In 2021, people started to trust business organizations more than governments, NGOs or the media, according to global research by the Edelman Trust Baraometer. The Covid pandemic has seen people around the globe question their trust in all forms of leadership. What impact does this have on business leaders? Can organizations rebuild trust? What are the building blocks of trust?

Sandra Sucher, co-author of “The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It” ( draws back the layers of what trust actually is, how to build it, how to maintain it through adversity, and most importantly, how to rebuild it when it’s been shattered.

Along with her co-author, Shalene Gupta, Sandra has devised the four key foundations of trust; competence, motives, means and impact. We ask Sandra about the significance of these steps, how they can be harnessed, as well as the impact on trust that Covid has had, specifically how vaccine mandates have affected it. Throughout our conversation and her book, Sandra illustrates her insights with a plethora of rich business examples. 

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, you can become a special Behavioral Grooves Patreon member by donating to our work: And a particular thanks to some of our listeners who have recently left us glowing podcast reviews, we really appreciate them. We'd love it if more our listeners could take 2 minutes to write a short review of Behavioral Grooves. Thanks!


(3:03) Welcome and speed round question.

(5:00) Trust is limited.

(7:38) The 4 key elements of trust.

(13:09) Does forgiveness play a part in regaining trust?

(14:54) How trust can be preserved by an organization, even while laying people off - the Nokia example.

(25:30) How has the landscape of trust changed and what effect has the pandemic had on trust? 

(30:27) The link between lack of trust in government and vaccine hesitancy. 

(33:49) The trust implications of asking employees to get vaccinated.

(36:26) People actually trust a negative outcome, if they feel the process was fair.

(39:37) What makes a business a good place to be from?

(45:39) Grooving Session discussing what we’ve learnt from Sandra.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Sandra Sucher, “The Power of Trust: How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It”: 

Esko Aho, Nokia: 

Amy Edmondson, Psychological Safety: 

Edelman Trust Barometer:

Shalene Gupta:  

Worried About the Great Resignation? Be a Good Company to Come From” by Sandra J. Sucher and Shalene Gupta: ttps:// 

Recruit Holdings in Japan: 

Episode 102, Cristina Bicchieri: Social Norms are Bundles of Expectations:

Musical Links

 Aretha Franklin “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”: 

If we are open minded, we challenge our beliefs and accept that our thinking can, at times, be misguided. After all, our thoughts are merely a function of our personal habits, experiences and internal communication. Dr Howard Rankin PhD encourages us to recognize the value of critical thinking, and become more aware of our own consciousness.

To conclude our November series on Conspiracy Theories, our guest on this episode, Dr. Howard Rankin PhD, talks about how our consciousness has been conditioned. By understanding how the thinking process works and being aware of our own consciousness, we gain more perspective on our beliefs. So we should focus more on HOW to think, and less on WHAT to think. 

Howard is an inspirational educator on the subjects of mind-body medicine, spirituality, neuropsychology and cognitive function, personal change and transformation. Frequently appearing on radio, TV and podcasts, Howard is also an author. His latest book, "I Think Therefore I Am Wrong: A Guide to Bias, Political Correctness, Fake News and the Future of Mankind" ( shines light on the human thought process and how it can often be seriously flawed.

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through the Behavioral Grooves Patreon page: Also leaving a short review on our podcast really helps others to find our content, thanks.


(3:52) Welcome and speed round questions.

(10:50) Is there a difference between OUR reality and THE reality?

(17:34) Why do we underestimate critical thinking?

(25:19) Can social norms influence what we consider to be true?

(27:37) How do we reconcile our need for certainty? 

(28:27) How do we challenge our own beliefs?

(35:58) Challenging ourselves on not WHAT to think but HOW to think.

(37:37) How we can focus education on how to think, not what to think.

(43:30) What music makes Howard think?

(49:08) How you can learn more about Howard’s work.

(49:58) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing how they are wrong!

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Leading Human™ Workbook and Playbook:

Leading Human™, Free Whitepaper Download:

Promo Code: GROOVERS to receive $20 off (limited time offer for listeners).

Dr. Howard Rankin PhD, "I Think Therefore I Am Wrong: A Guide to Bias, Political Correctness, Fake News and the Future of Mankind":

Dr. Howard Rankin PhD: 

I Think Therefore I Am Wrong Website:

How Not to Think Podcast: 

YouTube channel – Howard Rankin:  

Clayton Kershaw: 

Joe Montana: 

Episode 176, Annie Duke on How to Decide:

George Box: 

Bayesian Theory: 

Musical Links

Mozart “Requiem”: 

The Beatles “Help”: 

Jimi Hendrix “Purple Haze”: 

Need some respite from the work day grind? Join the fun on this episode for a light-hearted take on workplace humor. Dan Hill delivers a real tongue-in-cheek take on the corporate lingo and jargon that infiltrates our workplaces. But with every joke he makes, there is a pang of truth: “emojis; the feelings you would be having at work if they were allowed.

