[NOTE: Republished in its entirety from original episode #104 on December 15, 2019.]

Eugen Dimant, PhD is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences Department and a Senior Research Fellow at the Identity and Conflict Lab, Political Science Department – both at the University of Pennsylvania.

His research is rooted in economics and sits at the crossroads of experimental behavioral economics, behavioral ethics, crime, and corruption, with much of his recent work focusing on the ways “bad apples” (people will malintent) can be thwarted. This is also manifest in his research on behavioral contagion of pro- and anti-social behavior among individuals and groups. Because we met up with him presenting a paper at NoBeC, a social norms conference, we also discussed the role of social norms in pro- and anti-social behaviors.

We are inspired by Eugen’s work with social nudges and what can be done to minimize the impact of people who are out to corrupt systems and communities. And, we had a great time talking with this incredibly passionate researcher about his wide variety of interests.

We are grateful to Eugen for reaching out to us as we were planning our 100th Episode celebration in Philadelphia. He invited us to the University of Pennsylvania’s NoBeC Conference – the Norms and Behavioral Change Conference – that was happening the same days that we were recording our 100th Episode. Eugen, along with his colleague Chris Nave, PhD, helped us arrange conversations with many researchers and speakers at the conference and we are forever grateful.

Finally, we invite you to keep listening after our discussion with Eugen to hear Kurt and Tim’s Grooving Session and then the Bonus Track where we recap the key insights from the episode.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves


Eugen Dimant, PhD: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/mbds/faculty/eugen-dimant

NoBeC (Norms and Behavior Change Conference): https://web.sas.upenn.edu/nobec/

Cristina Bicchieri, PhD: https://upenn.academia.edu/CristinaBicchieri

Gary Bolton, PhD: https://personal.utdallas.edu/~gxb122130/

Nudge: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nudge_theory

Social Norms: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/social-norms/

Injunctive and Descriptive Norms: https://study.com/academy/lesson/injunctive-and-descriptive-group-norms-definitions-differences-examples.html

Pluralistic Ignorance: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluralistic_ignorance

Peer Effects: https://www.encyclopedia.com/social-sciences/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/peer-effects

Coleman’s Boat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGaz0xKG060

Chris Nave, PhD: https://www.sas.upenn.edu/lps/graduate/mbds/contact/christopher-nave

Bobo Doll Effect: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobo_doll_experiment

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

Kiki and Bouba: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouba/kiki_effect

Pollstar: https://www.pollstar.com/


Musical Links

Drake: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_(musician)

Bushido: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bushido_(rapper)

U2: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U2

Ed Sheeran: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Sheeran

Eagles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eagles_(band)

Rolling Stones: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rolling_Stones

Fleetwood Mac: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleetwood_Mac


Nicole Fisher, DrPH is the president of Health and Human Rights Strategies and is a regular contributor to Forbes magazine on social justice issues. Her piece in Forbes about “The Psychology of Protests” is an excellent analysis of why people take to the streets.

Nicole earned a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Chicago, then her Doctorate of Public Health from Chapel Hill, and she was also an Economics Fellow at George Mason University. We felt we could go wide and deep on our conversation with her and that’s exactly what happened.

In our discussion, we talked about the need for grace and understanding, a concept called peer permission, the psychology of protests (from a piece that was written prior to George Floyd’s murder and the global outpouring of peaceful dissent throughout the world), and how the heart of the matter with a pandemic is public health.

In the Grooving Session, Kurt and Tim also discussed the Peace Prayer of St. Francis and recommended, in the Bonus Track, to consider sidling up to someone you don’t see eye to eye with and learn about how and why they feel the way they do. You just might learn something!

