How one of the best ad campaigns of past 17 years used behavioral science...
How to make things simple (using behavioral science)
You don't have to be a behavioral scientist to change behavior... but understanding the principles is a huge help if you want to *consistently* change behavior.
It's similar to cooking.
You don't have to be a chef to bust out a delicious meal every once in awhile, but understanding the principles of cooking will make your hit rate a *lot* higher.
Why you have to tell more stories
"Just keep it simple."
That's probably the most frequent piece of advice that I hear given out in the technology and startup worlds.
It's great advice, too. There's only one problem with it: almost no one knows what simplicity is.
The day you stopped having rational arguments
When I first started blogging, I wrote dry information-packed articles.
They had titles like "Behavior Design 101" and were filled with bulleted lists.
I worked hard on these pieces and was convinced that they would blow up.
One of the biggest errors researchers make
Today is the day you stopped having rational arguments.
Yep. You heard me.
At the end of this article, you're going to be a slightly different person. You're no longer going to try and reason with friends, family, and coworkers.
Why you need to escape the office to get your mojo back
Today I want to point out a mistake that plagues the behavioral science world.
Even well-known scientists make this error from time to time.
I'm speaking about the correlation = causation error.
Celebrity selfies are good for business (and your personal brand)
One of the core findings in motivational psychology is that we're driven by meaning.
If we don't see a higher purpose in what we're doing, we sputter to a halt. We're no longer self-propelled. We have to be prodded with carrots and sticks.
Why most of the research you see is biased
Every time I open up LinkedIn, I'm greeted with a photo of one of my connections.
He's always smiling widely, with his arm around some famous (or semi-famous) person.
No. Being exposed to money doesn't make you more selfish
I want you to pretend that you're the Editor-in-Chief of a science-focused magazine.
You're sitting at your desk one day when you receive two emails.
Yes--you can skip a day every now and then
Repeat after me: If it sounds like magic, it probably is.
"If it sounds like magic, it probably is."
The behavior-design checklist
I've been burnt out.
It might be due to all my traveling.
It might be due to my new workout routine.
Who's more accurate: Weather forecasters or doctors?
I want to answer the most common question I get:
"What should I read to get started in behavior design?"
I don't want to write out a big list of books and articles, though.
Why motivational speakers won't change your behavior (in the long run)
Over the last week, I've been reading a terrific (yet terrifying) book.
It's called Risk Intelligence, and it talks all about our ability to estimate the probabilities of things.
Sounds nerdy, I know.
One of the legends of political warfare agrees with me...
About a year ago I went to a Tony Robbins seminar (and I loved it).
The whole thing is one giant party.
Half the time, you're jumping up and down like a maniac to some Pitbull or Calvin Harris songs.
One of the fundamental principles of persuasion 💫
Not too long ago I discovered a fascinating political strategy book.
It's kind of like Sun Tzu's "Art of War", but for those fighting with words and media instead of fists.
Why social goals (almost) always fail
One of the fundamental principles of behavior design is:
To bring people somewhere new, you have to first meet them where they are.
We all have our habits. We all have our ways of thinking about things.
How to win at poker if you can't play poker (using behavioral science)
Years ago I learned a fundamental lesson about goals.
I was helping a company create a goal-based social network.
Users would sign up, tell us what they wanted to do, and update their progress on a daily or weekly basis...
You can practice pain?
Yesterday I won a Rug Doctor.
Yes—a professional carpet cleaner.
How? In a poker tournament, of course.
Menus are ripe for behavioral science disruption
Years ago, I met a psychiatrist who specialized in addiction and chronic pain.
While I learned a number of fascinating things from him, one has really stuck with me all these years.
He told me that, just like anything else, you can practice pain.
Why the #1 behavior-change case study in behavioral economics is complete BS
Yesterday, as I was looking at the menu of a restaurant here in Bentonville, Arkansas, I had a thought: Why don’t restaurants put their most expensive items at the top of the menu?
We know from decades of research that peoples’ perceptions are heavily influenced by the number/price they’re first exposed to in any situation.
If you talk to any behavioral economist for more than 2 minutes, you’ll probably hear about the ‘organ donation study’.
It’s seen as the most successful behavioral economics case-study out there.
But there’s one small problem with it: it’s complete BS.