[NOTE: This episode is republished from #178 in October 2020.]

Kwame Christian, Esq. is the author of “Nobody Will Play With Me: How to Use Compassionate Curiosity to Find Confidence in Conflict.” He is the host of two podcasts, “Negotiate Anything” and “Ask With Confidence.” He is a professor at The Ohio State University Law School and is the director of the American Negotiation Institute. Kwame’s educational background combines an undergraduate degree in psychology, a masters in public policy, and a juris doctor. Yup – a classic underachiever. (NOT)

Kurt and Tim got to talk to Kwame about the behavioral science hidden in his practical techniques. For instance, we discussed how to be more effective in negotiations by managing our emotions and how to reframe our negotiations as opportunities. He went on to say that negotiations are really “the art of discovery.” We also discussed the decades-old myth of the win-win negotiation – you guessed right: it’s a myth!

Kwame also dropped more sound-bite bombs in our conversation than any other guest. There are tons and tons of takeaways from this conversation that you can put to use in your work or home life right away.

And if that’s not enough, he’s got the most eclectic musical tastes of any guest on Behavioral Grooves so far. Check it out.

We are grateful to our friend Brian Ahearn who introduced us to Kwame in May 2020.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Kwame Christian on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kwamechristian/

Kwame on Negotiations: https://americannegotiationinstitute.com/

Finding Confidence in Conflict: How to Negotiate Anything and Live Your Best Life: https://amzn.to/3E19685 

Kwame’s Podcast Negotiate Anything: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/negotiate-anything/id1101679010

Kwame’s TED talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6Zg65eK9XU

Kwame as Ohio State Law Professor: https://moritzlaw.osu.edu/faculty/kwame-christian/

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/cognitive-behavioral-therapy/about/pac-20384610

Matthew Walker, “Why We Sleep”: https://amzn.to/3tuMeZC 

Them-Us-Fit-Action: https://blog.cmbinfo.com/crc-2018-how-to-engage-todays-corporate-research-buyer

Behavioral Grooves Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves 

Musical Links

Bob Marley “Wait in Vain”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtgP0EQmWVk

Calypso: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpUh5wUBkbM

Soca (Soul Calypso): https://medium.com/@jada.steuart/soca-then-and-now-d5674e9f2b0c

Reggae: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyscBx0UWkY

Dub Step: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ1txLdu6qg

Hip-hop: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4t-BLUi3eAI

Rap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGj3nv36M1o

Ska: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Weu3b8Nd40

Smooth Jazz: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--cmYzvVASc

AC/DC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC/DC

“Under the Graveyard” by Ozzie Osbourne: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iuzyA5gDa4E

Major Lazer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqeW9_5kURI

The Clash “Should I Stay or Should I Go”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGIFublvDes

The Police: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4VjsqR5Vbc

George Benson “Breezin”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVc5rCl0BIs

Grover Washington “Just the Two of Us”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqX7WX6jFdw

David Benoit “Lucy and Linus”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOg17QnLGVs

Earl Klugh & Bob James: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTOZxnBEPJA

Lee Ritenour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMXCSiufPYA

The Rippingtons: https://www.rippingtons.com/

How can behavioral science aid the mammoth task of vaccination the world against Covid? What common barriers cause vaccine hesitancy in populations around the globe? And how can behavioral design overcome them? 

Born out of frustration, while trying to eliminate Polio from Pakistan, the global behavioral design agency Common Thread (www.gocommonthread.com) was born. They use findings from psychology, anthropology, economics and sociology, to identify and analyze behavioral insights. Bringing a people-centered approach to the world's toughest public health problems.

We are delighted to be joined on this podcast episode with the co-founder, director and lead storyteller of Common Thread, Michael Coleman. He talks with us about his new publication, “The Little Jab Book: 18 Behavioral Science Strategies for Increasing Vaccination Uptake” (www.vax-up.org) and the global projects that he is currently collaborating on.


