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The Behavioral Design Podcast

The Behavioral Design Podcast

By Samuel Salzer
How can we change behavior in practice? Listen in as hosts Samuel Salzer and Aline Holzwarth speak with leading experts on all things behavioral science, design and beyond. The Behavioral Design Podcast from Habit Weekly and the Center for Advanced Hindsight at Duke University provides a fun and engaging way to learn about applied behavioral science and how to design for behavior change in practice.
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The Science of Rituals with Nick Hobson

The Behavioral Design Podcast

No Hard Feelings with Liz Fosslien
In this episode, we speak with Liz Fosslien about how to make work better using nudges (and feelings!).  Liz is the co-author and illustrator of the Wall Street Journal best-selling book No Hard Feelings and she's an expert on how to make work better. As the Head of Content at Humu, she uses behavioral science to help leaders and their teams make meaningful improvements. She's also a master illustrator and we'd be surprised if you haven't seen her "sprinkles of insights" across your social media feeds. We have a wonderful discussion, exploring how to make work life better, managing #WFH, why we might benefit from being less passionate about work and how the nudge engine at Humu helps people work together better.  Related links: Liz's website Follow Liz on Instagram, LinkedIn & Twitter. Her book: No Hard Feelings  Check out Humu IKEA containers Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 and by giving us a review on Apple Podcast. Thanks! The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. 
October 13, 2021
Conspiracy Theories with Dan Ariely
In this episode, we speak with none other than Dan Ariely. We assume most of our listeners are already familiar with Dan's work, and we cover plenty of ground in this fun and enlightening episode. You can expect to learn about why Dan began receiving death threats from COVID deniers, strategies for overcoming vaccination hesitancy, the promise of psychedelics for treating mental health, and lessons from Dan's personal journey. We also talk about couscous!  Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 and by giving us a review on Apple Podcast. Thanks! The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. 
September 29, 2021
The Power of Us with Jay Van Bavel
In this episode, we speak with Jay Van Bavel about all things identity. Jay is Professor at NYU and Director of the Social Identity & Morality Lab. His book "The Power of Us," co-authored with Dominic Packer, was just released on September 7th. It's a fascinating read that looks into how we can understand and harness our shared identities for personal and collective success. In this episode, we have a fun conversation with Jay about everything identity, including why we contain multitudes and how the social needs of belonging, uniqueness and status impact our identity. We also discuss how identity can be a double-edged sword, both able to spark unity and (sometimes) create division, and why bumper stickers are overrated. Relevant links Jay's website, Twitter, LinkedIn &, Instagram Book: The Power of Us  Robbers Cave Experiment Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 and by giving us a review on Apple Podcast. Thanks! The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. 
September 16, 2021
Being Time Smart with Ashley Whillans
In this episode, we speak with Ashley Whillans on time and how to spend it well ⏰. Ashley is a Professor at Harvard and author of Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life. She's got a Ph.D. in Social Psychology and is an expert on time and how to spend it well. Her research investigates whether and how intangible incentives, such as experiential and time-saving rewards, affect employee motivation and well-being. She also works with organizations to help employees overcome time stress and thrive in their lives in and outside of the workplace. In this episode, we have a fun conversation with Ashley about her book, including discussing her research on people's perception of time and decision making, how to design better products and services based on these insights, and how to best decline an invitation (you're welcome). We hope you enjoy the episode! Relevant links Ashley's website, Twitter &, Instagram Missed Habit Day? No worries, here's link to the full event recording. Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 and by giving us a review on Apple Podcast. Thanks! The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. 
September 1, 2021
How to Change with Katy Milkman
In this episode, we're speaking with behavioral science superstar Katy Milkman ⭐️ Katy has one of the most impressive resumes in the field – She's a professor at UPenn, Co-founder of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative with Angela Duckworth, Host of Choiceology podcast (much more refined than ours), and Author of a new book: How to Change: The Science of Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be. Some of our favorite research from Katy includes Fresh Start Effect, Temptation Bundling, Implementation Intentions, and most recently, she's pioneered the mega-study (what works to promote exercise, vaccination) In this episode, we have a fun conversation with Katy about her book, including discussing personalization, temptation bundling, and what type of interventions are most effective. We also talk about her recent study on regret lotteries in Philly + much more!  Relevant links How to Change Katy's website, Twitter &, Instagram Katy's newsletter Milkman Delivers (amazing name) Katy's Research Philly regret lottery Temptation bundling Fresh Starts Recent mega study Commitment Devices Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 and by giving us a review on Apple Podcast. Thanks! The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. 
