Michael F. Schein is a hype specialist and the author of The Hype Handbook: 12 Indispensable Secrets from the World’s Greatest Propagandists, Self-Promoters, Cult Leaders, Mischief Makers, and Boundary Breakers. He is also the founder and president of MicroFame Media, a marketing agency that specializes in making idea-based companies famous in their industries. 

We caught up with Michael recently to talk about his book about how hype can be a very good thing. In and of itself, hype can be a powerful tool of promotion and its bad reputation may be well deserved, but it’s not carved in stone. Hype has a place in a world abundant with choice and Michael has some ideas on how to use hype to cut through a crowded field. 

Michael offers some tips on how to manage your way – ethically – through the world of hype to help you and your ideas breakthrough. 

We also talked about Tim Ferriss’s claim on the world kickboxing championship, and we discussed which world would be a better world to live in: a world that was imagined in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, or Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World. Buckle up, Buttercups! 


© 2021 Behavioral Grooves



Michael Schein: https://michaelfschein.com/ 

You can download Michael’s recommendations on hype ideas at www.hypereads.com/list 

Access to Anyone podcast: https://www.accesstoanyonepodcast.com/ 

George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four 

Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World 

Tim Ferriss: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Ferriss 

Anarchist Cookbook: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Anarchist_Cookbook 

Shep Gordon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shep_Gordon 

“Wall Street” movie: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Street_(1987_film) 

Wembley Stadium: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wembley_Stadium 

Frans de Waal Capuchin Monkey Experiments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=meiU6TxysCg


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


Musical Links

Black Flag “Nervous Breakdown”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=302oEzSPCqE 

Violent Femmes “Blister in the Sun”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JE-dqW4uBEE 

David Bowie “Modern Love”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLMUZahN7NU 

Alice Kooper “No More Mister Nice Guy”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN6ngThqMEs 

Ministry “Jesus Built My Hotrod”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpPOX6-sP7g 

Dead Milkmen “Punk Rock Girl”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yF7fgEMrk0k 

Sonic Youth “Superstar”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y21VecIIdBI 

California Raisins “Heard it Through the Grapevine”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UShiwymsX0w 

WWF “Land of A Thousand Dances”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHZCcu9ltcs 

Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mK4hweZRU0k 

Boomtown Rats “I Don’t Like Mondays”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcZW0GFLSdw 

The Specials “Monkey Man”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49FbSq_JNeQ 

Sex Pistols “God Save The Queen”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02D2T3wGCYg 

The Clash “Rock the Casbah”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ9r8LMU9bQ 

Husker Du “Camden Palace”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsGw8DyWkik 

The Replacements “I Will Dare”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4ynSTN8bkc 

Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1xrNaTO1bI 

The Dead Kennedy’s “In God We Trust”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bqIS0n64Ig 

Joy Division “She’s Lost Control”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD2SfQJOK08 

AJ Jacobs is an author, journalist, lecturer, and human guinea pig. He has written four New York Times bestsellers, including The Year of Living Biblically, that combine memoir, science, and humor with a dash of self-help. AJ has said that he sees his life as a series of experiments in which he immerses himself in a project or lifestyle, for better or worse, then writes about what he learned.

His most recent book, Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey, starts with wanting to thank the people who brought him his cup of coffee. It starts with the barista and ends up in South America on a mountainside coffee plantation. The book is based on some simple ideas that gratitude can be the catalyst for a journey around the world, and how experimentation keeps our brains flexible in ways that enhance our lives.

We loved our conversation with AJ because he made a passionate case for learning to pay more attention to things. To immerse ourselves in the moment where we can appreciate that moment for what it is. He encourages us to see the details, and in those details, to see the connections. He challenges us to be grateful for the life we are given. If we can slow down, savor these moments for what they are, we can curate a better life for ourselves.