(6:24) Speed round questions.

(8:55) Applying behavioral science to global health concerns.

(9:47) How Common Thread was started and why it focuses on putting people at the center of public health problems.

(11:30) The complexities Mike faced with the Polio Eradication Plan in Pakistan.

(14:02) What is the mission of Common Thread?

(15:52) What tools does Common Thread use to change behavior?

(18:59) How can removing friction from decisions make a big difference in people’s responses?

(23:00) About The Little Jab Book: 18 Behavioral Science Strategies for Increasing Vaccination Uptake.

(25:33) Who The Little Jab Book is intended for?

(27:01) What are the barriers to vaccinating the world against Covid?

(31:50) How vaccine hesitant conversations can impact public health responses.

(34:28) Work with UNICEF to create individual country responses to vaccination barriers.

(39:16) What music would Mike take to a desert island? 

(41:43) How Common Thread uses music to foster an inclusive work culture.

(43:35) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim summarizing the application of Mike’s insights.

Behavioral Grooves has a Patreon page to help fund our work, please consider donating a small amount to our podcast at www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves. We also love reading your reviews, tweets and comments about the podcast; these help others find out about us too. But most of all, thanks for listening!

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Common Thread: www.gocommonthread.com/ 

Michael Coleman: www.gocommonthread.com/blog/person/michael-coleman/ 

Common Thread newsletter “The Stitch”: www.gocommonthread.com/the-stitch/ 

The Little Jab Book: 18 Behavioral Science Strategies for Increasing Vaccination Uptake: www.vax-up.org

Behavioral Insights lab set up with Gavi for immunization oriented to the global south: “From Idea to Immunization”: www.gocommonthread.com/work/global-gavi-bi/ 

Barry’s tea: www.barrystea.ie/

Sherine Guirguis: www.gocommonthread.com/about/ 

Harvard School of Public Health: www.hsph.harvard.edu/social-and-behavioral-sciences/ 

UNICEF: www.unicef.org/ 

The Global Vaccine Allowance: www.gavi.org

The Gates Foundation: www.gatesfoundation.org

Vax-Up: www.vax-up.org

PATH: www.path.org

BUSARA: www.busaracenter.org/ 

The New York Times Global Vaccination Tracker: https://nyti.ms/2WNx1Xt 

Rob Burnet, Well Told Story: www.africa-asa.com/rob-burnet/ 

Episode 202: How Chaning Jang Works Around Not Being WEIRD: www.behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-chaning-jang-works-around-not-being-weird/

Episode 223: How Behavioral Science Can Impact Nonprofits: The Inspiring Story at Save The Children: www.behavioralgrooves.com/episode/behavioral-science-and-nonprofits/

Musical Links

 Nina Simone “Stars” (Montreux Festival in 1976): https://bit.ly/38Dv7Lz 

Jeff Buckley “Grace”: https://bit.ly/3BG9OW4 

Jeff Buckley (Live in Frankfurt, 1995): https://bit.ly/3h0XMi7 

The Tragically Hip “Ahead By a Century”: https://bit.ly/38G2kGm 

Common Thread Spotify Playlist: https://spoti.fi/3yHvsYf 

Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou, a 93 year old Ethiopian jazz pianist: https://spoti.fi/3zPhlBG

Few psychologists in the world have contributed more to scientific discovery than our guest Richard E. Nisbett. He joins us to discuss his latest book, the title of which embodies one of his favorite activities: Thinking: A Memoir. Thinking weaves Richard’s personal story through his research journey, painting a richer sense of the thought process behind his discoveries. 

Richard E. Nisbett is the Theodore M. Newcomb Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Michigan. Many of his previous books have been co-authored with his collaborator and friend, the late Lee Ross. The two first met in graduate school when they studied under the ground-breaking researcher Stanley Schachter at Columbia University. 

Later in his career, alongside Tim Wilson, the two made the ground-breaking observation: they noted that we can only identify "what people think about how they think," but not "how they really think." Join our podcast conversation with Richard to explore how we can improve our thinking, reasoning and decision making.

