level, David noted that the null effect was an important message that prompted deeper analysis. We wandered into a great discussion about the pratfalls of researchers relying too much on data, especially when they lack the ‘feet on the street’ view that comes from actually being in the field. All of this was predicated on the Lab@DC’s study on the capital city’s rat problem. The study changed for the better when the research team was enlightened with insights from the animal vector team and rat biology specialists. At this point in our discussion, David enthusiastically noted that you should never stop developing a study. A study needs to be open to new insights, new data points, new information and reflect the latest and best thinking of the team. A study isn’t a shiny, newly-minted penny…it’s a living, breathing thing. All this connected us with the fact that not all results from just any similar study will replicate in your situation. This led us to a note about David’s failed attempt to replicate Michael Hallsworth’s tax letter studies, which reinforced the need for regular and rigorous research from context to context. We were pleased to be conducting our discussion with David from Brown University, where he very recently assumed a post as an adjunct professor and has been tasked with establishing and directing a new center that will support applied public policy research with state and local governments. There is so much more to come from David Yokum! Of course, we ended our discussion on music and we laughed our way through comments about Eddie Vedder to South African pop artist Mathew Mole and into the lost art of making a mixtape. Today, music is curated digitally, created by computers observing our likes and dislikes. We don’t even need to select individual songs, just click a ‘create’ button. But in the days before digital music, mixtapes allowed listeners to enjoy their favorite album tracks in the order that they wanted to listen to them. They were used at parties or for private consumption. And, in some cases, mixtapes were created as love letters – providing that special someone with a curated musical story of how you felt about him or her. As technology changes, the world changes with it. For better or for worse, our human brains are huffing to keep up with that changing world. Our biases appear to be stuck in the context of a world that existed not 4 years ago, but 40,000 years ago. As long as we have a gap between our brain’s ability to process the contemporary world, we need science to help us understand it. We need people like David Yokum to do the hard work of figuring out how to apply the behavioral sciences to government.Yes, science is hard. And we have David Yokum to thank for contributing to a better understanding of how governmental policies can improve our daily lives. PS: As of this writing, Behavioral Grooves is now listened to in more than 85 countries. We are pleased to have listeners around this wonderful world. Thank you all for sharing in our journey.
12 Nov 2018
Katy Milkman: Behavior Change for Good
Katy Milkman is no ordinary behavioral scientist. She’s a Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at Wharton and has a secondary faculty appointment in the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. She’s Co-Director, with Angela Duckworth, at the non-profit Behavior Change for Good Initiative. She’s the host of one of our favorite podcasts, called Choiceology, she is in the middle of writing a book, and she’s a Mom and Partner all at the same time. We are grateful to her for taking time to record a conversation with us about her work on temptation bundling, the sorts of projects she’s getting at the Behavior Change for Good organization, and a few tidbits about what her book, coming out in 2021, will have in store for the readers. Most importantly, Katy shared three important pieces of wisdom about behavior change during our conversation: 1. Behavior change is hard – cut yourself some slack. 2. We humans are not built to do the right thing all the time. 3. Just keep trying. Stay tuned for our BONUS TRACK at the end where we review key takeaways and offer up a Groove idea for the week! (C) 2019 Behavioral GroovesLinksKaty Milkman, PhD: http://www.katherinemilkman.com/ Katy Milkman – Twitter: @katy_milkman Behavior Change for Good: https://bcfg.wharton.upenn.edu/ Choiceology podcast: https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/podcast Temptation Bundling: https://mayooshin.com/temptation-bundling/ Fresh Start Effect: https://faculty.wharton.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Dai_Fresh_Start_2014_Mgmt_Sci.pdf Charles Duhigg: https://charlesduhigg.com/ BJ Fogg Maui Habit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L1R7OtJhWs Robert Cialdini, PhD: https://www.robertcialdinibf.com/ Francesca Gino, PhD: https://francescagino.com/ Angela Duckworth, PhD: https://angeladuckworth.com/ Kurt Nelson: email@example.com Tim Houlihan: firstname.lastname@example.org Musical LinksMichael Jackson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson Taylor Swift: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Swift
24 Nov 2019
Brian Ahearn: The Heart of Reciprocity
Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence People, LLC, and one of only 20 Cialdini Method Certified Trainers in the world. Brian’s experience with Robert Cialdini’s methods places him among the most experienced practitioners alive. It was a pleasure to speak with Brian and to gain some insight on applying the methods of ethical influence that Cialdini pioneered in his book, Influence with clients in the real world. We hosted Brian in the Behavioral Grooves studio for our wide-ranging and in-depth conversation. It was a treat because we typically have our discussions via the web on Zoom or SquadCast, but Brian was able to meet us at the dining room table and it was terrific. As a result of being in the same room and sitting around the same table, our discussion on priming, influence and ethics was particularly personal and dynamic. Brian began our conversation by outlining the six principles of influence: liking, reciprocity, authority, social proof or consensus, consistency, and scarcity, all of which were identified by Robert Cialdini in his first book. We wandered into a great story about Cialdini’s very humble personality, that Brian conveyed by way of a dinner meeting with the professor. (Note: Kurt and Tim experienced Cialdini’s humility directly when we met up with the good professor in New York City, recently. Bob, as he urged us to call him, was as curious as a college freshman and solicited our thoughts on every topic we spoke about. Truly an inspiring and amazing guy.) Brian shared his thoughts about Tom Hopkins work on “How to Master the Art of Selling” and the impact that the spoken word has on our beliefs. The ‘what I say becomes what I believe’ was an important reminder that words matter. And in Brian’s case, words are just about everything when it comes to the world of ethical influence. This became clear when he spoke about how he trains insurance salespeople to use primes with their customers when pitching technology. The technology actually helps keep the drivers safer and provides more reliable data to the insurance agencies. Brian trains the agents to say, “…this technology works really well for good drivers like you.” We’re all for being safer on the road. Of course, we spent a fair amount of our conversation on the subtlety and power of primes. Fortunately, Brian took our musical bait and spoke to how he uses musical playlists to create and deliver his own personal primes. We were happy to hear that he’s created playlists that focus on titles or themes with the words ‘moment’ or ‘time’ in them. And it’s evidence that he takes his own medicine when it comes to the advice he shares with his clients. He’s using music to prime himself and others before meetings! We are always impressed with people, like many of our other guests, who apply these principles to their own lives. The priming discussion included a great story about how he used reciprocity to engage his daughter in doing some extra chores around the house. Rather than making his request quid pro quo, Brian decided to preempt the request with a raise to her allowance. After the new, upgraded allowance was in place, Brian’s request was met with immediate support. Kurt and Tim have recollections of childhood chores compressed with bad feelings – and they linger long into adulthood. As children, we never experienced enthusiasm over chores or things we were asked to do, in part because of the ways those requests were made. Brian concluded our conversation with three tips about the most impactful tools from the principles of persuasion. They are: Liking. The focus with liking needs to be on ME figuring out how to like YOU, not the other way around. The search for commonalities and the need to deliver compliments are on ME, not you. Authority. While authority has many meanings, a core part of this principle is in being an authority on what you do. Be willing to share advice. Be a giver. Be an authority, don’t just walk through your job with your eyes half closed. Consistency. The biggest part of consistency is, of course, being consistent in your words and deeds. However, beneath the headline is the very powerful subtext of asking, not telling. Be strategic. Be inquisitive. And live up to the words you speak. Our discussion with Brian gave us the opportunity to talk about both Coldplay and Frank Sinatra. With a playlist that wildly varied from a guy from Ohio, what is there not to like? And since Brian is from Ohio, the home of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, we decided to do a little grooving on it. So, Kurt and Tim discussed Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees and who, in our humble opinion, deserves to be nominated. Todd Rundgren was discussed as one of our nominees we'd like to see in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. (We also discussed Queen, but Queen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, ten years after Freddie Mercury died.) The impact that music has on our lives is nearly immeasurable and we’re grateful to have the opportunity to listen to it, enjoy it, and chat about it. Tee up a lively tune before you listen to this episode! We hope you enjoy our conversation with Brian Ahearn. Subscribe at www.behavioralgrooves.com or learn more about Behavioral Grooves podcast and meetup.