Dan’s new book; “Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo( is written in collaboration with over 50 contributors from across the world (including our one and only Tim Houlihan!) who have collectively provided almost 600 definitions of how the workplace really operates.

Our conversation with Dan is not just hilariously funny, he also cracks open the truth on workplace humor being an effective way of tackling serious goals. With this "snarky" book Dan wants to bring the issues of bullying and inequality in the workplace to the forefront of peoples minds. So why use humor to address such momentous issues? In Dan's own words, humor can open your eyes: “A good cartoon, a good joke, I think really captures the essence of a situation, and it does open you up, it's got that aha, twist and turn to a phrase a concept. When we're surprised our eyes go wider, our mouth drops open and means we shut up and we notice the world around us. So I am trying for that element of surprise.

Welcoming Dan back to Behavioral Grooves in this episode was simply a barrel of laughs for us. But please note, that our discussion contains some language you might not want your kids to hear.

We really do have a lot of fun creating the Behavioral Grooves Podcast, but like Dan said “having fun IS hard work!”. If you’d like to chip in with our work, please consider becoming a monthly contributor at our Patreon site: Becoming a special Behavioral Grooves Patreon will open up some exclusive show content just for you!


(4:32) Welcome and speed round questions.

(11:20) Addressing the fact that 20-25% of managers are bullies.

(14:43) Dan reads entries from his snarky book!

(15:47) What is the devil’s dictionary? 

(17:59) Using humor to open people's eyes.

(21:30) How Dan is tackling inequality in the workplace with humor.

(29:11) Grooving with Tim and Kurt on what funny things we learnt from Dan’s interview.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Blah, Blah, Blah: A Snarky Guide to Office Lingo” by Dan Hill, Howard Moskowitz, James Monroe: 

“Emotionomics: Leveraging Emotions for Business Success” by Dan Hill: 

“Famous Faces Decoded: A Guidebook for Reading Others” by Dan Hill: 

Dan Hill, Episode 151: On the Facial Coding of Trump, Hendrix, Prince, Gretzky and the Beatles:

Dan Hill's EQ Spotlight Podcast: 

John McEnroe: 

The Devil's Dictionary :

Vanessa Bohns, Episode 253. Why You Don‘t Need to be Powerful to be Influential:

Patreon Site for Behavioral Grooves:

Musical Links

Bob Dylan “The Times are A-Changin’”: 

The Beatles “Hard Days Night”: 

What makes us more likely to believe in conspiracy theories? Can our religious beliefs or political affiliations determine whether we're less likely to believe in scientific facts? Why are health conspiracy theories some of the most widely believed notions? We revisit a conversation with Eric Oliver who talks us through the factors that drive people towards conspiracy theories.

Eric Oliver, PhD is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Although the majority of his work is squarely in the realm of how we view our political systems and make political decisions, some of his work echoes moral psychology and sociology, and we find it fascinating. And, frankly, some of it is just downright fun to talk about.

Eric’s observations come from more than 20 years of research, dozens of peer-reviewed papers, and he is the author of 5 books on political science. We specifically talked about how liberals and conservatives name their children, the rise of intuitionism, having dinner with a sports star rather than a rock star, and of course, he spoke in-depth about conspiracy theories.

Most importantly, he walked us through some key aspects of how to have a conversation with someone who is on the opposite side of the conspiracy-theory belief system and, interestingly enough, it begins with empathy. Listen to the entire episode to hear all his insights and research anecdotes. They’ll put a smile on your face as well as fresh ideas into your brain!

We have been fans of his work for some time and are grateful that Eric shared his insights with us. We think you’ll become a fan, too, if you’re not already one.

[NOTE: This episode is republished from our interview with Eric in episode #172 from Sept 2020.]

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


(3:17) Welcome and speed round.

(10:17) What characteristics predict whether you will believe in conspiracy theories?

(19:24) People rely on heuristics in times of uncertainty.

(24:48) Have conspiracy theories increased since Covid?

(27:03) What factors make us more likely to believe conspiracy theories?

(32:36) Do religious people tend to believe more in conspiracy theories?

(38:47) Why Donald Trump appeals to conspiracy theorists.

(42:50) How to talk to your relatives about their conspiracy theories?

(45:33) What music does Eric listen to?