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves. 

Topics we Discuss with Richard E. Nisbett

(3:20) Welcome and speed round.

(7:25) What motivated Richard to write his memoir? 

(12:12) Why do we so readily disregard base rates?

(15:56) Why do we disconnect ourselves from the behavior in Stanley Milgram’s experiment? 

(17:21) Richard’s work on Attribution Theory.

(20:25) How does our unconscious mind affect our behaviors and decision making?

(23:27) Richard’s insight on why we rationalize our decision making.

(27:13) Working in a vacuum in academia.

(30:03) Interdisciplinary work at Michigan University.

(32:23) Can we teach people to become better at reasoning?

(39:15) The problems with replicating social psychology studies.

(46:28) What is Richard thinking about these days?

(51:32) What music would Richard take a desert island?

(57:13) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing their interview with Richard.


© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

Books by Richard E. Nisbett

Thinking: A Memoir: https://amzn.to/341F4A4 

Intelligence and How to Get It: Why Schools and Cultures Count: https://amzn.to/3fALT0L 

The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why: https://amzn.to/3u728bj 

Culture Of Honor: The Psychology Of Violence In The South (New Directions in Social Psychology): https://amzn.to/3ub2FJu 

Thought and Feeling: Cognitive Alteration of Feeling States: https://amzn.to/2Rqgw1f 

Rules for Reasoning: https://amzn.to/3hDj6LJ 

The Person and the Situation: https://amzn.to/2S6tfGa 

Links from our Interview

Lee Ross “The Person and the Situation: Perspectives of Social Psychology”: https://amzn.to/3iYN3q5 

Stanley Schachter “The Psychology of Affiliation: Experimental Studies of the Sources of Gregariousness”: https://amzn.to/3sEQQw1 

Malcom Gladwell “Outliers: The Story of Success”: https://amzn.to/3xWZdnw 

Michael Lewis Book about Dnaiel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, “The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds”: https://amzn.to/3iYwIlg 

Richard Thaler “Nudge: The FInal Edition”: https://amzn.to/3srwyWs 

Stanley Milgram Experiment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment 

Cary Grant: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cary_Grant

Timothy Wilson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Wilson

Russell Sage Foundation: https://www.russellsage.org/ 

University of Michigan: https://umich.edu/ 

Jean Piaget: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Piaget 

Episode 155: John Bargh: Dante, Coffee and the Unconscious Mind: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/john-bargh-dante-coffee-and-the-unconscious-mind/

Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com/news/author/peggy-noonan 

The Week: https://www.theweek.co.uk/

Episode 67: George Loewenstein: On a Functional Theory of Boredom: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/george-loewenstein-on-a-functional-theory-of-boredom/

Musical Links

Beethoven “The Emperor Concerto”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPx7P6YvHYw

Beethoven 7th symphony, 2nd Movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgHxmAsINDk

Schubert “Serenade”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=biUv4VLW0fc

Can we control our unconscious behavior? How much does the situation we’re in control us? Can we prime people to behave a certain way? Is it even ethical to try? To what degree do cultural identity and stereotyping impact the automaticity of our actions?

Following on from our discussion with Dr Philip Zimbardo PhD, in our last episode (#247) about the Stanford Prison Experiment, we reached out to our friend and previous guest (episode #155), Dr John Bargh PhD, social psychologist at Yale University. As the world’s leading expert on the unconscious mind, John gave us fresh insight on how our behavior is primed by factors such as our cultural identity and even by who we are thinking about.

Interestingly our conversation shifted towards changing attitudes in society and in particular the inspiration stance that athletes such as Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka have taken recently to prioritize their mental health. John describes them as pioneers: “what pioneers and leaders do is they give an alternative example for the other people and say, “You know what, you don't have to do this, here's what I did.