You’ll find lots about AJ that is fun and informative – but above it all, you’ll find him inspiring.  If AJ can do these things on such a grand scale, we ought to be able to experiment with our lives – even if it is just not making your bed in the morning.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves



AJ Jacobs: https://ajjacobs.com/

“Thanks A Thousand”: https://thanksathousandbook.com/

AJ’s TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/a_j_jacobs_my_journey_to_thank_all_the_people_responsible_for_my_morning_coffee

George Clooney: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Clooney

The Encyclopedia Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/

Windshield Wiper: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscreen_wiper

The New York Times Crossword Puzzle: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_York_Times_crossword_puzzle

Alex Trebek: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Trebek

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

Ambient Noise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Background_noise

Coffitivity (ambient noise generator): https://coffitivity.com/

Melanie Brucks: https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/cbs-directory/detail/mb4598

Michael Phelps: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Phelps

French Horn: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_horn

Electronic Dance Music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_dance_music

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

Jonathan Mann, Episode 207: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/jonathan-mann-is-it-possible-to-design-an-experience/

Mark Landau: https://www.mindful.org/how-mindfulness-shifts-our-perception-of-time/

Neil Gaiman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Gaiman

Masterclass: https://www.masterclass.com/

Gratitude / Gratia / Grace: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gratitude

Robert Emmons: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/in-praise-of-gratitude

Francesca Gino, Episode 60: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/francesca-gino-curiosity-and-rebellion-makes-your-career/

Tony Robbins: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Robbins


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


Musical Links

ZZ Top “La Grange”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vppbdf-qtGU

Lil’ Wayne “2 Diamonds”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrLSro5XNzY

Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02D2T3wGCYg

Linda Thunstrom, PhD is a Swedish economist working as an assistant professor of economics at the University of Wyoming. (That’s in Laramie, Wyoming, not Wyoming, Sweden.) Her research interests include behavioral, experimental, public, and health economics. Her interests merged after Hurricane Florence when she became curious about the effect that offering thoughts and prayers might have on potential donors to natural disasters.

She set up a study to see if potential donors might feel like they don’t need to make a monetary donation to the victims if they’ve already offered up some thoughts and prayers. Her results may surprise you.

And she didn’t stop there. She also looked at this question from the recipient’s end. As an economist, she framed the study in monetary terms and wondered if disaster victims might take less money in a donation if they knew someone was praying for them – especially if it were a Christian stranger or a priest. Again: fascinating results!

We also talked about willful ignorance and the role it plays in our decision-making. Willful ignorance involves neglecting information about how your actions will affect others or yourself. It’s different from and less harmful than outright self-deception. Self-deception is commonly associated with lying to make yourself feel better. The big worry with self-deception is that you start believing your own lies.

Willful ignorance is like heading into the basement to get a Coke Zero and noticing a box of Oreo cookies and deciding that now is probably a pretty good time to have one, or two, of those chocolate calorie bombs. We are neglecting the facts that we already know about Oreo cookies: they’re not really good for. But we nab a couple anyway.

We’d like to thank you to Andrea Mannberg, a guest from Episode 199, for introducing us to Linda. Both of these economists are applying their training to fantastically interesting topics and we’re grateful for both of their work.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves



Linda Thunstrom: https://lindathunstrom.com/

Linda Thunstrom, PhD: https://www.uwyo.edu/economics/faculty-staff/linda-thunstrom/

Shiri Noy, PhD: https://denison.edu/people/shiri-noy

“Exploiting moral wiggle room: experiments demonstrating an illusory preference for fairness” Dana, et. all (2007): https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00199-006-0153-z

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

Todd Cherry, PhD: http://www.uwyo.edu/economics/faculty-staff/todd-cherry/index.html

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

Dan Gilbert, PhD: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Gilbert_(psychologist)

Contemporary Folk Music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_folk_music

Americana Music: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americana_(music)

Hurricane Florence: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Florence

“Temporal View of the Costs and Benefits of Self-Deception” Gino, Norton, Ariely: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=39857

