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B.E.GOOD! Podcast

Check out all the latest episodes of the B.E. GOOD! Podcast.
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Behavioral Economics for Good!
Nudging Better Business and Better Lives.

Hear from our all-star lineup of leaders in the behavioral sciences to spark your curiosity and passion for this emerging field.  Listen in for fresh insights, inspiration and to hear about some of the latest evolutions in behavioral science. 

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Thumbnail - Cass Sunstein - B.E. GOOD! Podcast by BVA Nudge Unit - Jul 2021

Episode 21

Cass Sunstein – Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment

In this episode, we have our 2nd conversation with Cass Sunstein, the American legal scholar and Professor at Harvard Law School, the co-author of Nudge and a pioneer in the application of Behavioral Science to public policy.

This conversation centers on Cass’ latest book, Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment, which he co-authored with Nobel Prize winning Professor Daniel Kahneman and Professor Olivier Sibony

Katy is also the author of a new book: How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, which was just released earlier in May.

In our conversation, we learned about:  

– The secret to Cass’ success as an extremely prolific author

-The distinction between “Noise” and “Bias”

-Why Noise is such a serious (and often invisible) problem

-How organizations can measure the level of noise impacting their decisions

-How to practice “decision hygiene”

-The importance of delaying intuition – and the role (and limitations) of algorithms in informing decisions

-Three areas in which business leaders should start acting to reduce Noise

Episode 20

Katy Milkman: How to Change

In this episode, we speak with Katy Milkman, a Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the host of the popular behavioral economics podcast Choiceology and the co- founder and co-director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative, a research center with the mission of advancing the science of lasting behavior change.

Katy is also the author of a new book: How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, which was just released earlier in May.

In our conversation with Katy, we learned about:  

-Her personal journey from Engineering & Computer Science to Behavioral Science 

-How challenging herself (to regularly visit the gym) led to the idea of Temptation Bundling

-Two themes that have come up consistently in speaking and working with leaders in Behavioral Science

-The catalyst that led Katy and Angela Duckworth to form the Behavior Change for Good Initiative

-The power of mega-studies, the value of null results – and why behavioral scientists should act more like doctors

-Katy’s motivation to write How to Change – and what she thinks has been missing from popular writing about achieving goals

-Two ways in which peers can help others to reach their goals – and why giving advice can be as powerful as receiving it

Episode 19

Piyush Tantia: Scaling the Social Impact of Behavioral Science

In this episode, we speak with Piyush Tantia, the Chief Innovation Officer and a Board Member at ideas42, an organization that he co-founded.

ideas42 is a non-profit organisation that uses insights from behavioral science to improve lives, build better systems and policies, and drive social change. It is one of the leading practitioner organisations in our field and has contributed greatly to the growth of behavioral science over the past decade. 

During our conversation with Piyush, we discussed: 

-The birth of ideas42, including two key decisions that positioned it for long-term success

-The challenge of scaling interventions globally – and importance of detail in adapting them to local cultures

-The range of skills needed to be successful in applying Behavioral Science (and why a PhD is not needed!)

-How COVID has forced ideas42 to adjust its mentality and approach to advising governments and organisations  

-The “customization” opportunity presented by integrating AI and machine learning with Behavioral Science

-Three conscious shifts that are critical to the future of Behavioral Science

Episode 18

Lisa Feldman Barrett: Predictive Machines – Emotion & Action in the Brain

We speak with Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, professor of psychology at Northeastern University. Dr. Barrett is one of the top 1% most cited scientists in the world, and the author of two acclaimed books on the brain: How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life Of The Brain, and Seven And A Half Lessons About The Brain.  Her research examines emotion, behavior, and how the brain creates both.

During our conversation we learned: 

-How we can practice emotions

-How our past experiences help shape our future perceptions

-What are brains are actually for (hint: it’s not thinking!)