In our last interview with John, he left us with some parting wisdom; to hug our children more. We couldn’t resist asking him for some more wise words, so listen to the end to find out John’s advice to all of us.

Word of mouth continues to be the best way for new listeners to find Behavioral Grooves. Please consider sharing your favorite episodes with your friends. And if you want to help more, your financial support goes a long way. You can donate via our Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves. And thank you to all of our loyal listeners who already donate to our podcast.

Topics we discuss with John Bargh

(3:58) Welcome to John Bargh and speed round questions.

(7:50) Nature vs nurture?

(11:51) A summary of John’s research on automaticity and priming.

(15:04) How you activate a different cultural identity.

(19:42) How did the Stanford Prison Experiment impact social psychology research?

(25:09) Do we control situations or do situations control us?

(30:14) Can you prime someone to commit murder?

(35:17) How Simone Biles is an example of changing attitudes in society.

(37:14) Are employees starting to self-select which corporation they work for?

(44:29) What direction is the research on priming and automaticity heading in the future?

(47:33) What research is John engaged in right now?

(50:08) How can we prevent ourselves from being influenced by our context?

(52:46) John’s wise parting advice.

(56:28) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing the interview.


© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


John Bargh book “Before You Know It: The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do”: https://amzn.to/3yUHka8 

Episode 155: John Bargh: Dante, Coffee and the Unconscious Mind: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/john-bargh-dante-coffee-and-the-unconscious-mind/

William James: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_James 

Rozin, Paul. (1976): “The evolution of intelligence and access to the cognitive unconscious.” Progress in Psychobiology and Physiological Psychology: https://bit.ly/37JnBhI 

Cushman, Fiery (2019): “Rationalization is Rational”, Behavioral and Brain Sciences: https://bit.ly/2VRicTG 

Episode 229: From Holding the Mic to Theory of Mind: Rob Leonard’s Love of Language: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/rob-leonards-love-of-language/

Stanford Prison Experiment: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/stanford-prison-experiment/ 

Rosanna Summers: http://www.roseannasommers.com/ 

Vanessa Bohns: “You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Power of Persuasion, and Why It Matters”: https://amzn.to/3g5Omlg 

Lee Ross: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Ross 

Kerri Strug: https://www.today.com/news/kerri-strug-shares-her-support-simone-biles-rest-usa-gymnasts-t226636 

Simone Biles: https://www.simonebiles.com/ 

Naomi Osaka: https://www.naomiosaka.com/ 

Episode 147: Gary Latham, PhD: Goal Setting, Prompts, Priming, and Skepticism: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/gary-latham-goal-setting-prompts/

Support Behavioral Grooves Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves

Musical Links 

Jimi Hendrix “Somewhere”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-THhwh5mNI 

Jimmy Page (Led Zepplin) “Stairway to Heaven”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkF3oxziUI4 

The Stanford Prison Experiment has been the topic of movies, newspaper articles, textbooks and TV shows. Extensively published controversy has surrounded the social psychology experiment ever since it was conducted in 1971. Now on the 50th Anniversary, we invite you to listen to a very unique interview with the man who orchestrated it all; Dr Philip Zimbardo PhD. 

  • Was the Stanford Prison Experiment designed to measure the corruption of power?
  • Were participants influenced by the context of the experiment itself and pressured into performing a role?
  • How exactly did the environment influence the behavior of the participants, including Dr Philip Zimbardo himself? As he quotes; “a bad barrel can take a good apple, and make it bad”.

At Stanford University in 1971, influenced by the work of his friend Stanley Milgram, Philip Zimbardo assembled a mock prison in the basement of the university and used male student volunteers to become the guards and prisoners. What unfolded in the coming days surprised even Philip Zimbardo.

What is less known about Philip Zimbardo is that he has since done extensive research on shyness, cult behavior, time perception, and more recently on heroism. According to him, we are all “heroes in waiting”, and he has founded the Heroic Imagination Project to help cultivate the heroes among us. 