26 Nov 2018
Covid-19 Crisis: Wendy Wood, PhD on Habits, Productivity and Being Gentle with Yourself
Wendy Wood, PhD is a social psychologist whose research addresses the ways that habits guide behavior. She researches and teaches at USC both in psychology and in the business school and is a world-renowned expert on breaking old habits and creating new ones. Her book, “Good Habits, Bad Habits” is a New York Times bestseller and delivers a terrifically readable and scholarly approach to habits. In our conversation with her, she shared what habits are and how habits get formed. We talked about how now could be a time for more pro-social behavior. And she reminded us to be kind to ourselves as we endeavor through a very challenging set of circumstances. You’re not going to be as productive as you might otherwise be because of all these new routines, she warns, but don’t let that stop you! Be intentional and keep pushing through! © 2020 Behavioral GroovesLinksConnect with Kurt and Tim: Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates e-mail: email@example.com Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Lantern Group: http://lanterngroup.com/ BehaviorAlchemy: https://www.behavioralchemy.com/ Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.com/ Weekly Grooves: https://weeklygrooves.podbean.com/ Common Biases & Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit# General Coronavirus Info: Daily Newsletter Summarizing data from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/newsroom/newsletters/e-newsletter-sign-up.html CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html Great videos on the science behind this by Dr. Peter Attia – this is the first in a series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNVhLyAlfA4 What is herd immunity? https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615375/what-is-herd-immunity-and-can-it-stop-the-coronavirus/ A list curated by Liam.Delaney@UCD.ie https://docs.google.com/document/d/11GLhX7hLf64Bxkdpv5hvYHqOjS1imlcMQFjJBJ-9oUM/edit Coronavirus & Behavioral Science: Selected Links: The Behavioral Sice of Coronavirus: https://behavioralscientist.org/selected-links-the-behavioral-science-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19/ Why no one is reading your coronavirus email: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/13/opinions/coronavirus-emails-effective-messaging-rogers/index.html Handwashing can stop a virus, so why don’t we do it?: https://behavioralscientist.org/handwashing-can-stop-a-virus-so-why-dont-we-do-it-coronavirus-covid-19/ The behavioral science of handwashing: https://think.ing.com/articles/the-behavioural-science-of-hand-washing/ Ideas 42: The Behavioral Side of COVID-19 here: https://ideas42.org/covid19/ Greater Good: https://twitter.com/GreaterGoodSC How we can cope or be better during this crisis: Tip Sheet from HUMU: https://humu.com/remote-nudges/ Resources for learning at home: https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/resources-learning-home-during-covid-19-school-closures?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email&utm_placement=etcetera General Behavioral Science and other info related or talked about in the series: Common Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit# Jonathan Haidt – 5 Moral Foundations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_foundations_theory Jürgen Klopp: https://ftw.usatoday.com/2020/03/jurgen-klopp-goes-off-on-reporter-after-being-asked-about-coronavirus-again UBI (Universal Basic Income): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income 7-Minute Workout: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECxYJcnvyMw 4 Drive Model: https://www.leadersbeacon.com/how-great-leaders-use-the-4-drive-model-to-impact-employee-motivation/ Universal Basic Income: https://behavioralscientist.org/checkscheckschecks-why-we-need-a-universal-basic-income-now-coronavirus/ Why we are not going back to normal: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615370/coronavirus-pandemic-social-distancing-18-months/ Annie Duke’s “How To Decide”: https://www.amazon.com/How-Decide-Simple-Making-Choices/dp/0593084608
30 Mar 2020
Education: The Path to a More Prosperous Life with Sarita Parikh
Sarita Parikh is the Senior Director of Consumer Experience and Strategy at GED Testing Service, a business that helps adults use education as a path to a better life. The GED, or General Education Development, is a series of tests administered in the United States and Canada to give credentials to those who don’t matriculate through high school the same footing as those who did. We talked about how completion rates are low. They hover around 20%, so there’s plenty of room to grow; however, the factors influencing completion are complex. Making the tests easy to find and removing cost were not enough. Social issues and self-identities needed to be addressed to positively impact completion rates. In this episode, Sarita shares her frustrations in developing interventions that failed and how a new model that she and her team developed is finally driving improvements in completion rates. We discussed the myths that are commonly held about people taking the GED and that part of the conversation was simply mind-blowing. Of course, we talked about music. Sarita’s complex musical tastes range from Beyoncé to Vampire Weekend. (PS: Have you ever visited either of these websites? You’ve GOT to check them out!) So, we urge you to take a listen to Sarita as she shares her secrets to applying behavioral interventions at scale. Finally, we’d love it if you’d forward this episode (or any of your favorite episodes) to a friend. You’ve probably got someone you like to talk to about psychology and behavioral sciences…please share this with them to grow our community. Behavioral Grooves