-Which mental and emotional experiences are universal, and which are not (the answers might surprise you)

-What you can do to improve your decision-making right here, right now

Episode 17

Ashley Whillans: Become Happier by Reclaiming Your Time

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Ashley Whillans, Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School in negotiations, organizations and markets and is the author of the new book, Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life. Her research mainly focuses on understanding how the daily and long-term decisions that people make about time and money (in their personal lives, their relationships, and at work) impact their wellbeing.

During our conversation, we learned: 

-Some common time traps we all fall into, including “time confetti”

-3 key time affluence strategies: Finding Time, Funding Time, and Reframing Time

-How to spend your money to make you happier (spoiler: it’s with time-saving purchases)

-The best way to use your time when you find yourself with 30 minutes between meetings 

-How organizations and governments can help everyone be able to put time first in their everyday lives

Episode 16

Robert Frank: Peer Pressure for Social Good

In this episode, we speak with Dr. Robert Frank, professor of economics at Cornell University’s Graduate School of Management. A prolific author, Dr. Frank’s most recent book is Under The Influence: Putting Peer Pressure To Work. His research examines breakdowns in traditional decision models, including both inefficiencies in collective actions and departures from rational choice in individuals.

During our conversation we learned: 

-Different ways the traditional Rational Choice model breaks down

-How context affects our judgements and decisions

-Why people work for the good of groups… and why & when they don’t

-Best approaches to change someone’s mind

-How behavioral contagion propagates actions within groups

Episode 15

Eric Singler: Our Favorite Guest (we’re a little biased!)

We speak to our very own colleague and mentor, Eric Singler.  Eric is the founder of BVA Nudge Unit, and the Managing Director of the consultancy group BVA. He’s the Founder and President of the think tank, Nudge France, and author of several books, including Nudge Marketing, Green Nudge, and Nudge Management 

In this episode we dive into: 

-How research for his book on shopper decision making led to his new passion and career in behavioral science. 

-His encounters with two stars of the field, Dan and Cass, and how they propelled his passion and work in the field.  

-The birth of BVA Nudge Unit and how it rapidly grew from the public policy space to the private sector, helping marketers and leaders across some of the largest organizations in the world. 

-Advice for change-makers looking to embed behavioral science within their organizations, including a recommended four-stage approach. 

Episode 14

Behavioral Insights: From the BIT to a New Book (with Michael Hallsworth)

We speak to Dr. Michael Hallsworth, Managing Director – North America for the Behavioural Insights Team and an Assistant Professor (Adjunct) at Columbia University. Michael has been a leading figure in developing the field of applying behavioral science to government and public policy and is co-author of the book, Behavioral Insights.

Listen in to hear about:

– How a hand washing study helped Michael realize the power of behavioral science
– What Michael has learned from working with David Halperin and helping launch the BIT
– The three elements that define behavioral insights
– Two primary communications challenges tied to the COVID vaccine

Episode 13

Annie Duke: Making Better Decisions

OIn our next episode we speak to Annie Duke, former professional poker player and author in behavioral decision science and decision education. She is also author of Thinking in Bets and How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices.

 Listen in to hear about:

– Annie’s framework and six step process to make better decisions and avoid traps
– Annie’s unusual career path from cognitive psychology to poker
– How very few decisions in life are chess-like – almost every decision is more poker-like
– Annie’s motivation for writing How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices
– Annie’s vision of the future of behavioral science

Episode 12

Jonah Berger: How to Drive Change

On our next episode we speak to Jonah Berger, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, bestselling author of The Catalyst and Contagious, and world-renowned expert on change and how products, ideas and behaviors catch on.

Listen in to hear:

– How to change minds and incite action

Why traditional approaches to change are so ineffective

– What the key barriers are to change and how to mitigate them

– The mistake that many business leaders and governments make in trying to drive change

– What Jonah has learned from studying urban legends and the spread of disinformation

Episode 11

Amy Edmondson: From Psychological Safety to Organizational Performance

On our next episode we speak to Amy Edmondson, the Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School and author of the books Teaming and The Fearless Organization.  In this episode we dive into:

– The importance of psychological safety within organizations and its direct link to preventing failures.