Our discussion with Dr Z (as he asked us to call him!) weaves through an enlightening reflection on his upbringing, the influence of his family and peers, and his transition into academia. Kurt and Tim intercept the conversation throughout to provide explanation and insights. And we end with how Dr Z’s work can influence our behavior now. What can we really learn from the Stanford Prison Experiment? And how can we all become a hero in waiting?


(2:59) Introducing Dr. Philip Zimbardo.

(4:30) Dr Z’s upbringing in the Bronx.

(6:40) The significance of Dr Z’s classmates at James Monroe High School.

(11:06) How racism influenced Dr Z’s application to Yale.

(16:18) How Dr Z started the Stanford Prison Experiment.

(19:05) What Dr Z was trying to understand from the experiment.

(20:04) What went wrong.

(21:59) How abusive guard David Eshelman explained his behavior.

(23:10) Controversy around the experiment and why it ended early.

(27:07) Chip Frederick’s abusive behavior at Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraqi War.

(30:15) If you can cultivate evil behavior, can you also cultivate heroic behavior?

(33:36) The 4 steps to becoming a "Hero in Training".

(35:14) Dr Z’s offer to help with police brutality in the US.

(37:04) Takeaways: how to be aware and intentional with our behavior.

We look forward to welcoming you back next week for more about why context matters with esteemed Yale social psychologist, Dr John Bargh PhD. 

Please consider donating to our podcast work through Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves).

We also love hearing from our listeners, please leave us a podcast review or reach out to us on Twitter:

Kurt Nelson @motivationguru

Tim Houlihan @THoulihan

Mary Kaliff @BeSciMary

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Stanley Milgram: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Milgram 

Solomon Asch - Conformity Experiment: https://www.simplypsychology.org/asch-conformity.html 

Charlie Parker “All The Things You Are”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTORd2Y_X6U 

Episode 76: Nurit Nobel: De-Biasing the Recruiting Process: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/nurit-nobel-de-biasing-the-recruiting-process/

Chip Frederick: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/oct/22/usa.iraq 

Heroic Imagination Project: https://www.heroicimagination.org/ 

The truth is we divulge more information to Google that we do to our friends, our family or even our doctors. Our social media persona can paint a very different picture to what we secretly search for on Google. So what do search trends in Google tell us about ourselves and our society? Does it matter that we are different on Google than in person?

Author of bestseller Everybody Lies (https://amzn.to/32ULlgD), Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, tells us how data can unlock the keys to happier relationships and even how to better parent our children.

Topics We Discuss with Seth:

(3:15) Welcome and speed round questions.

(12:53) Are people more honest with Google or with their friends? 

(16:01) The juxtaposition between our social media presence and our Google searches.

(21:03) Does everybody really lie? 

(26:06) Why people lie about sex.

(30:00) Why your children’s outcome is affected by your location. 

(36:37) Using more data and less intuition to make decisions. 

(44:28) The data to use and not to use for successful dating.

(47:57) What age do we get hooked on music?

(54:10) Do people lie about music?

Join us for our follow-on discussion in Episode 245 where Kurt and Tim have a Grooving Session on what they have talked about with Seth: the effect of context with honesty, tips for successful dating and the influences surrounding our children.

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves). We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which gives other listeners social proof that we’re worth listening to!

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Behavioral Grooves new website: www.behavioralgrooves.com 

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: http://sethsd.com/ 

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are”: https://amzn.to/32ULlgD 

The Myth of the “Relationship Spark” with Logan Ury (featuring a guest appearance by Christina Gravert, PhD): https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/relationship-spark-logan-ury/ 

Dan Ariely, “Let Me Come Right Out and Say It: You Cheat”: https://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/let-me-come-right-out-and-say-it-you-cheat/ 

Bernie Madoff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernie_Madoff

Shankar Vedantam, “Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain”: https://amzn.to/2PUkzlv 

