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:

UPenn Masters of Behavioral Change Program:

Piyush Tantia:


Musical Links

Baby Shark:

The Cure:

Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dark Necessity”:

Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA”:


Vivaldi “Four Seasons”:

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 ( and the American Avalanche Association:



Chris Brown Email: 

Chris Brown Instagram: 

Ian McCammon:

Phil Tetlock “Super Forecasters”:

Familiarity Bias:

Expert Halo:

System 1 / System 2:,_Fast_and_Slow


Bruce Tremper:

Bayesian Decision Making:

First Tracks:

Laurence Gonzales “Deep Survival”:

Wicked Learning Environments:

Daniel Kahneman:

The Tao of Wu:


Kurt Nelson: @motivationguru

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan


Musical Links

Hip Hop:


Classical Music:

Death Metal:

Steel Pulse:

Wu Tang Clan:


Gang Starr:

John Coltrane:

Marcus Miller:

Stanley Clarke:

Bela Fleck:

Victor Wooten:

Herbie Hancock:

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: 

Erik Johnson LinkedIn: 

Erik Johnson Website: 

Zarak Kahn LinkedIn:

Action Design Network:

Action Design Radio (podcast):

Robert Cialdini:

Dan Kahneman:

Richard Thaler:

Cass Sunstein:


Musical Links


Local Natives:

Lana Del Rey:

Carley Rae Jepson:

Wye Oak “The Louder I Call the Faster it Runs”:

Sylvan Esso:

Johnny Flynn:

Sharon Van Etten:

Gillian Welch:

M Ward:

The National: