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Action Design Radio

Action Design Radio explores a variety of topics through the lens of behavioral science and psychology. Hosts Erik Johnson and Zarak Khan interview experts and practitioners to learn about cutting edge behavioral research, and how to practically apply it to fields like public policy and consumer products. The podcast is supported by the Action Design Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2012 to promote the use of behavioral economics and psychology with over 10,000 members across the US and Canada.
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Now displaying: 2021
Jun 17, 2021

It is our pleasure to welcome back Linnea Gandhi to the podcast! Linnea manages the boutique consulting firm BehavioralSight; develops and teaches applied behavioral science courses at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business; is pursuing her Ph.D. at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and lately has been keeping busy with helping to edit and organize the newly published book, “Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment,” written by renowned behavioral economists Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony, and Cass Sunstein. She also loves her puppies, and your puppies too.

 

In today’s episode, Erik and Zarak explore with Linnea the differences between bias and noise, as well as the difficulty in designing behavioral interventions that are easy, relatable, and impactful. A lack of psychological safety in corporate culture makes it difficult to even find error and failure in companies, let alone try to improve them. The reason is because professionals (and people in general) are programmed to provide solutions. We’re rewarded for fixing things, or making them better – not so much for pointing out glaring errors that no one has noticed if we don’t have a ready-made answer for how to solve them.

 

How to address this gap, you ask? Well, you might start with a “noise audit.” Tune in and find out how to get started! Or sign up for her new online class on the subject at https://www.behavioralsight.com/online-learning.

May 19, 2021

Jon Levy is a behavioral scientist best known for his work in influence, human connection, and decision making. He specializes in applying the latest research to transform the way companies (from Fortune 500 brands to startups) approach marketing, sales, consumer engagement, and culture.

 

Jon joins Zarak and Erik to discuss his most recent book published just last week, “You’re Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence.” In their interview they cover the origins of The Influencers Dinner, a secret dining experience Jon founded over a decade ago that brings together industry leaders from Nobel laureates, Olympians, celebrities, executives, and overall “interesting people.” Jon was able to apply his understanding of the mechanics of human behavior (such as how people hate networking, but love making friends) to cultivate experiences rooted in emotional concepts like generosity and novelty. The results are events that are more remarkable and meaningful to those involved.

 

Other topics include the contagiousness of the behaviors of people we surround ourselves with, the connection between social integration and long life, and how to harness the IKEA effect to create a sense of belonging for people without spending big bucks. 

May 6, 2021

As applied behavior science has become more widespread, a need has emerged for guidance on how to build and integrate behavioral science functions within an organization. To help fill this need, our very own Zarak Khan – along with psychology professor turned applied behavioral scientist Laurel Newman – edited a book that was published in March that draws on the collective wisdom of applied behavioral scientists with cross-industry experience.

Download a free copy of “Building Behavioral Science in an Organization” at http://www.action-design.org/buildingbehavioralscienceorgs. Or you can purchase a Kindle or paperback copy on Amazon, at cost.

In today’s episode, Laurel Newman joins Erik and Zarak to discuss the applications of behavioral science to HR. While there’s usually an organizational focus on leadership, Laurel makes the case for more focus on role clarity and role fit. She says that there’s often an opportunity to focus more on putting employees in positions where they feel like there’s a great match between what they’re good at and what the role means for them. Research shows that companies with more intrinsically motivated employees also have happier customers; so employee satisfaction and wellbeing directly benefit a company’s bottom line. Laurel recommends that HR departments – and organizations in general – ask more questions such as:

  • When we teach people information, how do we make it relevant and useful enough for them to have the necessary impact and result in the desired behavior change?
  • How can we avoid silos, and be more honest about investigating and identifying problems?
  • Are we focusing on behavior (dependent variable), or just assuming that the independent variable (such as training) will have the desired impact?
Mar 30, 2021

As applied behavioral science has become more widespread, a need has emerged for guidance on how to build and integrate behavioral science functions within an organization. To help fill this need, our very own Zarak Khan – along with psychology professor turned behavioral scientist Laurel Newman – edited a book that draws on the collective wisdom of applied behavioral scientists with cross-industry experience.

Download a free copy of “Building Behavioral Science in an Organization” at http://www.action-design.org/buildingbehavioralscienceorgs. Or you can purchase a Kindle or paperback copy on Amazon, at cost.

We flip the script on this episode! Zarak and Laurel are interviewed by Christopher Nave, Managing Director of the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Program at the University of Pennsylvania. They discuss how this book provides practical guidance on building a behavioral science function that has meaningful impact for any organization.

Stay tuned for more episodes to come in this series, where we interview other authors and contributors to “Building Behavioral Science in an Organization.”  

Feb 2, 2021

Description: Logan Ury is the Director of Relationship Science at Hinge, where she leads a research team dedicated to helping people find love and, ultimately, delete the Hinge app. Before joining Hinge, she partnered with Dan Ariely and Kristen Berman to run the behavioral economics unit at Google, advising on marketing and product design strategy across the company. Logan’s new book, “How to Not Die Alone,” will be released on February 2nd. Logan joins Erik and Zarak in this episode to discuss her upcoming book and her journey from Harvard to Google to Hinge, where she takes her expertise in decision-making and applies it to helping people make better decisions about dating and relationships. They tackle questions like why people usually view relationships as different from other behavioral changes they consciously want to improve.

 

Dating as we know it really only started around the very end of the 19th century. Online dating began around 1994, and dating via smartphone apps only started about 10 years ago. All of these choices and the volume of potential partners is a totally new phenomenon that our brains have not yet adapted to account for. Logan explains that dating, like any other skill, is something we can be bad at, and then through effort we can get better at. Most people have read books about personal finance, or dieted, or worked out with a personal trainer, and done many other things where we spend time and energy trying to improve in important life areas. But her research has found that most of those same people view dating as a “choosing” problem, when it’s really an effort problem.  

 

So whether you’re single or in a committed relationship, get ready to think about the intersection of dating, relationships, and behavior in a brand new way!

 

Quote: “People don’t think that they need to be taught how to date,” Logan says. “They think that dating is natural. And the logical error there is that dating is not the same as love. So I agree that love is this natural phenomenon, it’s a chemical reaction, it’s the oxytocin, it’s bonding with your child – it’s falling in love, right? It’s all of those things. But dating is not the same as love, and dating is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of humankind.”

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