Raj Chetty: http://www.rajchetty.com/ 

Dan Levitin, “This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession”: https://amzn.to/3C45iSh 

Episode 171: Self Control, Belonging, and Why Your Most Dedicated Employees Are the Ones To Watch Out For with Roy Baumeister https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/self-control-belonging-and-why-your-most-dedicated-employees-are-the-ones-to-watch-out-for-with-roy-baumeister/

Episode 220: How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets:  https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-to-be-influential-jon-levy/

Moneyball movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moneyball_(film) 

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, “The Songs That Bind”: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/10/opinion/sunday/favorite-songs.html 

Episode 219: Why Music Makes You Feel Better with Pablo Ripollés and Ernest Mas Herrero: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/why-music-makes-you-feel-better/

Elizabeth Ki, Behavioral Scientist at Spotify: http://elizabethdkim.com/ 

Episode 218: Share, Like, Comment: Sandra Matz PhD Exposes The Truth Behind your Digital Footprint: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/your-digital-footprint/

Musical Links

Leonard Cohen “Famous Blue Raincoat”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohk3DP5fMCg 

Leonard Cohen “Alexandra Leaving”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELGaHaZzwjU

Leonard Cohen “Suzanne”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svitEEpI07E

Bruce Springsteen “Dancing in the Dark”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=129kuDCQtHs 

Bob Dylan “Too Late”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUT7N8RYgSI 

Paul Simon “Late in The Evening”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_K5qIA1IVIA 

Crosby, Stills and Nash “Just a Song Before I Go”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UoneXjfBC0 

Dave Matthews Band “Funny The Way it Is”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNiS9T-I2Eg&pp=sAQA 

Katy Perry “Smile”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZA5heWazIQ 

Duran Duran “Invisible”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMCd5zrsFpE 

Justin Bieber “Intentions”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AyMjyHu1bA 

The Beatles “Come Together”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45cYwDMibGo 

This follow-up episode is a free-flowing Grooving Session where Tim and Kurt chat about their discussion with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz (Episode 246). You’re more than welcome to listen to this as a stand alone episode, but we recommend first tuning in to our interview with Seth, and then joining us here for some banter about Seth’s work. 

Questions we discuss: 

  • Are we more likely to be untruthful in certain contexts? 
  • Is lying a useful delusion? 
  • Can we ever justify lies? 
  • How do the connections we make with others affect our relationships and our children? 
  • Does where we are born really influence us the rest of our lives? 
  • What traits should we definitely look for when dating?
  • How is our brain influenced by music?

Tim and Kurt chat about these questions and more in this Grooving Session, which follows on from our interview episode with Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, author of bestselling book Everybody Lies (https://amzn.to/32ULlgD).

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves). We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which gives other listeners social proof that we’re worth listening to!

Grooving Session Links

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: http://sethsd.com/ 

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Arehttps://amzn.to/32ULlgD 

Episode 222: How Delusions Can Actually Be Useful: Shankar Vedantam Reveals How https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/shankar-vedantam-useful-delusions/

Episode 110: Steve Martin and Joe Marks: The Messenger is the Message: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/steve-martin-and-joe-marks-the-messenger-is-the-message/

Episode 240: Why Good, Honest Employees Really Do Steal With Kelly Paxton: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/pink-collar-crime-kelly-paxton/

Dr Melody S. Goodman, PhD “Zip code better predictor of health than genetic code”: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/zip-code-better-predictor-of-health-than-genetic-code/ 

Episode 244: Does Money Really Make You Happy? The Research with Johannes Haushofer: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/does-money-make-you-happy/  

Episode 230: How Good People Fight Bias with Dolly Chugh: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-good-people-fight-bias/

Episode 220: How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-to-be-influential-jon-levy/

Behavioral Grooves musical links for all of our guests: https://behavioralgrooves.com/artists/ 

What link is there between happiness and income? Does winning the lottery make you happier? What does the research say about poverty and our mental health? 

