In this grooving session, Kurt and Tim discuss books that they believe every behavioral science nerd should (yes: should) read. Kurt was limited to 5 picks, but didn't stay in the lines, and Tim was also limited to 5 picks and did stay in the lines. (#justsayin) We began the conversation with 4 classics that are simply must-reads, then dug into our individual lists. After brief reviews on our collective top 10, we highlighted several books (and an article) that are undeniably instrumental to our fascination with behavioral sciences. Listen to the podcast to get the discussion; however, to save some time searching, below are the titles (with links) we discussed.
Mentions: Blink, Tipping Point, and Outliers (Gladwell), Drive (Pink), Power of Habit (Duhigg), The Righteous Mind (Haidt), Stumbling on Happiness (Gilbert), The Happiness Advantage (Achor), Pre-Suasion (Cialdini), The Art of Thinking Clearly (Dobelli), Priceless (Poundstone), Brain Rules (Medina), Rebel Talent (Gino), Emotionomics and Body of Truth (Hill), Sway (Brafman Brothers), Freakonomics (Levitt & Dubner), Descartes Error (Damasio).
Article Not To Miss: “Labor Supply of New York City Cab Drivers: One Day at a Time,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, pages 407-441, May 1997 (Camerer, Babcock, Loewenstein & Thaler).
Please feel free to leave a review and if you want, call it one of the best podcasts of 2018 (or not)!
Annie Duke’s latest book, Thinking in Bets, Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts, is a masterful mash-up of her life as a researcher, poker player and charitable organization founder. In it, she explores new ideas on how to make better decisions. Our interview with her expanded beyond the book and we talked extensively about probabilistic thinking and having people hold us accountable for our decision making. As expected, our interview covered an eclectic mix of behavioral biases, sociology, language development and, of without fail, music.
We noted some remarkable researchers including Anna Dreber, Phil Tetlock, Barb Miller, Stuart Firestein and Jonathan Haidt. We went deep into Annie’s personal history with her mentor Lila Gleitman and their work on Syntactic Bootstrapping, with the help of Donald Duck. Our music discussion included Jack White, Willie Nelson, Jonathan Richman, Prince, Alex Chilton and the Violent Femmes. If you find any of these names unfamiliar, we urge you to check them out.
We used the movie The Matrix and the blue pill/red pill metaphor for looking at the world as accurate vs. inaccurate, rather than right or wrong. We discussed how tribes can offer us distinctiveness and belongingness but also confine us with the tribe’s sometimes negative influences. We also examined learning pods and how they can be used to keep our decisions more in line with reality. ----more----Because this is a lengthy discussion we share the following to help you navigate if you’re interested in specific topics (Hour:Minute:Second). We sincerely hope you’ll take time to listen to the entire discussion – it’s both fun and insightful – but we also understand that life can get busy.
- Red Pill / Blue Pill begins at 00:07:40
- Tribes begins at 00:11:36
- Learning groups begins at 00:31:08
- Discussion of Lila Gleitman begins at 1:00:55
- Syntactic Bootstrapping begins at 1:05:36
- Jack White begins at 1:17:30
If you like this episode, please forward it on to a friend or colleague and help Kurt win his bet with Tim for who pays the donation to How I Decide. You can find more information on or donate to this wonderful non-profit at www.howidecide.org.
Priming is a technique whereby exposure to one stimulus influences a response to a subsequent stimulus without conscious guidance or intention. In other words, it’s a subconscious influence on our behavior. And it’s powerful.
In this grooving session, Kurt and Tim discuss the power of priming and how the socks you wear can influence your day. We discussed how replicability of many studies has been a challenge for several research projects; however, the effects of priming are no less robust.
We talked about the amazing research that Gary Latham, PhD and his colleagues conducted on how a watermark on a tip sheet had dramatic effects on the results achieved. Amazing stuff.
CONTEST ALERT! If you’d like a free pair of Einstein “Today I am smart!” priming socks, share this episode on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook with: #IWANTSOCKS. We’ll pick randomly to identify 3 winners and we’ll be in touch by the end of the September.