August 18, 2021
The Family Firm with Emily Oster
We're back with Season 2 - yay! We start the new season with a bang as our first guest is none other than Emily Oster. 🎉  Besides being Aline's favorite person to follow, Emily is an economics professor at Brown University and a thought-leader on data-driven parenting. She has written several best-selling books on pregnancy and parenting, all centered around a specific goal: creating a world of more relaxed pregnant women and parents. In this episode, we have a fun conversation with Emily about her latest book, The Family Firm (out today!). We learn about her fantastic 4 Fs framework, discuss salience of risk and how that impacts decision-making, learn what science communication often gets wrong, AND why Summersalt swimwear is underrated. Relevant links The Family Firm (out today!) Emily's website, Twitter &, Instagram Emily's newsletter ParentData Research Previous books Expecting Better and Cribsheet Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 and by giving us a review on Apple Podcast. Thanks! The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. 
August 3, 2021
Season 1 Finale!
We've reached the end of season 1 - yay! 🎉 In this finale, we sit down and nerd out about all things behavioral as Aline is welcomed back from her baby cave. We explore the growing landscape of behavioral associations, the recent attempts to incentivize vaccine uptake, we languish on languishing, talk faulty risk perceptions, and, our course, complete a final round of overrated vs. underrated.  Relevant links Recently launched behavioral associations and groups (and their abbreviations):   GAABS - The Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists ABSA - Applied Behavioral Science Association UNBSG - UN Behavioural Science Group IBPPA - International Behavioural Public Policy Association Vaccination uptake Lottery-Based Incentive in Ohio and COVID-19 Vaccination Rates Going local with the COVID-19 vaccine Flourishing & languishing There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing The Other Side of Languishing Is Flourishing. Here’s How to Get There Dan Ariely on wine Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro.
July 12, 2021
Blindsight & Neuroscience of Marketing with Matt Johnson and Prince Ghuman
Matt Johnson is a professor, researcher, and writer specializing in the application of neuroscience and psychology to the business world and Prince Ghuman is an experienced marketer with great experience of applying neuroscience to marketing and business strategy. Together they've written the book Blindsight: The (Mostly) Hidden Ways Marketing Reshapes Our Brain. In this episode, we have a fun conversation with Matt and Prince about what the heck "Blindsight" is and what it has to do with decision-making, we dive into the ethics around using behavioral science for good (and for less obviously good “marketing” purposes) and how we can solve the thorny problem of tech addiction. Links and resources: Matt's LinkedIn & Twitter Prince's LinkedIn & Twitter  Their book: Blindsight Their certification Their blog Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. *This episode was recorded in Q1 of 2021
June 18, 2021
Real-World Behavioral Economics with Kelly Peters
Kelly Peters is the CEO and Co-founder of BEworks, and one of the leading voices in the world of Applied Behavioral Economics. Kelly has done some fantastic work in the field and she's a firm believer that when applied properly, scientific thinking has the power to transform society.  In this episode, Kelly shares her journey into behavioral economics, how BEworks approach their client work, challenges related to COVID-19, and much more. Hope you enjoy the episode! Links and resources: BEworks's website Social media: LinkedIn & Twitter BEwork's COVID-19 related projects, including their fantastic Vaccine Hesitancy report Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. *This episode was recorded in Q1 of 2021
June 16, 2021
A Slight Change of Plans with Maya Shankar
Maya Shankar is the Senior Director of Behavioral Economics at Google and previously served as a Senior Advisor in the Obama White House, where she founded and served as Chair of the White House's Behavioral Science Team. For good measure, she also served as the first Behavioral Science Advisor to the United Nations. Most recently, Maya launched "A Slight Change of Plans," a fantastic new podcast with Pushkin Industries. In this episode, Maya shares her journey into behavioral science and highlights along the way, including the importance of her mentors, reminiscing about her time leading the White House's Behavioral Science Team, and whether it's harder to change minds or change behaviors.  Links and resources: Maya's website Social media: LinkedIn & Twitter Maya's podcast: A Slight Change of Plans Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro.