Eric Oliver, Episode 172: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-to-talk-to-your-friends-about-their-conspiracy-theories-with-eric-oliver/

Andrea Mannberg, Episode 199: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/how-decision-making-is-critical-for-back-country-skiers-and-sex/

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


Musical Links

Jay Shogren “Let’s Fall Behind”: http://www.jshogren.com/https/jshogrenshanghaidbandcampcom/track/lets-fall-behind

David Bowie “Under Pressure” with Annie Lennox and Queen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCP2-Bfhy04


GAABS is an organization that was recently founded to act as an accrediting body for applied behavioral scientists. GAABS is The Global Association of Applied Behavioral Scientists and is open for membership for those who demonstrate their ability to ethically apply behavioral science to their work.

In this episode, we spoke with co-founding members Nuala Walsh and Steve Martin. Nuala is a contributor to Harvard Business Review and is the founder of MindEquity – a behavioral science consultancy based in Dublin. And Steve Martin is the co-author, with Robert Cialdini and Noah Goldstein, of Yes! 50 secrets from the Science of Persuasion, which has sold more than a million copies and been translated into 27 languages. Nuala is a repeat guest that was featured in episode 203 about whistleblowers and fake memories, and Steve was featured in episode 110 with his co-author, Joe Marks. Together, they wrote “Messengers: Who We Listen To, Who We Don’t, and Why.”

In our conversation, we discussed what GAABS is and what they’re hoping to do to help both practitioners of behavioral science as well as the professionals and institutions that hire those services. On a more philosophical note, we steered into what is lacking in applied behavioral science these days and agreed that there are many fields that could benefit from a behavioral science lens. And across the board, we agreed that education for all parties is critical for the field to be successful.

On an educational note, Steve wryly noted that students could use more psychology and less geography in the classroom, and teed up the novel concept of prac-ademics. And, later, Nuala introduced the idea of leveraging trends, like big data, and noted, “if we marry behavioral science with data science, we actually have an in.”

We hope you enjoy our conversation with Nuala and Steve and that you’ll check out the Behavioral Grooves Patreon site at www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves. Now go out this week and find YOUR groove.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Nuala Walsh: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nualagwalsh/?originalSubdomain=uk

Steve Martin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-martin-13832b5/

GAABS: https://gaabs.org/

Oxbow Lake: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/oxbow-lake/

Annie Duke Alliance for Decision Education: https://alliancefordecisioneducation.org/learn/about-the-alliance/team/board/annie-duke

Mya Shankar: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_Shankar

Robert Cialdini: https://www.influenceatwork.com/robert-cialdini-phd/biography/

Jennifer Lerner: https://www.hks.harvard.edu/faculty/jennifer-lerner

Nuala Walsh – Episode 203: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/on-fake-memories-and-whistleblowers-with-nuala-walsh/

Steve Martin – Episode 110: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/steve-martin-and-joe-marks-the-messenger-is-the-message/

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

Harlow Gale, PhD: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/203619125_Harlow_Gale_and_the_Origins_of_the_Psychology_of_Advertising



Musical Links

Sinead O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-EF60neguk :

Electric Light Orchestra “Don’t Bring Me Down”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATuX7V4XOlk

The Cranberries “Linger”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_5B14-VytM

Van Morrison “Into the Mystic”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0gvodQgu-Y

Fleetwood Mac “The Chain”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBYHwH1Vb-c

Rod Stewart “Maggie May”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2CQ0FvAZuw

Carly Simon “Nobody Does it Better”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaV-6qerkqI

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

Mike + The Mechanics “The Living Years”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hr64MxYpgk

The Who “Eminence Front”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rx6Zgz0TZuA


Dessa is a singer, rapper, writer, speaker, science and philosophy connoisseur, podcast host, and ice cream flavor inventor. (Her flavor is Dessa’s Existential Crunch which consists of crème fraîche, brown sugar ice cream, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Disaronno Amaretto Liqueur, and a cashew and praline pecan brittle crunch).