(53:19) Grooving session with Tim and Kurt discussing Eric's work.


Eric Oliver, PhD: 

Jonathan Haidt, PhD: 

James Frazer, “The Golden Bough”: 

Katherine Surma on Credulity: 

Laurie Santos, PhD: The Joe Effect: 

Steve Kerr: 

Colin Kaepernick:

Charles Manson: 

Andy Luttrell, Episode 175: Pro’s and Con’s of Persuasion When Issues are Moralized:

Kwame Christian, Episode 178: On Compassionate Curiosity, Social Justice Conversations, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch:

Musical Links

LCD Sound System: 

Kurt Weil: 

Phillip Glass: 

Keith Richards and Chuck Berry: 

Misinformation is like a virus, spreading quickly and propagating in a way that doesn’t benefit its host. Andy Noman describes harmful ideas as acting like “mind parasites” that deploy clever tactics to infect our thinking by circumventing our mental immune systems. And we’re even more susceptible to bad ideas than we realize. 

So how do we immunize ourselves against mind parasites? Can we reach herd immunity? Can we critically think our way out of this epidemic of unreason? After 30 years of research on this topic, Andy has concluded that the traditional models of critical thinking are not up to the task in our hyper-connected world. We need a more comprehensive framework for inoculating our minds against viral nonsense. 

Andy Norman is an award-winning author who teaches philosophy at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. He has recently published his new book, “Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think”: We are thrilled to welcome Andy as part of our series on understanding more about Conspiracy Theories. Our conversation with Andy reveals details of his framework for strengthening our own mental immunity. We hope you enjoy listening!

Subscribe to Behavioral Grooves on your podcast player so you are notified about our new episodes. Next week we will be hearing from Prof. Eric Oliver about how to talk to our friends and family about conspiracy theories.

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through our Behavioral Grooves Patreon page: We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which help others find our content.


(3:37) Welcome and speed round questions.

(6:20) We are experiencing an epidemic of unreason. 

(8:17) How can we immunize ourselves against disinformation? 

(14:10) How our identity can affect our mental immunity.

(17:54) A framework for mental immunity. 

(21:11) Thinking in probabilities instead of in black & white.

(26:08) Why acknowledging other people's truths can have a surprising effect. 

(29:38) The objective difference between a good idea and a bad idea.

(32:25) Arguing with someone who only cares about themselves.

(38:54) Is there a chance we will reach mental herd immunity?

(44:13) What music is on Andy’s playlist?

(47:11) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim talking about how to apply Andy’s work.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think” by Andy Norman: 

Ludwig Wittgenstein: 


Dan Kahan, “Identity Protective Cognition”: 

Episode 176: Annie Duke on How to Decide:

Musical Links

Mark Knopfler “Piper to the End”:

How do you respond to someone who says “the earth is flat” or “Covid is a hoax”? Before we can try and reason with conspiracy theorists, we must first understand the reason they have ventured down that path. Lee McIntyre has spent years researching science deniers and has found a common set of traits in their behavior. He also argues that we shouldn’t sit back and assume conspiracy theories are harmless. Find out more from Lee in this episode about how to talk with science deniers and how even to change their minds about the facts.

Our Conspiracy Theories Series continues this month with Lee McIntyre, author of the new book “How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason”: To gather research for the book, Lee attended a flat earth convention to understand more about the followers who believe in the flat earth conspiracy. His findings are enlightening. 

Lee is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. He’s had a distinguished career in teaching and researching issues that we found fascinating.

Next week we continue our Conspiracy Theories Series with Andy Norman, author of the enthralling new book, “Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think”: We learn about how bad ideas can infect our minds and how we can boost our own mental immunity. Subscribe to Behavioral Grooves on your podcast player so you’re the first to be notified when we publish a new episode. 


(9:33) Speed Round

(11:36) Lee’s experience attending a Flat Earth Convention.

(14:56) How people become convinced by conspiracy theories.

(17:09) The value of having face to face conversations.

(22:10) How to have those difficult conversations with your family and friends.

(26:08) The 5 common traits of science deniers.

(31:31) Is the educational system really teaching us about how science works?

(36:23) Why should we take science deniers seriously?

(38:53) Why is science denial growing?

(43:27) Political identity and science denial. 

