Katy Milkman is no ordinary behavioral scientist. She’s a Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at Wharton and has a secondary faculty appointment in the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. She’s Co-Director, with Angela Duckworth, at the non-profit Behavior Change for Good Initiative. She’s the host of one of our favorite podcasts, called Choiceology, she is in the middle of writing a book, and she’s a Mom and Partner all at the same time.

We are grateful to her for taking time to record a conversation with us about her work on temptation bundling, the sorts of projects she’s getting at the Behavior Change for Good organization, and a few tidbits about what her book, coming out in 2021, will have in store for the readers.

Most importantly, Katy shared three important pieces of wisdom about behavior change during our conversation:

  1. Behavior change is hard – cut yourself some slack.
  2. We humans are not built to do the right thing all the time. 
  3. Just keep trying.

Stay tuned for our BONUS TRACK at the end where we review key takeaways and offer up a Groove idea for the week!

NOTE: This podcast was recorded before Katy Milkman became a podcast phenom of her own and the audio quality in this episode, to put it diplomatically, lacks sparkle. However, we talked to Katy again in episode 232 and we think you’ll the conversation and audio much better there:

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

 (C) 2019 Behavioral Grooves


Katy Milkman, PhD: http://www.katherinemilkman.com/

Katy Milkman – Twitter: @katy_milkman

Behavior Change for Good: https://bcfg.wharton.upenn.edu/

Choiceology podcast: https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/podcast

Temptation Bundling: https://mayooshin.com/temptation-bundling/

Fresh Start Effect: https://faculty.wharton.upenn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Dai_Fresh_Start_2014_Mgmt_Sci.pdf

Charles Duhigg: https://charlesduhigg.com/

BJ Fogg Maui Habit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L1R7OtJhWs

Robert Cialdini, PhD: https://www.robertcialdinibf.com/

Francesca Gino, PhD: https://francescagino.com/

Angela Duckworth, PhD: https://angeladuckworth.com/


Kurt Nelson: kurt@lanterngroup.com

Tim Houlihan: tim@behavioralchemy.com


Musical Links

Michael Jackson: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Jackson

Taylor Swift: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Swift

Chris Nave, PhD is the Associate Director of the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Program at the University of Pennsylvania. We caught up with Chris at the NoBeC conference (Norms and Behavioral Change Conference) at UPenn. NoBeC brought together some of the brightest researchers in the field and we got to attend!

The Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program is in its 3rd year with 75 students from 12 countries. The students come from jobs in restaurants, fire stations, small businesses, and global corporations and they intend to leave UPenn with an understanding of what it means to be a behavioral scientist, but not actually BE one.

We met Chris through our friend, Jeff Kreisler, and we instantly connected as members of the same tribe. But it was even cooler when Chris invited us to attend the conference and to record conversations with some of the researchers.

This episode is the cornerstone of the series we recorded at the University of Pennsylvania and we are excited to share an over of the master’s program from Chris Nave.



Chris Nave: cnave@upenn.edu

UPenn Masters of Behavioral Change Program: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/mbds/contact

Piyush Tantia: https://www.linkedin.com/in/piyush-tantia-4727b74/


Musical Links

Baby Shark: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrplOhMSoDU

The Cure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXCKLJGLENs

Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dark Necessity”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWioV5tO1lk

Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M11SvDtPBhA

AFI: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Yzu-4kJg6g

Vivaldi “Four Seasons”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnDLlajMxyo

Chris Brown is in human risk management and practice is set in backcountry snow. He grew up outside of Philadelphia and after graduating with a degree in Urban Design/Architecture, he moved to Utah to pursue certification with the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) in avalanche training. 

Chris works as a ski guide and avalanche/snow science professional, but his real job is helping skiers overcome their biases. He incorporates the work of Kahneman and Tversky, Richard Thaler and other great researchers into his classes and we found his intentionality in decision making noteworthy.