June 14, 2021
The Science of Love & Dating with Logan Ury
Logan Ury is a behavioral scientist-turned dating coach and Hinge’s Director of Relationship Science. She recently published How to Not Die Alone – a fantastic book on the surprising science that will help you find love.  We speak about all things behavioral science and modern love, including how Hinge designs the app to be deleted and common cognitive biases in dating. We also talk about how Logan became the lead of Google’s behavioral science and was later able to build a successful career combining her passion for behavioral science and relationship science. Hope you love it! Links and resources: Logan's website Social media: LinkedIn, Twitter & Instagram Logan's book: How to Not Die Alone The Three Dating Tendencies Quiz Modern Love - New York Times article by Logan OKcupid Experiment Rom-Com recommendation: Hitch Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro.
June 2, 2021
Brainy Business with Melina Palmer
Interested in learning more about how Behavioral Economics can be used in practice? Great, this episode is for you! It features a fun conversation with Melina Palmer, one of the leading experts in applied Behavioral Economics. Melina is the founder and CEO of the Brainy Business, teaches Applied BE at Texas A&M University and recently published her first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You.  We speak about her journey and how she built her Brainy Business podcast and community, how she supports her clients to ask better questions, important principles regarding pricing, and we talk cookies! Enjoy! 🍪 Links and resources: Melina's website, LinkedIn and Twitter Her book What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You FREE workbook: Right Questions Institute - Questionstorming Melina sings the national anthem Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro.
May 19, 2021
Making Better Decisions with Annie Duke
This episode features an insightful conversation with decision-making rockstar Annie Duke. Annie barely needs an introduction, she's the best-selling author of Thinking in Bets, and most recently, How to Decide. She has made it her pursuit to help us understand how we make decisions and provide us with concrete steps and tools for improving our decision making process.  We cover several interesting topics, including Annie's journey from academia, to professional poker, to consulting and back to research. We also cover why it's so difficult to update our beliefs, why we should hone our archer's mindset, and much more. The episode even includes a special guest. Enjoy! Links and resources: Annie's website, LinkedIn and Twitter Latest book: How to Decide Previous book: Thinking in Bets Annie's newsletter Philip Tetlock's work Research Superforecasting book Podcast Interview  Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro.
May 5, 2021
Lessons About the Brain with Lisa Feldman Barrett
This episode features a profound conversation with world-renowned neuroscientist and psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett. Lisa is among the top 1% of most-cited scientists in the world, with over 240 peer-reviewed scientific papers contributing to her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience. Outside of the lab, she's a best-selling author and her popular TED talk has more than 6 million views. TLDR: Lisa is a rockstar 🤘. We cover several interesting topics, including why your brain is not for thinking, how prediction becomes reality, why most people are wrong in how they think about emotions, the best type of chocolate (spoiler: dark), and much more. Enjoy! Links and resources: Lisa's website and Twitter Latest book: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain Previous book: How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain Some of Lisa's selected journal publications and research papers Lisa's TED Talk: You aren't at the mercy of your emotions -- your brain creates them Jim Coan describing his heart attack on his Circle of Willis Podcast  Dharmakīrti buddhism  Books referenced:  Margaret Atwood books: Cat's Eye, Oryx and Crake & The Edible Woman Stuart Firestein books: Failure: Why Science Is so Successful and Ignorance: How it drives science Support the podcast by joining Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro.