(58:14) The music that got Lee through Covid

(1:06:14) Grooving Session with Tim and Kurt discussing what they talked about with Lee.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason” by Lee McIntyre:

McIntyre, L. “Calling all Physicists” American Journal of Physics 87, 694 (2019);

Beyond the Curve documentary:

Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Climate Change” by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway:

Cranky Uncle:

You’re Not So Smart Podcast:

Behavioral Grooves Patreon page: 

Musical Links

The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun”:

The Beatles “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”:

The Beatles “Something”:

The Beatles “Blackbird”:

The Beatles “Hide your Love Away”:

The Beatles, The Medley on the Flipside of Abbey Road:

The Beatles “Because”:

The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever”:

Host of Hidden Brain podcast, Shankar Vedantam talks with us about the powers: both useful and harmful, of our delusional thinking. Nations are an example of useful delusions; they are an entirely human-made construct, yet they can present us with a unifying, shared identity. 

There is a tipping point, however, at which our beliefs can become harmful to someone else. Shankar defines conspiracy theories as a particular type of self deception which can easily escalate into harmful behavior.

Our conversation with Shankar touches on the Capitol Riots in Washington DC on January 6th 2021, and how conspiracy theories influenced the behavior of the rioters.

Conspiracy theories, I think are a sort of special case of self deception, which...can easily take over into things that are deeply harmful.”

The challenge most of us face though, is how to talk to our friends and family who believe in conspiracy theories. And on that point, Shankar explains the Illusion Of Explanatory Depth and how conversations with our loved ones need to start with an air of empathy and compassion.

You can listen to our full interview with Shankar Vedantam in Episode 222: How Delusions Can Actually Be Useful: Shankar Vedantam Reveals How: 

This bitesize episode is the introduction to our Conspiracy Theories Series, which will run through the month of November 2021. Over the next few weeks, you will hear from some of the brightest minds in the field of conspiracy theories and science denial. Here is our line up for the month:

  • Nov 7th, 2021: Lee McIntyre discussing his new book, “How To Talk to A Science Denier.” 
  • Nov 14th, 2021: Andy Norman talking about his new book “Mental Immunity”.
  • Nov 21st, 2021: Eric Oliver, a political science professor at the University of Chicago who has studied conspiracy theorists for over 20 years. 
  • Nov 28th, 2021: Howard Rankin, describing his new book “I Think Therefore I Am Wrong.” 

Subscribe or follow Behavioral Grooves on your podcast player so you don’t miss out on this fascinating series about conspiracy theories.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Subscribe to the Behavioral Grooves Newsletter: 

Write a review of Behavioral Grooves podcast: 

Behavioral Grooves Patreon page: 

Shankar Vedantam, Episode 222. How Delusions Can Actually Be Useful: Shankar Vedantam Reveals How:

Shankar Vedantam of Hidden Brain: 

Shankar Vedantam, “Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain”:

Listen to Kurt and Tim’s spooky Halloween Special about some common biases that can seem a bit scary. But don’t fear, the scariest thing about this episode is actually Kurt and Tim’s jokes! Find out why some biases are a bit spooky, what makes us susceptible to them, and most importantly how we can overcome them. 

Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit about how to overcome the biases you may find impacting your life. If you’d like to support our work further, please consider donating a treat (no tricks please!) on our Patreon page: Your financial support helps with all our production costs.


Behavioral Grooves Twitter: @behavioralgroov

Kurt Nelson Twitter: @motivationguru

Tim Houlihan Twitter: @thoulihan

Common Biases and Heuristics:

Scary Biases: 

Behavioral Grooves Patreon page:

Rudeness is contagious, in a similar way to a virus. When experiencing a rude encounter, our brain perceives it like a threat. And once we’ve tuned in to this low-level threat, we’re more likely to notice it around us, and therefore more likely to display rude behavior ourselves.

Our guest on this episode is Dr Trevor Foulk PhD, Assistant Professor of Management & Organization at the University of Maryland. His well published research on deviant workplace behaviors and workplace power dynamics, has been featured in Time magazine, Harvard Business Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

Trevor walks us through what rude behavior actually is, what our evolutionary response to it is and how we can take steps to mitigate the effects of it. We are also delighted to talk about Trevor’s research around the way power changes our behavior, and what impact a feeling of paranoia can add to the dynamics. And to Tim’s delight, Trevor also boosts our understanding of how music affects work performance. 

Truth be told, our conversation with Trevor has opened our eyes into how rude behavior really impacts people. And in our Grooving Session, at the end of the episode, Kurt and Tim recap the ways Trevor’s research can improve our lives.

If you enjoy listening to our podcast, you can become an exclusive Behavioral Grooves Patreon member at 


(3:28) Welcome and speed round

(8:38) How rudeness is contagious.

(11:45) Why do we view rudeness as threatening?

(13:10) The solutions to rudeness.

(15:36) How our response to rudeness differs from holding a grudge.

(17:52) Are certain personality types more susceptible to rudeness?

