January 30, 2020

Announcing Weekly Grooves

Kurt and Tim are producing a new podcast called Weekly Grooves, launching January 31, 2020.

Weekly Grooves is the weekly podcast that offers insights into the headlines through a behavioral lens. Kurt and Tim will be applying their more than 40 years of combined experience in behavioral work to give the headlines more relevance and meaning. We are going to put more meat in your sauce!

Check it on Podbean or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. We want YOU to be one of first the Weekly Grooves listeners. And we're giving away a prize to the FIRST person who emails us, tweets us or sends us a message on LinkedIn stating that they listened to Weekly Grooves. 

We hope you enjoy!

Stephen Martin and Joe Marks, PhD dive deep into one of the most important eye-openers about communication in our world today: the importance of WHO delivers the message. Their book, “Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why,” is a major revamp on the claim made by Marshall McLuhan in 1964 that, “The Medium IS the Message.” While Steve and Joe are hard-pressed to say McLuhan’s refrain is dead, it’s being outsized by a more contemporary and relevant one: “The Messenger IS the Message.”

In our conversation with Steve and Joe, we discussed the way they’ve broken down their research and organized their book. The first section is on what they refer to as Hard Messenger Traits: Socio-Economic Position, Competence, Dominance, and Attractiveness. The second section works its way through the Soft Messenger Traits: Warmth, Vulnerability, Trustworthiness, and Charisma. 

Their comments deconstruct how motivated reasoning is more than just aligning our tolerance for untruth with our desires; more importantly, it’s an alignment with the person who is expressing our desires.

To illustrate this point, they asked UK voters if they thought that Boris Johnson lied about Brexit. Seventy-five percent agreed that he did. Then the researchers asked if the voters still considered Johnson trustworthy. For “Leavers,” the lies no impact on his trustworthiness. He wasn’t tainted because his lies served the voters’ underlying goals.

While there are decades of psychological research on the impact the messenger has on the message, no one has synthesized it into a single narrative as Joe and Steve have. It’s an excellent read and we found our discussion with them filled with anecdotal gems and slightly uncomfortable laughter.

It’s also worth noting that Steve is a co-author with Robert Cialdini, PhD on several great papers their groundbreaking book on persuasion. We hope you enjoy our conversation with Joe and Steve.

 © 2020 Behavioral Grooves 



Stephen Martin, PhD: @scienceofyes

Joe Marks, PhD: @joemarks13

“Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why”: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/43522604

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

“YES: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive”: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2208661.Yes_?from_search=true&qid=Tk8IuivDSr&rank=1

John Henry Marks, MD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Marks_(doctor)

“I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts0XG6qDIco


Musical Links

Bettye Swann: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8iSfknnMfc

Otis Redding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTVjnBo96Ug

Prince: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXJhDltzYVQ

ELO “Electric Light Orchestra”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQUlA8Hcv4s

The Beatles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Q_ZzBGPdqE

New Order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYH8DsU2WCk

The Baseballs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DM2177pHMT0

Joy Division: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dBt3mJtgJc

Ed Sheeran: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymjNGjuBCTo

Adel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08DjMT-qR9g

Aretha Franklin “Think”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqYnevHibaI

Aretha Franklin “Respect”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FOUqQt3Kg0

Right Said Fred “I’m Too Sexy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5mtclwloEQ

AC/DC “Back in Black”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoMLhnvV-yM

Melina Palmer is the host of The Brainy Business podcast and she has dedicated her career to seeking answers to these questions for herself and her clients. Melina uses behavioral economics to help everyone from global corporations to entrepreneurs understand the psychology of why people buy, unlocking the secrets of small changes that make a big difference via her podcast, public speaking, and column on Inc.com. The result is messaging, branding, advertisements, pricing and products that are more “brain-friendly” (meaning more leads, conversions, and revenue).

Our conversation with Melina covered the anchoring effect and what a powerful tool it can be for both sellers and buyers alike. We also chatted about her John Mayer playlist on Pandora and some of the things she’s doing to make the world a better place through the education of behavioral economics and neuroscience.

Kurt and Tim are also announcing our newest podcast, Weekly Grooves, which will be launching shortly, and we hope you’ll check it out.

Groove idea for the week: What are you doing to integrate the anchoring effect into your business or your personal life?