April 21, 2021
Mindful Behavioral Science with Clare Purvis
This episode features an insightful conversation with Dr. Clare Purvis, Director of Behavioral Science at Headspace. Clare is a clinical psychologist with extensive experience working in health technology, translating clinical evidence into commercially viable, engaging, and innovative digital products. We cover several interesting topics, including how Clare transitioned from academia to the start-up world, how we can building systems of behavior change in organizations, what makes a good onboarding, and how to design for mindfulness. Enjoy! Links: Clare's website and LinkedIn Clare is the founder of WELL, Women Entrepreneurs & Leaders Laboratory, which is the first professional organization for women clinicians and scientists leading the way in digital health.   Aline's previous interview with Clare Habit Weekly Pro 🚀
April 7, 2021
The Behavioral Science of Policy and Organizations with Nina Mažar
This episode features an insightful conversation with the fantastic Nina Mažar. Nina has been part of founding BEworks, BEAR (Behavioral Economics in Action at Rotman center), and the World Banks' behavioral science team. She is currently professor of marketing and co-director of the Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy at Boston University.  We cover several interesting topics, including how Nina got started in the field, three pieces of advice for starting a behavioral science unit, nudging for diversity and honesty, plus what to get next time you're ordering Balkan food. Enjoy! Links: Nina's website, LinkedIn and Twitter Nina's TEDx talk on honesty and intentions Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 Timestamps 00:23: Episode overview 01:41: Interview begins 02:02: Nina details her background in behavioral science 04:29: How Nina’s work in both industry and academia shaped her view on behavioral science research 08:49: Nina discusses setting up the World Bank’s behavioral science unit 11:59: Nina’s advice on setting up a behavioral science team in an organisation Get shared buy-in within the organisation Data collection capacities and well-functioning internal systems Have a legal team on board 17:01: Reflecting on studies on dishonesty and nudging people via signature at the top 22:04: Why is the “bad apple” narrative so persistent? 24:16: How can behavioral science help counter discrimination and racism? 28:22: Countering gender bias in news reporting in Sweden via transparency 32:42: Underrated vs Overrated Revealed preferences Rationalisation Replication studies Crotian cuisine Bosnian cuisine Place’s Nina has lived Origami 39:02: How Nina applies behavioral science in her own life 41:03: Concluding remarks ––––– Timestamps & shownotes compiled by Keith Broni 🏆 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro. –––––
March 24, 2021
Building Habits with Wendy Wood
This episode is special. It features a conversation with the world-renowned habit researcher, Wendy Wood. Wendy has devoted the last 30 years to researching how habits work and recently published the fantastic book Good Habits, Bad Habits. The episode is packed with insights, and we cover all things habits, from the difference between habits vs. routines to the impact of reward and context on habit formation. If you're curious to understand habits better, this episode is for you! Links: Wendy's website (where you can find here book) and her Twitter Wendy's labs habit research  Habit Weekly Pro 🚀 Key points: Changing attitudes is often not enough – even when we change people's attitude, their behavior doesn't always follow. And it's the behavior we care about, what they do.  The average person rarely distinguish between habits, behavior, intentions, beliefs and attitudes. "It's all all the same, all part of me and my decision making". It's important to differentiate these things as our brains consist of different systems that helps us accomplish different things. There's a habit learning system designed specifically to pick up repetition of behaviour in a given context that generated some form of reward. We can think of reward as not money, but what makes you feel good. Habits are the context response associations that you form in memory, when you repeat a behaviour, often enough for the for it to become automatic. Additionally, routines are simply sequences of habit. We can can change people's attitudes and beliefs for short periods, but these changes can disappear once they go back to real life if we fail to change the system. We need to understand the broader influences on someone's behavior in order to design contextual cues and rewards that helps them respond in new ways long-term. Timestamps: 00:16: Episode overview 01:33: Interview starts 02:00: Wendy details her background and how she got started researching habits 03:55: Differentiating habits and behavior 06:50: Distinguishing between routines and habits 08:10: The automaticity of bias associations compared to the automaticity of habits 10:50: Can one-off trainings really be used to create new habits 13:16: Changing day-to-day environments and systems to change habits 16:28: Sam tells an anecdote about the influence of context on habits 18:30: The temporal dynamic of habit activation 20:42: Recurring contextual associations with a habit 21:27: Internal states as context cues for habits 23:52: Incentivising habits with rewards 26:54: Case study: encouraging use of an office’s stairs over an elevator 29:40: Best way to incentivise new habits 33:57: How is frequency related to establishing a new habit 35:30: The generalisation of habits 37:10: Overrated vs Underrated Having a car Experience sampling Behaviorism The clean plate club Paris The marshmallow study Sidewalks Rituals Mise en place 44:47: What bad habit has been Wendy’s greatest nemesis in her personal life 47:36: Concluding remarks ––––– Timestamps & shownotes compiled by Keith Broni 🏆 The song used is Murgatroyd by David Pizzaro.