We hope you enjoy this episode and we encourage you to take a moment to give us a review as ratings go a long way in introducing us to new listeners.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Nicole Fisher, DrPH: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicole_Fisher


Nicole-related links: 

Health & Human Rights Strategies: https://www.hhrstrategies.com

Dr. Nicole Fisher Forbes Column: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYU0m9Esz1rFzx6pqvP0OIA

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nic_fisher

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicfisher/?hl=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicole.f.fisher


Groups and things we chatted about (that I remember...): 

NOCOVID: https://nocovid.us

NPR CodeSwitch: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/16/878963732/why-now-white-people

Mythunderstood Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/69yTv2hOdUqmPe6tybNLCy?si=1hFJmcX8SfW5D2oXx1FAww

Second Story Books: https://www.secondstorybooks.com/

Chris Graves: https://www.ogilvyconsulting.com/people/chris-graves/

John Barry, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Barry

The Prayer of St. Francis: https://www.loyolapress.com/catholic-resources/prayer/traditional-catholic-prayers/saints-prayers/peace-prayer-of-saint-francis/

Sheriff who walked with protesters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j1k9459pYk

Tara Austin is a strategist and was recently the Chief Strategy Officer for Kindred in London. Many of us know her for her public speaking events, like her presentation at Nudgestock in June 2020, and the amazing work she did with Rory Sutherland, Sam Tatam, and Jez Groom at Ogilvy over many years.

We discussed a project she did with Ogilvy Change referred to as the Babies in the Borough. On the heels of the London riots in 2011, Tara wanted to see how a paper she’d read a few years earlier might apply to reduce crime in England. With the help of a master street painter, Ben Eine, the team gathered photos of babies from locals in the neighborhood and had them rendered on the security doors of businesses. After the babies’ faces were added to the shop shutters, the city saw declines in theft, vandalism and public urination year-over-year.

We also talked about Edward de Bono, his development of lateral thinking and the six thinking hats. De Bono’s work can help us improve our decision making, which is likely to lead to greater happiness in our lives, and that’s always a win.

Thank you for checking out our conversation with Tara, and if you like it, please leave us a review.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Tara Austin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tara-austin-78b2a780/

HOME Creative Consultancy: https://www.homeagency.co.uk/

The Grocer magazine: https://www.thegrocer.co.uk/

Ben Eine, street artist: https://beneine.co.uk/

Pinkie Campaign: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hWxU_ICoHM

Edward DeBono, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_de_Bono

“Six Thinking Hats”: https://www.debonogroup.com/services/core-programs/six-thinking-hats/

The “Cute Matters” paper is actually “Baby Schema in Infant Faces Induces Cuteness

Perception and Motivation for Caretaking in Adults”:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3260535/ 

Glocker, Melanie L et al. “Baby Schema in Infant Faces Induces Cuteness Perception and Motivation for Caretaking in Adults.” Ethology: formerly Zeitschrift fur Tierpsychologie vol. 115,3 (2009): 257-263. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2008.01603.x

Lateral Thinking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_thinking

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

Beggar’s Banquet Records: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beggars_Banquet_Records

Common Biases & Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit

Ozan Varol: https://ozanvarol.com/


Musical Links

Dolly Parton “9  to 5”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbxUSsFXYo4

The Killers “Human”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIZdjT1472Y

Lou Reed “Satellite of Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH2EgYq_NCY

U2 “Satellite of Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q1zWNITuyg

Gretchen Peters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r07tGdLpKIQ

Loretta Lynn “The Pill”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DcdONaKSQM

Loretta Lynn “Coalminers Daughter”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlHJ9Tp24yY&list=PLsZQ89o7KvqJPUf2oKv8iHDhb25Puqbpd&index=28

“Pan Pipes of the Andes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNCuRpdemew

Spice Girls: “Who Do You Think You Are": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YriinrRGug

Elspeth Kirkman is responsible for BIT’s work on health, education, and local government. Prior to this role, she oversaw the establishment and growth of BIT’s North American office from New York. She has taught behavioral science at Harvard, acts as an expert advisor to a number of global institutions, and serves as a Senior Fellow for Casey Family Programs, advising on the applications of behavioral and decision science to child welfare systems.

