Dolly Chugh is an award-winning associate professor and social psychologist at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Her research focuses on the “psychology of good people”. How and why most of us, however well-intended, are still prone to race and gender bias, as well as what she calls “bounded ethicality.”  

Dolly sits down with Kurt and Tim on this episode, to talk about the concept of “good-ish” which is a central theme to her book The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias Psychology and neuroscience have proven that our minds do things on autopilot. These shortcuts (or heuristics) are laden with unconscious biases, which are juxtaposed to our self identity as a “good” person; one that isn’t racist, sexist or homophobic. Dolly believes we should set a higher standard for ourselves by being good-ish people. By implementing a Growth Mindset, a concept pioneered by Carol Dweck, we don’t hang on too tightly to our identity. We learn to change, and to be taught and to grow.

In our conversation with Dolly we learn about her beautiful analogy of headwinds and tailwinds that describe the invisible biases and systemic issues that many people in our world face. She explains the “Hmmm Framework” that she came up with after the January 6th Attack on the Capitol. And, of course, we discuss music and how Dolly incorporates it into her teaching and her writing.

In our focused Grooving Session, Tim and Kurt extract the meaningful ways that we can apply Dolly’s work into our everyday lives. We summarize the key parts of our interview with her and how we can each challenge ourselves to find our good-ish groove!

What You Will Learn from Dolly Chugh 

(2:41) Speed round questions

(4:12) What is the difference between good and good-ish? 

(9:09) Why is a growth mindset so difficult?

(12:28) Why we should integrate psychology more into our educational and political systems

(15:48) How systemic racism and unconscious bias are related

(29:12) Hmmm Framework and thought experiments

(34:04) How do we discover our own blind spots?

(38:58) How Dolly incorporates music into her teaching and writing

(43:21) Applications from our interview with Dolly in our Grooving Session:

  1. Step back and be intentional, use “when...then…” statements.
  2. Don’t hold on so tightly to our identity and the status quo.
  3. Thought experiments to unveil our own ignorance. 
  4. The Harvard Implicit Association Test (IAT).
  5. Self audit - look at our library, our magazines, our TV shows, what we talk about with friends. How are we showing up in the world? Are we being intentional with where we put our effort?

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Dolly Chugh: 

Dolly Chugh, The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias 

Carol Dweck, Mindset, The New Psychology of Success 

Episode 196: Living Happier By Making the World Better with Max Bazerman

Mahzarin Banaji 

Molly Kern 

Happy Days 

Grey’s Anatomy 

Steve Martin and Nuala Walsh, Episode 209: GAABS and Improving the Future for Every Applied Behavioral Scientist

Katy Milkman, How to Change 

Confronting the legacy of housing discrimination 

Harvard Implicit Association Test 

Alec Lacamoire 

Lake Wobegon Effect 

Episode 214: Observing the Non-Obvious: How to Spot Trends Around You with Rohit Bhargava

Musical Links

Hamilton “Alexander Hamilton” 

In the Heights “Blackout” 

Something Rotten! “A Musical” 

Bruno Mars “The Lazy Song” 

38 Special “Hold On Loosely” 

Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth” 

Talk about a unique career path! From performing at Woodstock before Jimi Hendrix, with his band Sha Na Na, to now being a Forensic Linguist, testifying for infamous court cases, one theme runs throughout the life journey of our guest Rob Leonard; his love of language. 

Rob Leonard started his unique career as a band member of Sha Na Na, one of only 32 bands who played at Woodstock in August of 1969. He played at the request of Jimi Hendrix and was the last band to go on to perform before Jimi went on to play one of his most memorable performances; the unforgettable rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Sha Na Na shot to fame when Rob was studying for his undergraduate degree at Columbia University. Since his commitment to the band’s rehearsals and performances was so time consuming, Rob chose to study the only language that had classes available on Saturdays: East African Bantu (also known as Swahili). So after graduating, and leaving the band, he spent 7 years in East Africa carrying out socio linguistic fieldwork, and subsequently earning his PhD.

Rob now practices as a forensic linguistics expert, analyzing the use of spoken and written language in a legal arena.  He worked on the murder case of JonBenét Ramsey by analyzing the ransom note and testifying that it had not been written by the man who falsely confessed to her murder. Not only has he worked to solve cases in the US with the FBI, but he's also worked with Canada, and UK, law enforcement agencies as well. And he's worked on big corporate cases between Microsoft and Apple by carefully analyzing the way emails were written.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

Quotes From Our Conversation with Rob Leonard 

(24:41) we can sort of use another metaphor, lift up the cover of the language and see what's going on underneath. And we can infer that there are certain patterns happening here that we then test for and we find 

(26:09) “Most of the information that is transmitted in a conversation does not come from the words that a speaker says, they come from the mind of the listener.” 