March 10, 2021
Behavioral Design 2021 - State of the Field
The Behavioral Design 2021 state of the field report is out 🎉 The report provides a combination of perspectives and opinions from 20+ leaders in the field on the state of behavioral design and where we're headed. Listen in on this special episode where...
February 26, 2021
Behavioral Finance with Dan Egan
This episode features a fun conversation with the wonderful Dan Egan. Dan is the Director of Behavior Science and Investing at the innovative fin-tech company Betterment and is truly an authority on all things behavioral finance.We cover several...
February 24, 2021
Psychology of Engagement with Amy Bucher
This episode features a fantastic conversation with is Amy Bucher, VP of Behavior Change Design at Mad*Pow and author of Engaged: Designing for Behavior Change. The book offers a wonderful exploration of how we can incorporate behavioral design into our...
February 10, 2021
Behavioral Science Fiction with Samuel Salzer
This episode features an interview with Behavioral Strategist, Author, and perhaps most importantly, co-host of this podcast – Samuel Salzer 🎉Aline puts Sam in the hot seat. The episode covers everything from behavioral science fiction, to why IKEA is...
January 27, 2021
Changing Digital Health Behavior with Aline Holzwarth
This episode features an interview with  Aline Holzwarth the new  co-host for this podcast 🎉Aline is an applied behavioral scientist, specializing in digital health research and scientifically informed product design. She's also the head of Behavioral...
January 13, 2021
The Science of Rituals with Nick Hobson
We all have our different rituals and that's what we'll explore in today's episode with the wonderful Nick Hobson.Nick has not only long studied the rituals of our everyday lives, but he also runs a successful consultancy helping organizations to better...
December 31, 2020
Exploring Behavioral Data Science with Ganna Pogrebna
What the heck is Behavioral Data Science? That is what I asked myself earlier this year as I got introduced to the wonderful work by today's guest of the podcast - Ganna Pogrebna.Ganna has an extremely impressive resume. She is a decision theorist and a...
December 31, 2020
Crafting the Perfect Incentive Program with Kurt Nelson & Tim Houlihan
This episode is a fun two for one as it's a conversation with me and the wonderful duo, Kurt Nelson and Tim Houlihan.You're likely to recognize their voices as they host the popular Behavioral Grooves podcast where they explore the “why we do what we...
December 29, 2020
Changing Behavior at Scale with Josh Wright
Welcome to another episode of the Behavioral Design Podcast by Habit Weekly. This episode is a treat and an early Christmas gift since it's a conversation with truly a leader in the field - Josh Wright.Josh is the Executive Director at ideas42, which...
December 16, 2020
Self-Applied Behavioral Science with David Perrott
This episode is a conversation with David Perrott focused on the fascinating world of self-applied behavioral science. This means what we can do with the tools and insights of behavioral science to better our own lives.David is the perfect person to...
November 18, 2020
Behavioral Insights with Elspeth Kirkman & Michael Hallsworth
This episode of the Behavioral Design podcast is a conversation with Elspeth Kirkman and Michael Hallsworth. These are truly two heavy hitters when it comes to putting behavioral science to practice.Elspeth founded BIT's North American office before...
November 6, 2020
Applying Behavioral Science in Practice with Torben Emmerling
Welcome to the Behavioral Design podcast by Habit Weekly, hosted by Samuel Salzer.This episode is a conversation with Torben Emmerling. Torben is the Founder and Managing Partner of the behavioral consultancy firm Affective Advisory and acts as...
October 27, 2020
Designing for Behavior Change with Stephen Wendel
Welcome to the Behavioral Design podcast by Habit Weekly, hosted by Samuel Salzer.This first episode is a conversation with Stephen Wendel. Steve is one of the most experienced applied behavioral practitioners in the world. He's head of behavioral...
September 29, 2020