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Brainy Business Website: https://www.thebrainybusiness.com

Melina’s INC.com articles: https://www.inc.com/author/melina-palmer

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

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

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

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

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

Melina’s John Mayer Playlist: https://pandora.app.link/UrWQ28B6l3

Anchoring Effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchoring

Decoy Effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decoy_effect

Ran Kivetz, PhD: https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/cbs-directory/detail/rk566

Katy Milkman’s Fresh Start Habit: https://magazine.wharton.upenn.edu/digital/katherine-milkmans-fresh-start-study-becomes-perennial-media-favorite/

Counterfactual Thinking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfactual_thinking

Seattle Mariners: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Mariners

Audacity (digital audio workstation): https://www.audacityteam.org/

George Loewenstein, PhD: https://www.cmu.edu/dietrich/sds/people/faculty/george-loewenstein.html


Musical Links

Gene Autry “Back in the Saddle”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSqcxFGFVas

John Mayer: https://www.johnmayer.com/

Michael Bublé: https://www.michaelbuble.com/

Lady Antebellum: https://www.ladyantebellum.com/

Miranda Lambert: https://www.mirandalambert.com/

Patsy Cline: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patsy_Cline

Christina Perri: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christina_Perri

US National Anthem: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Star-Spangled_Banner

Tom Petty: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Petty

Damien Rice: https://damienrice.com/

Red Hot Chili Peppers: https://redhotchilipeppers.com/

Ella Fitzgerald “Mac the Knife: Ella in Berlin 1960”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iR1__k-BxhY

Steely Dan “Gaucho”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaucho_(album)

Beatles “Abbey Road”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbey_Road

Beatles “Sargent Pepper”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt._Pepper%27s_Lonely_Hearts_Club_Band

Iron & Wine: http://ironandwine.com/

Dessa: https://www.dessawander.com/

Too often, in our estimation, people make recommendations to us with the intent to improve our life but the effect on us is the opposite of that. Rather than completely engaging us, some recommendations or pieces of advice actually overpower any enthusiasm we might for following up. This is especially true when the recommendation is too big to get our heads around.

Casual comments like, “Oh, you should read that book,” or, “You should go to Malaysia,” or, “You should check out that podcast series,” are often too much for us to process. They’re all well-intended, and could be terrific recommendations, but thinking about starting a massive new book in an already jam-packed life can be the opposite of engaging: sometimes, it’s demotivating.  

 So in this Grooving Session, we use a behavioral science hack to START SMALL and we’re recommending our favorite podcast episodes (produced by other podcasters!) to our listeners. We think you’ll like these specific podcast episodes by some of our favorite hosts on some of our favorite topics. And because they’re itty-bitty single episodes, we hope you can start small and check some of them out in the links below.

Coming soon! We are launching a new podcast (a new channel in the podcaster’s vernacular) and it’s called Weekly Grooves. Weekly Grooves will be a weekly review of topical issues in the media during the week done through a behavioral science commentary. This will launch in late January 2020, and we hope you’ll check it out.

Please take 23 seconds right now to give us a rating. A review only takes 57 seconds, so you can do that, too! Reviews and 5-star ratings play a positive role in getting Behavioral Grooves promoted to new listeners when they’re out browsing for an interesting behavioral science podcast.

As always, thanks for listening and we hope you enjoy lots of great episodes from other podcasters!


Happiness Lab: Laurie Santos, PhD. Make ‘Em Laugh.


Canned laugh tracks positively affect our experience even when we KNOW they’re canned!

Great production and a cool person.


Choiceology: Katy Milkman, PhD. Take the Deal.


Danny Kahneman, Colin Camerer, and Luis Green tell the tales of our flawed decision making – even when the consequences are big!

Terrific interviewer. Great production.


Big Brains: Paul Rand. Why Talking to Strangers Will Make You Happier.


Nick Epley, PhD discussed the importance of talking to strangers and how it will make YOU happier.


Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates: John Donvan. Is Social Media Good for Democracy?


Fascinating discussion about the pro’s and con’s of social media.


The David Gilmour Podcast: David Gilmour. The Fender Stratocaster #0001.


Yes. It really does exist and David Gilmour owns it and cherishes it.


You Are Not So Smart: David McRaney.

Pluralistic Ignorance: The psychology behind why people don’t speak out against, and even defend, norms they secretly despise.


A terrific episode exploring how social norms are perpetuated even when the majority don’t agree with them.


Song Exploder: Hrishikesh Hirway. Sheryl Crow: Redemption Day.


How songwriters come to write and record songs is amazing to me and this is a very articulate songwriter.


O Behave: Ogilvy Consulting. Dollars and Sense.


Jeff Kreisler (one of our favorites) and Rory Sutherland dig into Jeff’s work in behavioral finance.


Radio Lab: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich. Smarty Plants.


This episode explores the amazingly brainy behaviors of brainless things: plants!