Topics we Discuss with Rob Leonard

(4:48) Speed Round

(6:08) Can you determine someone’s innocence from the way they speak?

(8:40) What is forensic linguistics?

(11:57) Non-random distribution of language

(13:21) Rob’s journey into learning East African Bantu

(19:18) How Rob found the career path into linguistics

(25:55) Theory of Mind

(34:12) Rob’s stories from playing at Woodstock

(47:40) Grooving Session about Rob


Robert Leonard 

“Sha Na Na and the Woodstock Generation,” by George Leonard '67 and Robert Leonard '70 

JonBenét Ramsey 

Tammy A. Gales PhD 

Andy Warhol 

Episode 220: How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets

Musical Links

Sha Na Na “Teen Angel”

Jimi Hendrix “The Star Spangled Banner” 

Janis Joplin “Ball & Chain” 

Sha Na Na “Tears on my Pillow” 

The Mamas and The Papas “California Dreamin’” 

This episode is a Behavioral Grooves first: we bring you our first ever joint podcast! Mid-way through the episode the tables turn and our guest interviews us! Our guest is the amazing Kelly Leonard, host of the great podcast called “Getting to Yes, And…” presented by Second City Works and WGN in Chicago. This unique conversation with Kelly, Kurt and Tim gives us a glimpse of the people behind the podcasts. It is a light-hearted, raw conversation scattered with some really personal, touching stories about challenges each of them have faced in their lives.

For over 30 years, Kelly has worked at Second City Improv - in all capacities moving up to Executive Vice President.  He’s worked with some of the most unforgettable and influential comedians on the planet, such as Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Keegan Michael Key, Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler! His book, "Yes, And," received rave reviews in Vanity Fair and the Washington Post. 

But what we really wanted to talk to Kelly about was his work as executive director of insights and applied improvisation at Second City. He now co-leads a new partnership with Booth School at the University of Chicago that studies behavioral science through the lens of improvisation. Their mission is to use humor and empathy, interactivity and dialogue, to elevate conversations and inspire people to perform better.

Kelly talks to us about what improv actually is. He believes it’s fundamentally different from comedy and says many people tell him that improv training changed their life. He likens improv to “yoga for your social skills”! 

We discuss Kelly’s concept of “Yes, And”. So often as humans, our default setting when asked to be involved with something, is to do nothing or say no. But our regrets are almost always about the things that we didn't do. He describes saying “yes, and'' as a little nudge. And he has some innovative ways of sharing this idea through improv exercises

Kelly has discovered that real value is added to the “Yes, And” approach by adding a final step called “Thank You, Because”. Those are the words that help bridge a gap between us and someone else we fundamentally disagree with. By thanking someone for sharing information, their “fear brain” isn’t triggered, and they feel gratitude. The “Because” part forces us to find something in what they’ve said that is true for both of us. We then have some space to stay in the conversation together. 

Our conversation with Kelly then flips! And for the first time ever on Behavioral Grooves, the interviewers become the interviewees! We delve into the behavioral science work that Tim and Kurt are passionate about; negativity bias and how to overcome it, talking to our emotions and naming our fears, the 4-Drive model of Motivation, as well as how to improve really dull work meetings!

Kurt and Tim tell us the “yes, and” story of how the Behavioral Grooves podcast actually started! And Kelly shares how an office fire was the spark that ignited his podcast journey. In this unique episode you will learn what makes these 3 great podcast hosts really tick and what techniques and exercises they use to stay positive, grateful and what they’ve learnt by saying “yes, and”.

Topics We Discuss in This Episode

(3:36) Welcome to Kelly and speed round questions

(5:00) What is improv?

(10:32) The concept of “Yes, And”

(17:15) Obstacles as gifts

(20:08) Growth mindset vs. fixed mindset

(21:46) “Wish” - a resilience exercise

(23:36) Kelly talks music

(26:56) Switch! Kelly welcomes Tim and Kurt

(27:09) Negativity Bias 

(29:06) Talk to the emotions

(31:23) How writing connects with your emotions

(36:44) How Kurt started his business 

(37:03) The 4-Drive Model of Motivation 

(39:25) How Behavioral Grooves and Getting To Yes, And podcasts started

(42:18) Meetings suck! How can we improve them?

(44:29) Emotional safety at work

(52:30) Who do Kurt and Tim REALLY want as a guest on their podcast?