– Why organizations fail at psychological safety, including why employees fail to use their voice.

– The best nudges to support the behaviors that lead to psychological safety in organizations.

– Advice for leaders navigating the uncertainty of today’s world.

To learn more about Amy Edmondson and her publications, you can visit her HBS profile page here.

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit.

Don’t have social media?  Our inbox is always open: contact@bvanudgeunit.com

Episode 10

Iris Bohnet: A Nudge for Equality!

On our next episode we speak to Iris Bohnet, the Academic Dean of Harvard Kennedy School and author of the book What Works: Gender Equality by Design. In this episode we dive into:


– The application of behavioral economics, including the use of role models and norms, to accelerate gender equality


– The role and impact of Diversity Training programs in the private sector, and what the data really shows


– The ways in which Harvard has applied gender equality nudges to its environment and hiring processes


– The differential impact of current events and remote working on men and women

Learn more about Iris Bohnet and access associated resources here.

Episode 9

Dilip Soman: Behavioral Economics in Action

Dilip Soman is a Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics and serves as a Director of the Behavioural Economics in Action Research Centre at Rotman [BEAR]. His research is in the area of behavioural science and its applications to consumer wellbeing, marketing and policy.

Please join us to hear…

• How Dilip’s mechanical engineering experience with earth-moving machines got him interested in behavioral science

• Three things that Dilip learned from Richard Thaler as a PhD Student at University of Chicago

• The story behind Dilip’s pioneering MOOC – and several big ideas from his book, The Last Mile

• Two big issues that Dilip thinks will be the future of behavioral science

• Where Dilip sees “win-win-win” opportunities for businesses, consumers and society

 

For more, check out Dilip’s book, The Last Mile.

Episode 8

Faisal Naru: Bringing Behavioral Science to Organizations for Improvement & Results

Listen in to hear OECD’s Faisal Naru, Head Strategic Management & Coordination, Executive Director’s Offices, talk to us about:

– How using mind maps to better understand the biases in recruitment changed the UK civil service’s approach to talent acquisition in the late 1990s/early 2000s

– How reading the book Nudge while in Vietnam, confirmed Faisal’s curiosity and focus on understanding context, culture, and behavior

– How do you integrate Behavioral Science into organizations and really mainstream it

– The importance of data and evidence to advance Behavioral Science as a field

– The power of Behavioral Science to change policy and reform in the public or private sector for the benefit of people and business

– How the diversity of thought and backgrounds of practitioners in Behavioral Science are helping to improve the field

– How the talent pool of young enthusiastic behavioral scientists in academia and private enterprise inspires Faisal about the future of our world and development of the field

Check out OECD’s report Behavioural Insights and Public Policy: Lessons from Around the World.

Episode 7

Kelly Peters: The Power of Data, Evidence & Scientific Thinking

Listen in to hear Kelly Peters, founding CEO of BEworks, talk to us about:

– How a VCR changed everything for Kelly and got her interested in behavioral sciences

– Kelly’s roots in financial services and building empirical models to help predict risk

– How she learned that listening to people never helps us get at what they truly need and value

– The most satisfying aspect of Kelly’s 10+ years of applying behavioral science

– Kelly’s perspective on freedom, unity and liberty – and how this relates to the American and Canadian responses to COVID-19

Episode 6

Caroline Webb: Upgrade Your Workday with Behavioral Science

Our sixth episode features Caroline Webb, workplace productivity expert and author of the best-selling book “How to Have a Good Day: Harness the Power of Behavioral Science to Transform Your Working Life”, which has been published in over 60 countries and in 14 languages. In this episode we learned:

• What a “good day” at work looks like

• How to avoid common productivity traps

• Advice on making the best decisions in the workplace

• The key things to say to persuade organizational leaders to adopt behavioral science learnings

• Tips on working from home, as an employee or a manager, during the coronavirus pandemic

 

To learn more about Caroline and her work, visit www.howtohaveagoodday.com

Episode 5

Michael Luca & Max Bazerman: Experimentation in the New Age

During our fifth episode we speak to Harvard Business School’s Michael Luca and Max Bazerman, co-authors of the book The Power of Experiments: Decision Making in a Data-Driven World.

In this episode we dive into:

• How experiments were a necessary condition for the development of behavioral economics, and how without them, applied behavioral economics consultants would not exist.

• The birth of experimentation in business and the role experiments are playing in shaping customer behavior.

• Why the tech sector has been a leader in this space, and how the rest of the private sector can catch-up.

• Advice to grow better leaders, including the role of intuition in decision making and what the data tells us.

• A perspective on experimentation in the context of our rapidly changing world.

To learn more about their book, The Power of Experiments, and where you can buy it, you can visit: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/power-experiments

Episode 4

Paul Dolan: Finding Happiness through Behavioral Science  

Paul Dolan, is Head of Department and Professor of Behavioural Science in Psychological and Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is Director of the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science.

Please join us to hear… 

 

– How an “Economics of Happiness” conference and a chance meeting with Daniel Kahneman changed Paul’s life  

 

– Why people are often poor at predicting how health issues will impact our happiness  

 

– Why we all need to “chill out” stop reaching – and care less about others’ life choices    

 

– What organizations can do to promote happiness in the workplace  

 

– How the lockdown is experienced differently – and one positive outcome that Paul hopes will come from this crisis 

 

– And why sometimes it’s better not to think about what’s next! 

Episode 3

Wendy Wood: Good Habits – from Context to Rewards

Research conducted by Wendy Wood, psychologist and worldwide expert in habits, tells us that nearly 43% of the time people are engaging in habits, repeating behaviors that they’ve done in the past, in the same context, while they’re thinking about something other than what they’re doing.

A few weeks ago, we spoke with Wendy Wood, the author of Good Habits, Bad Habits, the science of making positive changes that stick, where we unpack what she’s learned over her 30+ year career studying habits. 

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit

Episode 2

Cass Sunstein: Nudging for Good – From the White House to the Workplace

In our next episode of B.E. GOOD!, we will be speaking with Cass Sunstein, one of the leading legal scholars who, for the past fifteen years, has been at the forefront of behavioral economics.

Cass is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy at Harvard Law School and a prolific author, including the book Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness, which has had an enormous impact in the field.

In this episode, we will:

– Learn how Cass came to collaborate with his friend Richard Thaler – and to work for President Obama, as the Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
 

– Hear his advice for policymakers and behavioral scientists in helping to combat both the coronavirus crisis and political polarization.
 

– Get Cass’ perspective on the power of behavioral science to make workplaces happier and more productive.
 

– Get a preview of his upcoming work on information disclosure – and hear why we all underestimate the importance of “cognitive scarcity”.

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit.

Episode 1

Dan Ariely: From Death to Invisibility

During our first episode we are speaking with Dan Ariely, James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and author of three New York Times best-selling books, including Predictably Irrational.  In this episode we dive into:

– Dan’s frightening experience as a hospital patient, which later prompted him to launch an inquiry on how we can die better.

– How finding his writing voice took him a while, and how his “cookbook” is still in the works.

– Why an alternate career choice of becoming a politician wasn’t for him.

– How making the invisible visible became one of his most important pieces of research.

– What prompted him to say “the more I study decision-making, the more I’m willing to be paternalistic.”

– And the link between office furniture, employee salaries and company profitability.

For more information on Dan, you can visit him at www.danariely.com

Let us know what you think about the episode on Twitter @BVANudgeUnit.

Don’t have social media?  Our inbox is always open: contact@bvanudgeunit.com

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