Our guest on this episode has researched the psychological effects money has on our wellbeing and on our society. Johannes Haushofer is the Assistant Professor of Economics at Stockholm University and has taught at Princeton University for the past six years. 

Johannes realized that not enough research on these topics has been conducted outside of the Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic countries (WEIRD countries). So he founded the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Nairobi, Kenya: https://busaracenter.org/. We talk with him about how he founded the center and what research he has been able to do there.

A few years ago, in an effort to make a friend feel better Johannes published his ‘CV of Failures’ that detailed every degree program that had rejected him and all the research funding he didn’t get. It went viral as people lapped up the counterintuitive idea of celebrating failure.  

Despite having a well published list of failures, Johannes has a multitude of successes. One of which is that he is a serious vocalist with access to a deeper range in his lower voice known as the vocal fry register. We have a great discussion about the central role that music has played in his life.

Topics We Discuss with Johannes

(2:21) Welcome and speed round questions.

(4:06) What is the relationship between income and happiness?

(12:24) How spending changes when people are given one lump sum of money vs. monthly payments.

(15:51) What research is there about Universal Basic Income?

(17:43) What effect does winning the lottery have on us?

(21:17) Why Johannes’ “CV of Failures” that went viral.

(26:00) Johannes’ views on the replication crisis in psychology.

(29:21) How Johannes founded the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Kenya.

(33:20) The link between mental health and poverty.

(35:07) How stress impacts choices.

(36:16) Johannes’ experience of singing in Swedish Choirs.

Listen next to our Grooving Session (episode #243) where Kurt and Tim discuss the insight from our interview with Johannes.

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves. We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which gives other listeners social proof that we’re worth listening to!

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves 


Johannes Haushofer site: https://haushofer.ne.su.se/ 

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics: https://busaracenter.org/ 


TEDMED Talk: "Johannes Haushofer, The Psychological Consequences of Poverty" https://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=621424 

Vocal Fry Register: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_fry_register 

Johannes Haushofer, CV of Failures: https://www.uni-goettingen.de/de/document/download/bed2706fd34e29822004dbe29cd00bb5.pdf/Johannes_Haushofer_CV_of_Failures[1].pdf 

Episode 41: Michael Hallsworth: From MINDSPACE to EAST: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/michael-hallsworth-from-mindspace-to-east/

Melanie Stefan “Keeping a visible record of your rejected applications can help others to deal with setbacks”: https://www.nature.com/articles/nj7322-467a 

Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, “Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation?”: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.103.3.598 

Episode 176: Annie Duke on How to Decide: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/annie-duke-on-how-to-decide/

Episode 202: How Chaning Jang Works Around Not Being WEIRD: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-chaning-jang-works-around-not-being-weird/

Behavioral Grooves Patreon https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves

Musical Links

Johannes singing a Sea Shanty: https://twitter.com/jhaushofer/status/1351267627461734402?s=20  

Johannes singing on the streets of Stockholm:   https://twitter.com/jhaushofer/status/851066608109924352?s=20  

Johannes’ Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/16NMYSIfdiaz7K81AFGPtJ?si=gdqJ7xQSRQObxsJaN7r1Og

Joan Baez “Diamonds and Rust”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrVD0bP_ybg 

St Olaf Choir, “Shenandoah”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBiP_kDI-Ak 

Alex Dmitrieff (Basso Profondo) - Alliluia - Russian Orthodox Male Choir of Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv0nuACLqJE&ab_channel=TheOktavismChannel 

Simon & Garfunkel "The Boxer": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3LFML_pxlY&ab_channel=SimonGarfunkelVEVO 

Kurt and Tim discuss the links between poverty and mental health, how higher income is linked to better well-being, and the idea of a Universal Basic Income. This is a free-flowing discussion delving into the insights from their most recent interview with Johannes Haushofer (episode #244), Assistant Professor of Economics at Stockholm University. While you are welcome to listen to this episode as a stand-alone, we recommend you download our interview with Johannes first before joining us here. 