We had a great conversation with Chris and we also want to express our gratitude to friend and colleague, Ben Granlund, for connecting us with Chris. Ben attended one of Chris’ classes and found it so engaging that he referred us to Chris. Ben was also delighted that Chris relies heavily on behavioral science and reminds us that the biggest threat to your life in avalanche country is your own decision making.

After our recording stopped, we discussed Guide Services for training. If you are interested, check out AMGA (amga.com) and the American Avalanche Association: https://www.americanavalancheassociation.org/



Chris Brown Email: chrisbr862@gmail.com 

Chris Brown Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cbskiclimb/ 

Ian McCammon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKeoF53syKw

Phil Tetlock “Super Forecasters”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rV5Gicb66WA

Familiarity Bias: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Familiarity_heuristic

Expert Halo: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect

System 1 / System 2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow

Premortem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-mortem

Bruce Tremper: https://backcountrymagazine.com/stories/video-avalanche-expert-bruce-tremper-risk/

Bayesian Decision Making: https://wiki.lesswrong.com/wiki/Bayesian_decision_theory

First Tracks: https://www.boston.com/culture/ski-guru/2012/01/31/its_all_about_f

Laurence Gonzales “Deep Survival”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTyfvOrEm1w

Wicked Learning Environments: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5c5d/33b858eaf38f6a14b3f042202f1f44e04326.pdf

Daniel Kahneman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kahneman

The Tao of Wu: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tao_of_Wu


Kurt Nelson: @motivationguru

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan


Musical Links

Hip Hop: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hip_hop

Reggae: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggae

Classical Music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_music

Death Metal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_metal

Steel Pulse: https://steelpulse.com/

Wu Tang Clan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBwAxmrE194

MadLib: https://www.stonesthrow.com/madlib

Gang Starr: https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/gang-starr-guru-bad-name-video-909996/

John Coltrane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH3mb3oXCpw

Marcus Miller: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kCi-SsYD5s

Stanley Clarke: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcuigwtdzS4

Bela Fleck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWIfFIEeZjw

Victor Wooten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzL4BkqmzDQ

Herbie Hancock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHhD4PD75zY

Sometimes things just go better in twos and that was the case regarding our guests for this episode. Zarak Kahn is the Behavioral Innovation Director at Maritz and Erik Johnson is an independent Behavioral Science Consultant. They are the co-hosts of Action Design Radio and board members at Action Design Network. Kurt and Tim have known them as coaches and colleagues and wanted to talk to them about all of that.

We discussed how the application of behavioral science continues to grow in both the corporate and policy words. Today, there are more jobs, more workshops, more bachelor's programs, more masters programs, more PhD programs, more meetups and more bootcamps than ever before. We expressed our collective desires to make behavioral science so easy to do it will be ingrained into every job from UX to Marketing to HR, and how we’d like to see people applying a behavioral lens in all of their decision-making.

In our grooving session, Kurt and Tim emphasized the importance of expanding the community of people applying behavioral science and we are grateful to share the mantle with very bright and fine folk like Erik and Zarak.



Erik Johnson Twitter: https://twitter.com/erikleejohnson 

Erik Johnson LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erikleejohnson/ 

Erik Johnson Website: erikj.net 

Zarak Kahn LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/khanzarak/

Action Design Network: http://www.action-design.org/

Action Design Radio (podcast): https://actiondesignradio.libsyn.com/

Robert Cialdini: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini

Dan Kahneman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Kahneman

Richard Thaler: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Thaler

Cass Sunstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cass_Sunstein


Musical Links

Idles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuQG6_evFc8

Local Natives: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_Natives

Lana Del Rey: https://lanadelrey.com/

Carley Rae Jepson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic

Wye Oak “The Louder I Call the Faster it Runs”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO7ffikJOE4

Sylvan Esso: http://www.sylvanesso.com/

Johnny Flynn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Flynn_%26_The_Sussex_Wit

Sharon Van Etten: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7sTHoeH0eA

Gillian Welch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ_nWPxrzmE

M Ward: https://mwardmusic.com/

The National: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIWmRbHDhGw

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