Happiness Lab: Laurie Santos, PhD. The Unhappy Millionaire


This episode explores how we don’t really understand what makes us happy…with Dan Gilbert


The Knowledge Project: Shane Parrish. Neil Pasricha: Happy Habits


Looks at habits that can make you happier or not


The Science of Success: Matt Bodner. Guest = Jonathan Haidt


Three dangerous ideas that are putting our society at risk – Looking at the anti-fragile movement that Haidt looks at how we need to allow Coddling the American Mind.  Overprotecting kids and not letting them have failures…question feelings


Hustle and Flowchart Podcast: Matt Wolfe and Joe Fier. Therapy Session (153) – T&C, Podfest, Selling Shirts and Affiliate Marketing


Matt and Joe discuss a number of things that have been going on with them and some insights on podcasting  


Smart Drug Smarts: Jesse Lawler. Aphantasia with Dr. Joel Pearson


Where Kurt found out about Aphantasia and realized that he had it.


Hidden Brain: Shanker Vedantam. Facts Aren’t Enough


A look at confirmation bias and how data doesn’t change our minds…Tali Sharot and Cailin O’Conner add insight (smallpox variolation)


Big Think Think Again: Jason Gotz. Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie: the cognitive segregation of America


© 2020 Behavioral Grooves


Rory Sutherland is a British advertising executive who became fascinated with behavioral science. Between his TED talks, books and articles, he has become one of the field’s greatest proponents. Rory is currently the Executive Creative Director of OgilvyOne, after gigs as vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK and co-founder of the Behavioural Sciences Practice, part of the Ogilvy & Mather group of companies. He is the author of The Spectator’s The Wiki Man column and his most recent book, which we highly recommend, is Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life.

We started our discussion with Rory by asking him about his new book and some of his insights from it. His approach to advertising, marketing and product design is informed by his ability to look for the things that aren’t there. He once described a solution to improving customer satisfaction on the Chunnel Train between London and Paris by suggesting that a billion dollars would be better spent on supermodel hosts in the cars than on reducing ride time by 15 minutes. He’s a terrifically insightful thinker.

Our conversation ran amok of all sorts of rabbit holes, as expected, including ergodicity, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's “The Silver Blaze,” high-end audio and the dietary habits of the world-famous runner, Usain Bolt.

In Kurt and Tim’s Grooving Session, we discuss some of our favorite takeaways from Rory’s conversation including, “The Opposite of a Good Idea is a Good Idea” and others. And finally, Kurt teed up the Bonus Track with a final reflection and recap of the key points we discussed.

As always, we would be grateful if you would write us a quick review. It helps us get noticed by other folks who are interested in podcasts about behavioral science. It will only take 27 seconds. Thank you, and we appreciate your help. 

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Rory Sutherland: https://ogilvy.co.uk/people/rorys

“Alchemy: The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life”: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062388414/alchemy/

“Friction”: https://www.rogerdooley.com/books/friction/

Murray Gell-Mann, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray_Gell-Mann

Robin Williams “Scottish Golf”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx8TzR1-n4Q

Don Draper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Draper

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

John James Cowperthwaite: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_James_Cowperthwaite

SatNav: https://www.macmillandictionary.com/us/dictionary/american/satnav

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

What You See is All There Is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thinking,_Fast_and_Slow

Arthur Conan-Doyle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Conan_Doyle

Sherlock Holmes “Silver Blaze”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_Silver_Blaze

Tim Houlihan’s Blog on “Silver Blaze”: https://tinyurl.com/ufumkj6

Ben Franklin T-Test: https://tinyurl.com/wocdsdk

Volkswagen Fighter: https://tinyurl.com/qpyqh87

David Ogilvy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ogilvy_(businessman)

Jock Elliot: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2005/dec/01/guardianobituaries.media

Battle of Leyte Gulf: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Leyte_Gulf

Croft Audio: http://www.croftacoustics.co.uk/main.html

Mu-So single speaker: https://www.naimaudio.com/mu-so

WFMT Chicago: https://www.wfmt.com/

TK Maxx: https://www.tkmaxx.com/uk/en/

Berlin Hotel with Big Lebowski: https://www.michelbergerhotel.com/en/

Shure: https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/microphones?lpf[top][types][]=microphones

Zoom: https://zoom.us/

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

Usain Bolt: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usain_Bolt

Sheena Iyengar, PhD: https://www.sheenaiyengar.com/

Jelly Jar Study: https://tinyurl.com/oo6g6eb

Big Band Music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_band


Musical Links

Aretha Franklin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin

Southern California Community Choir: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_California_Community_Choir

Abba: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABBA

Felix Mendelssohn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felix_Mendelssohn

George Frideric Handel: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Frideric_Handel

Johann Sebastian Bach: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Sebastian_Bach

Johann Christian Bach: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Christian_Bach


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