Topics You Will Learn About:

  • Higher income being related to better well-being.
  • The effects of poverty on cognitive function, creativity, stress, health and long-term outcome decisions.
  • Universal Basic Income; the behavior changes it could induce.
  • The replication crisis of research studies in psychology.
  • The value of Johannes studying poverty outside of WEIRD countries.

So there was a pretty strong relationship between income and happiness, both within and across countries. Rich people are happier than poor people within the same country. But also richer countries, on average, are happier than poor countries.” ~ Johannes Haushofer quote from Behavioral Grooves podcast interview.

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves. We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which gives other listeners social proof that we’re worth listening to!


Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, “Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence of Satiation?”: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.103.3.598 

Episode 155: John Bargh: Dante, Coffee and the Unconscious Mind: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/john-bargh-dante-coffee-and-the-unconscious-mind/

Busara Center for Behavioral Economics in Nairobi, Kenya: https://busaracenter.org

Episode 202: How Chaning Jang Works Around Not Being WEIRD: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-chaning-jang-works-around-not-being-weird/

Honesty Tea: https://www.honesttea.com/our-story 

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are”: https://amzn.to/32ULlgD 

Kurt and Tim mention our interview with Richard Nesbitt, which will be released on 8/29/21!

Behavioral Grooves Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves 

What does your customer want but can’t tell you? What effective marketing techniques use behavioral economics? If only you had a way of understanding how your customer’s brain made decisions. Well our guest, Melina Palmer sits down to discuss exactly that. 

Melina Palmer is the founder of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. She also hosts a podcast, The Brainy Business, and has recently published her first book What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics: https://amzn.to/36Rm88I. 

What You Will Learn From Melina Palmer 

(6:23) Melina explains her book “What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You”

(13:30) Why should we care about dopamine? 

(16:26) The effectiveness of using a lottery draw

(20:43) Why is priming so important in marketing? 

(27:41) How Melina helps you to apply her insight 

(30:59) What sparked Melina’s interest in Behavioral Economics?

(32:24) What is the biggest secret that customers can’t tell you?

(33:54) Is the marketing industry still sexist? 

(34:40) The music Melina would take to survive on a desert island 

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves. We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which gives other listeners social proof that we’re worth listening to!

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Melina Palmer, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics: https://amzn.to/36Rm88I 

Episode 109: Melina Palmer: Using Behavioral Economics to Help Businesses: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/melina-palmer-using-behavioral-economics-to-help-businesses/

The Brainy Business: https://thebrainybusiness.com/ 

The Brainy Business Podcast: https://thebrainybusiness.com/podcast/ 

Melina Palmer, INC: https://www.inc.com/author/melina-palmer 

Melina Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebrainybiz/

Melina Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebrainybiz/

Melina YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/thebrainybusiness

Melina Twitter: https://twitter.com/thebrainybiz

Melina LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melina-palmer-36ab8712/

The Brainy Buiness LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-brainy-business/

BE Thoughtful Revolution: https://be-thoughtful-revolution.mn.co/share/Wwg4nTN8qVp21XB3?utm_source=manual

Episode 232: Katy Milkman: How to Make Healthy Habits that Actually Last: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/katy-milkman-habits-that-last/

Episode 226: The Power Of Unity: Robert Cialdini Expands His Best Selling Book Influence: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/cialdini-unity-in-influence/

McDonald’s Monopoly: A Masterclass in Promotions: https://www.talon.one/blog/mcdonalds-monopoly-a-masterclass-in-promotions 

Human Behavior Lab, Certificate Program: https://hbl.tamu.edu/certificate-program/ 

Musical Links

 Paul McCartney “Find My Way”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oSmP3GtOBk 

Lady Gaga “Stupid Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L6xyaeiV58 

John Mayer “Last Train Home”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66Ne5dVDfLM 

Melina’s Pandora station: https://pandora.app.link/UrWQ28B6l3 

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