December 19, 2021

More Than Just A Checklist: How to Effectively Apply Behavioral Science | Torben Emmerling

Applying Behavioral Science insights at work takes more than just another checklist or document, it’s about creating an environment that enables people to make good decisions. Torben Emmerling specializes in innovative, evidence-based strategies for behavior change. We discuss with him the nuances that differentiate applied behavioral science from academic behavioral science. 

As a consultant for both private and public organizations, Torben doesn’t focus on a specific industry. Instead, he's a human behavior expert. What motivates people and what prompts individuals to change their behavior can be applied in any industry. For example, the same contextual factors that make us forget to buy milk on the way home from work, can be applicable in organizational decisions and performance.

We hope you enjoy our conversation with Torben and if you do, please leave a short review of our podcast. Reading your comments, never fails to put a smile on our faces!


(4:44) Welcome to Torben Emmerling and speed round.

(8:59) How behavioral science can be used to help people save energy. 

(14:34) Why applied behavioral science can be very different than academic behavioral science.

(16:42) How Torben’s work uses applied behavioral science.

(18:33) Behavioral science tools aren’t industry specific.

(21:53) Why behavioral science needs to be more than just checklists and documents.

(27:16) What the airline industry can teach us about reflecting on errors.

(29:45) The importance of creating psychological safety at work.

(31:48) How organizations have used behavioral science to manage remote working during COVID-19.

(36:34) What is on Torben’s playlist? 

(39:07) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing how to apply Torben’s insights.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Opinion Science Podcast: 

Winter Camp 2022: 

Torben Emmerling:

Daniel Kahneman: 

5 Behavioral Biases That Trip Up Remote Managers”: 

Episode 170, “Seven Questions to Assess the Psychological Safety of Your Teams with Susan Hunt Stevens”:

Peak-end rule: 

Rory Sutherland, “Transport for Humans”: 

Episode 107, Rory Sutherland “The Opposite of a Good Idea is a Good Idea”:

Musical Links

Nas, “Nas is Like”: 

The Black Keys, “Howlin' For You”: 

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