26 Sep 2018
Linnea Gandhi: Crushing on Statistics
University of Chicago MBA professor Linnea Gandhi talked with Kurt and Tim recently about her consulting work, her passion for statistics, grading papers and how a good improvisational theatre production can be sheer joy. Self-descriptions of her own achievements are blanketed with modesty; however, her passions shine through when discussing her work, both past and present. Linnea is a remarkable person. After completing her undergraduate at Harvard and an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School, she worked with the Boston Consulting Group, then with ideas42. And since last year, she’s operated her own consultancy based on the application of behavioral sciences while teaching MBA students at the University of Chicago. Her consultancy, BehavioralSight, takes clients beyond simple biases and into the methodologies of scientific measurement that are critical to professional and personal decision-making. When we caught up with Linnea, she was busy preparing a presentation for a conference she was invited to speak at and, simultaneously, was deep into reading a book on statistics. Statistics became central to our conversation and she even admitted to having a CRUSH on statistics! She sees a need to understand how we calculate decision probabilities and believes the world could be a better place with better application of statistical tools. In addition to her extensive work as consultant and teacher, she is one of the very special fraternity of people who have co-authored a paper with Nobel Laureate, Danny Kahneman. The paper, coauthored with Kahneman, Andrew Rosenfield and Tom Blaser, is called “Noise: How to Overcome the High, Hidden Cost of Inconsistent Decision Making.” Published in the October 2016 Harvard Business Review, the article shares the important lesson of how to differentiate biases from noise – you know, that thing we often refer to as chance variability. The authors write: “We call the chance variability of judgments noise. It is an invisible tax on the bottom line of many companies.” Kurt and Tim found that tremendously insightful. On the topic of excellent articles, Linnea’s piece on the People Science site, “Testing, Testing: Not All Failures Are Created Equal,” hit home with us, too. Her chart featuring the taxonomy of failure breaks down the need to focus on process failures, rather than outcome failures, which led us to discuss thinking in probabilities, a favorite topic of Annie Duke. We also talked about how people are particularly challenged when it comes to grasping uncertainty and developing concrete probabilities around difficult-to-identify risks. Quite frequently, Linnea puts these ideas to work in her consulting business. Clients often overreact to the freshest data or recent market changes, and she helps guide their way through the decisions that can be improved by relying on a broader data set. Stumbling on Kurt Lewin was a stroke of luck. If you’re not familiar, Lewin was a prolific creator of psychological observations and theories. His work is wide-ranging and our own Kurt Nelson, PhD has been a fan of Lewin’s for some time. Noteworthy is Lewin’s Equation, or so it is often called, that simplifies human behavior with a direct and unpretentious approach: behavior is a function of the person in their environment. When Linnea brought up Lewin, it was clear Kurt was loving the conversation. We discovered that Linnea’s connection to music is through movement – like dance and improvisational theatre – and leaves the singing up to people with better vocal cords. However, she’s a fan of Billy Joel and shared her fondness for “For the Longest Time,” which led Kurt and Tim to discuss our own favorite Billy Joel songs. We ended our conversation with Linnea with three succinct tips for those interested in improving their decision making. Look for disconfirming data. If you don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist. (Stolen from Linda Ginzel, a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School and author of “Choosing Leadership.”) Take a course in statistics! With that, we’ll end our comments with a quotation from the great Edwards Deming that reminds us to remain diligent in designing and implementing processes in our work and personal lives: “Every system is perfectly designed to produce the results it gets.”
19 Nov 2018
The Accidental Behavioral Scientist with David Hussman
From being a recording engineer at Prince's Paisley Park studios, to playing with the big-hair metal band Slave Raider to founding a successful Agile coaching business called Dev Jam, David Hussman has been forging his way one untraditional step at a time. Our interview with David quickly pegged him as the 'accidental behavioral scientist' and that played well throughout the discussion. We talked about chaos monkeys, constructionism, how important it is for Neil Young to know G-C-D chords (and to know what to do with them) and to do things that focus our attention on things that make people smile. Unlike pies and cakes, software development is never done. The behavioral aspects of how people interact with software - from the photo app on your phone to the way GPS could alert you gas stations nearby when you're low on fuel (connecting to your car's fuel system) or eateries (connecting your journey to the time of day) - need to be better constructed for the world we live in. Hendrix vs. Van Halen - who would have thought it was such a difficult question. Listen in and find out. And check out David on Twitter at @davidhussman and let him know that Hendrix is the only correct answer.
17 May 2018