Prior to joining BIT in 2013, Elspeth was a management consultant working with government clients around the world.

Due to some technical challenges, we weren’t able to record a full hour of conversation. However, in the time we had available we discussed how important models can be in helping us solve problems, especially the COM-B model. (COM-B focuses on three aspects of behavior change and they are Capability, Opportunity and Motivation.)

We also discussed the central pillars for good application of behavioral science. Elspeth used words like, “context” and “pragmatism” and “actual impact” and it made us happy to hear those words.

Finally, we talked about the future of behavioral science and Elspeth laid out a couple of important themes. On one hand, she suggested we study behavioral sciences in order to integrate the findings into the mainstreams of business and government policy. On the other hand, she imagines a future with more crossover of behavioral science with fields like AI and how Quantitative and Qualitative tools might work better together.

We hope you enjoy our conversation with Elspeth as much as we did!

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Elspeth Kirkman: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elspethkirkman/


Co-Author with Michael Hallsworth: “Behavioral Insights” book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/behavioral-insights

Katy Milkman Episode # 99 “Behavior Change for Good”: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/katy-milkman-behavior-change-for-good/

EAST Framework: https://www.bi.team/publications/east-four-simple-ways-to-apply-behavioural-insights/

COM-B Model: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096582/



Musical Links

Joni Mitchell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAxjPfWOiqI

Smashing Pumpkins: https://www.smashingpumpkins.com/

Violent Femmes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHapDS2fcFE

James Taylor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfJWqjoekow

Rolling Stones: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kl6q_9qZOs

Paul Simon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fmf9ZJ_Yn0A

David Bowie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ_wnJSRFso

Michael Jackson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOnqjkJTMaA

U2 “Achtung, Baby”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdXczOeDVbw

U2 “Joshua Tree”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AOQysQKE8A

Shlomi Ron is the CEO of the Visual Storytelling Institute. He co-founded the institute after 20 years of digital marketing with some of the largest brands in the world. Its purpose is to help business leaders rise above the noise through the power of storytelling and the effectiveness of visual media.


Shlomi is an author and his latest book is “Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals.”  In it, he offers readers relatable real-world stories that reinforce the powerful visual storytelling principles.


We talked to Shlomi in the days just prior to Miami’s 2nd wave in the Coronavirus pandemic about the value that visual storytelling can have on pro-social initiatives such as homelessness. We also discussed the challenges advertisers and brands have at capturing our attention and some tips for accomplishing that.


We were also introduced to the concept of Social Semiotics, the way communication tools vary in social settings and context.



Shlomi Ron: http://www.shlomiron.com

Visual Storytelling Institute: http://www.visualstorytell.com

1000 Miami Stories: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/hashtag/?keywords=%231000MiamiStories

“Total Acuity: Tales with Marketing Morals”: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZCCM11F?ref_=pe_3052080_276849420

Dove Beauty Sketches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=litXW91UauE

Justin Trudeau Pause: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=79nHwsqQNBA

Audi 3-Hour Ambient Travel Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqYFgqN_q-w

Scrubs Television Show on Hand Washing: https://www.deseret.com/entertainment/2020/3/18/21184967/coronavirus-covid-19-scrubs-clip-infection-spreads

Death of George Floyd: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html

“Visual Grammar: A Design Handbook” by Christian Leborg: https://www.amazon.com/Visual-Grammar-Design-Briefs-Christian/dp/1568985819

Social Semiotics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_semiotics

Snapchat Logo: https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/a/ghost-logo-usage

Avenue3 Miami 1001 Stories: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRtM2mTjoH8&feature=youtu.be

“The Good The Bad & The Ugly”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1PfrmCGFnk

Common Biases & Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit?usp=sharing

Music vs. Words for Memory: https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2004-13047-013

Call and Response Songs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_and_response_(music)


Musical Links

Tori Amos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ipCKIxdHTs


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