(59:42) Kurt and Tim’s Yes, And stories

(1:04:18) Grooving session


Kelly Leonard: 

Second City:  

“Getting to Yes, And” Podcast:

Art In An Instant: The secrets of improvisation 

The Big Short Movie 

Richard Thaler 

The Second Science Project 

Nicholas Epley “Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want 

Tim Harford “Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives 

Kurt Nelson PhD, Communicating To Your Team During A Pandemic 

Devon Price PhD “Laziness Does Not Exist 

“Getting To Yes, And...podcast with Devon Price PhD” 

Tim Houlihan “The Benefits Of Pre-industrial Revolution Life” 

David Byrne “American Utopia 

The 4-Drive Model. “Employee Motivation: A Powerful New Model 

Jane Dutton University of Michigan “Compassion at Work 

Liz Fosslien “No Hard Feelings: Emotions at Work and How They Help Us Succeed 

Episode 120: Covid-19 Crisis “Emotional Impact Of Wfh With Liz Fosslien”

Kimberlé Crenshaw “Intersectionality 

Amy Edmondson “Psychological Safety 

Adam Alter “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked 

Episode 204 “How Shellye Archambeau Flies Like an Eagle

Joann Lublin “Work-Life-Sway 

Alan Alda 

Daniel Kahneman 

Barry Schwartz 

David Byrne 

Robert MacFarlane “The Lost Words 

Tina Seelig at Stanford University 

Episode 67 “George Loewenstein: On a Functional Theory of Boredom

John Sweeney 

Katy Milkman “How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be 

Episode 220 “How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets 

Musical Links

Django Reinhardt “Three-Fingered Lightning 

Keith Jarrett “If I Were A Bell 

Taylor Swift “Cardigan” from Folklore album  

Taylor Swift “Willow” from Evermore album 

Lake Street Dive “Obviously” 

Switched on Pop Podcast 

Neil Young “Harvest Moon” 

David Bowie “Lazarus” 

On this episode of Behavioral Grooves we chat with the founder of the engaging new app PIQUE. Bec Weeks is a behavioral scientist turned accidental entrepreneur! By joining forces with some of the brightest minds in behavioral science, including partners Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir and Mike Norton, they have developed an amazing app that accompanies your favorite books.

Pique takes users' interests in books to a new level with their slogan: Don't just read the book. DO the book. By using insights from psychology research, the app creates three-minute adventures that change how you see yourself and others. Pique helps you DO things. They know that just reading books doesn’t lead to change. Doing leads to change. That’s where the app can help.

Pique has created curious, engaging content from some of the bestselling books from the last year:

You can check out the new app Pique here: But first, listen in to Bec's chat with us.

What You Will Learn About In This Episode

(2:38) Welcome and speed round

(5:06) What is Pique?

(12:50) Why humor is an important part of the app

(17:03) Why is the app called Pique?

(21:13) How Bec has used analytics and algorithmic techniques 

(23:05) Bec’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur

(26:49) The surprises of being an entrepreneur 

(32:43) How Bec first became interested in behavioral science

(34:37) What music would Bec take to a desert island?

(41:11) Grooving Session 

I you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, we would really appreciate your support by writing us a podcast review or becoming a Behavioral Grooves Patreon Member at Thank you!

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Bec Weeks:  


Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much” 

Ashley Whillans “Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life” 

Wendy Wood “Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick” 

Dolly Chugh “The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias” 

Katy Milkman “How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” 

Annie Duke “How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices” 

Lidy Klotz “Subtract: The Untapped Science of Less” 

Mike Norton and Elizabeth Dunn “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending” 

Jennifer Aaker and Naomi Bagdonas “Humor, Seriously: Why Humor Is a Secret Weapon in Business and Life (And how anyone can harness it. Even you.)” 

Daniel Kahneman “Thinking Fast and Slow” 

Episode 205: The Myth of the “Relationship Spark” with Logan Ury (featuring a guest appearance by Christina Gravert, PhD)

Episode 220: How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets

Episode 38: Linnea Gandhi: Crushing On Statistics

Episode 224: Why Is Noise Worse Than Bias? Olivier Sibony Explains

Deese–Roediger–McDermott paradigm (DRM): 

Musical Links

Hamilton “Alexander Hamilton” 

Radiohead “No Surprises” 

Taylor Swift “Love Story” 

Dua Lipa “We’re Good” 

Wicked “Defying Gravity” 

Frozen “The Next Fight Thing” 

Moana “You’re Welcome” 

Billie Eilish “Your Power” 

Tame Impala “Let It Happen” 

Powderfinger “These Days” 

Spiderbait “Black Betty” 

The Cat Empire “Brighter Than Gold” 


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