Dessa has made a career of bucking genres and defying expectations — her résumé as a musician includes being part of the Doomtree collective, a solo artist with performances at Lollapalooza and Glastonbury, co-composer of pieces for 100-voice choir, performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, and top-200 entries on the Billboard charts. She also contributed to the #1 album The Hamilton Mixtape.

As a writer, she published a memoir-in-essays called My Own Devices which was released in 2018 in addition to two literary collections along with many articles in journals such as The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler.

And now she is the host of a new podcast that explores “why we do the things we do” called Deeply Human. The podcast is a fun exploration of a number of topics and brings in experts to help explain why we behave the way we do.

We wanted to talk to Dessa before we knew about her podcast. Here is part of the e-mail that we sent to her publicist to ask for an interview:

“While it may seem a bit off-brand for us to ask for an interview with Dessa, we think that it would be fascinating, and we’d love to talk to her about the intersection of music and emotion.   While we typically interview behavioral science researchers and practitioners, we often interview what we call “accidental behavioral scientists.”  These are people who are applying the aspects of behavioral science to their work without really knowing that they are doing it. Dessa captures a lot of our human experience in her lyrics and discussing that would be a wonderful way of exploring this concept. We would also love to talk to her about her experience with the scientific fMRI research that she talks about in her essay, “Call of your ghost.”

Our conversation with Dessa examined a wide range of topics – moving from her podcast, to music’s ability to create synchronicity between people, to how we can’t compare subjective experiences, to how emotional connection comes from dropping veils and getting out of our “practiced mirror face.” 

This is an episode that you definitely don’t want to miss.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves



Dessa: www.dessawander.com or www.doomtree.com

Deeply Human: wherever you get your podcasts from

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

The Diary of Ann Frank: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diary_of_a_Young_Girl

Alan Alda: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Alda

Helen Fisher: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Fisher_(anthropologist)

Barry Schwartz: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Schwartz_(psychologist)

Oxytocin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxytocin_receptor

EEG: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroencephalography

QEEG: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_electroencephalography

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

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

Penijean Gracefire: https://penijean.com/home

Cheryl Olman: http://www.neuroscience.umn.edu/people/cheryl-olman-phd

fMRI: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_magnetic_resonance_imaging

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

Harry Haslow – Wire Monkey experiments: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Harlow

Research on Emotion and Narrative - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325962169_Emotion_and_Narrative_Perspectives_in_Autobiographical_Storytelling

Drummer Boy (Military): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drummer_(military)

“Rock ’n’ Roll but not Sex or Drugs: Music is negatively correlated to depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic via reward-related mechanisms”: https://tinyurl.com/yw4v5avs

Pew Research (2016) The Joy and Urgency of Learning: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2016/03/22/the-joy-and-urgency-of-learning/

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


Musical Links

Dessa “Fighting Fish”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9bwKI-fb7k

Dessa “The Chaconne” (Kurt’s favorite version of the song with Aby Wolf and Jeremy Messersmith): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8dt8mY2WiQ

London Bulgarian Choir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GEDbKe038o

Lady Midnight “Bloodsong”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRb6Uqsvq5w

Chopin’s Mazurkas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5D46aHhRDM

Erik Satie “Gymnopédie No. 1”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL0xzp4zzBE

“Hamilton” soundtrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPSWZUExZ8M

“Hamilton Mix Tape”: https://www.amazon.com/Hamilton-Mixtape-Explicit-Various-artists/dp/B01M3XVPL4

Dessa Live - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5n1lsfZI3A

Mayada “Haydn Sonata in D”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpTfxMmBsLY

Chopin “Mazurka Op. 68 n. 2”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VL4_uD0Vp5U

Yann Tiersen “La valse d'Amélie”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj9BihmugmI

Tim Houlihan “I Get Lonesome, Too”: http://www.timhoulihan.com/music


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