(19:15) What effect does rudeness have on medical professionals?

(22:59) Can gratitude have the opposite effect to rudeness?

(24:27) How the Anchoring Effect is affected by rudeness.

(28:43) How does a feeling of power change our behavior?

(35:40) Paranoia and power.

(39:51) How does music influence performance?

(47:35) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing what we’ve learnt from Trevor’s interview.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Dr Trevor Foulk PhD: 

Foulk, T.A., Woolum, A., & Erez, A. (2016). Catching rudeness is like catching a cold: The contagion effects of low-intensity negative behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology: 

Riskin, A. Erez, A., Foulk, T.A., Kugelman, A., Gover, A., Shoris, I, Riskin, K., & Bamberger, P.A. (2015). The impact of rudeness on medical team performance: A randomized trial. Pediatrics: 

Foulk, T.A., Lanaj, K., Tu, M., Erez, A., & Archambeau, L. (2018)  Heavy is the head that wears the crown: An ator-centric approach to psychological power, abusive behavior, and perceived incivility.  Academy of Management Journal: 

John Bargh: Episode 155. Dante, Coffee and the Unconscious Mind:

John Bargh, Episode 248. Do We Control Situations or Do Situations Control Us? 

Vanessa Bohns, Episode 253. Why You Don‘t Need to be Powerful to be Influential:

Musical Links 

Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen “This Old Porch”:

Jim Croce “Operator”:

Rancid “Fall Back Down”:

Jimmy Buffett “Margaritaville”:

How do we make decisions? What factors influence the final outcome? Do default settings change our preferences? Every decision we make; from choosing something on a menu to deciding whether to be an organ donor, is influenced by our environmental context and the default selections presented to us. 

Professor Eric J. Johnson has distilled the latest behavioral science research into his newest book, The Elements of Choice: Why the Way We Decide Matters, and we are thrilled to talk with him about it on this episode of Behavioral Grooves.

Eric is Director of the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia Business School at Columbia University. He examines the interaction between Behavioral Decision Research, Economics and consumer decision making. The implications of his research come together in real world applications such as public policy and marketing.

Eric talks with us about how options are presented to decision-makers and how framing affects choices. Our decisions are “assembled”, as Eric likes to put it, in the moment and are not necessarily pre-determined by our preferences. Choice architects have very influential power over decision-makers but Eric highlights to us that we are all designers, and with that comes a moral responsibility. 


(3:56) How Leading Human™ can help with returning to the office.

(6:28) Welcome and speed round.

(8:00) How interference affects our decision making. 

(10:32) The controversy of organ donation defaults.

(16:32) We are all designers using the tools of choice architecture.

(19:21) How sludge impacts our decision making.

(22:42) How context influences defaults.

(26:14) What factors moderate the impact of default settings?

(29:01) Making choices in the real world vs. classic economic thinking.

(32:18) The effects of asking people how long they will live vs. what year they expect to die.

(35:04) Smart defaults: defaults set specifically for you.

(38:02) What is Query Theory?

(39:15) Choice architecture around vaccinations.

(42:44) What area does Eric want to research in the future?

(44:44) What music does Eric default to?

(52:24) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on how to apply Eric’s research to our lives.


© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

Leading Human™ Workbook and Playbook:

Leading Human™, Free Whitepaper Download:

Leading Human™ Workshop on Dec 14th, 2021 (more dates to be added soon):

Promo Code: GROOVERS to receive $20 off (limited time offer for listeners).

The Elements of Choice: Why the Way We Decide Matters” by Eric J. Johnson:

"Do Defaults Save Lives?" by Johnson, Eric, and Daniel Goldstein. Science 302 (2003): 

Sludge: What Stops Us from Getting Things Done and What to Do about It” by Cass Sunstein:

Tim Kachuriak, Episode 221: Donating Our Money Is Irrational, So Why Do We Do It? Tim Kachuriak Explains Our Motivations:

Time to Retire: Why Americans Claim Benefits Early and How to Encourage Them to Delay” In Behavioral Science and Policy (2015). Coauthor(s): Kirstin Appelt, Melissa Knoll, Eric Johnson, Jonathan Westfall: 

Musical Links 

Eric Dolphy “Out to Lunch!”:

Django Reinhardt “Three-Fingered Lightning”: 

David Grisman Quartet “Dawg Funk”: 

Jerry Garcia “How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You”: 


Caroline Shaw & Sō Percussion “Let The Soil Play a Simple Part”: 

George E. Lewis “Mind In Flux” at the BBC Proms 2021: 

Bruce Springsteen “Tougher Than The Rest”: 

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