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Consumers are weird. They don't do what they say they will do and don't act how we think they "should." Enter Melina Palmer, a sales conversion expert with a personal mission to make your business more effective and brain friendly. In this podcast, Melina will take the complex concepts of behavioral economics (the study and science of why people buy - or not) and provide simple, actionable tips you can apply right away in your business. Whether you're a small business or thriving corporation, Melina's tips can help your business increase sales and get more customers.

The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics Melina Palmer

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Consumers are weird. They don't do what they say they will do and don't act how we think they "should." Enter Melina Palmer, a sales conversion expert with a personal mission to make your business more effective and brain friendly. In this podcast, Melina will take the complex concepts of behavioral economics (the study and science of why people buy - or not) and provide simple, actionable tips you can apply right away in your business. Whether you're a small business or thriving corporation, Melina's tips can help your business increase sales and get more customers.

    The IKEA Effect and Effort Heuristic, a Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode

    The IKEA Effect and Effort Heuristic, a Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode

    On today’s behavioral economics foundations episode we are going to be talking about the IKEA effect as well as the effort heuristic. I’ve loved the IKEA effect concept since the moment I heard its name. It is such a quirky title, but so clear for what this concept is all about. 
    In its most basic form, we value things that we put effort into more than things we don’t. I’ll talk more about the details and nuances as we go through the episode and there are many more ways to use this concept than assembling your own furniture.
    We take a look at ways the IKEA effect plays out in our lives as well as our businesses.  The IKEA effect doesn’t just have to be used for product businesses. The IKEA effect can play a huge role in change management.  Tune in to learn more about the IKEA effect and how it impacts our lives and businesses.   
    Show Notes: [00:58] In its most basic form, the IKEA Effect is that we value things that we put effort into more than things we don’t. [03:52] The core of this concept is that when people have an opportunity to build something themselves and when they put some effort in, they will value that thing higher than something they didn’t build.  [04:30] Some studies have attributed this to the pride felt when assembling something yourself, and that is part of it, but it isn’t the whole story. [05:19] The endowment effect is the phenomena in our brains where simply owning something causes us to find more worth in it than what other people see in it, or in its stated price. [06:47] It may seem like the IKEA effect is merely an extension of the endowment effect, but studies have shown they are different. Even when people built something and were told they could not keep it, they still valued the item they made higher than those made by someone else. [09:05] This phenomenon makes it clear why people think their own artwork is worth more than people will pay for it, or why they ask for a lot more money than their home is worth if they put a lot of “sweat equity” into creating it. We tend to think that our effort ties into the direct value and that something we spent a lot of time on is worth more to everyone else as well. [10:12] Humans use effort as a guide for value even when we are not the ones putting in the work. This is known as the effort heuristic, which has found that even when we don’t have direct memory of the work in question (i.e. we didn’t do it ourselves), we still connect effort and quality together. [12:25] Whichever painting or poem people were told took more time to complete was the one they tended to like more and they valued it higher.  [14:17] When the image being shown is of high resolution, you can see the quality, and so that can impact the valuation in addition to the number of hours you were told it took to create. [15:22] When the quality can’t be easily determined by our eyes, other pieces of information will guide the brain’s determination of value. [17:26] The IKEA effect says that we value things higher when we put effort into them. So, the effort heuristic is present within our own IKEA effects, but when someone else is putting in the work, it can trigger the effort heuristic without being the IKEA effect. [18:08] When you are exchanging dollars for hours, it reduces the effort to each 60-minute increment. [21:02] When you are putting a value on your time, it is really hard to get individual hours to reflect your expertise and the true effort you have put into your career. The value you provide is often in the time you are saving them. Knowing what that is worth is a better way to find what to charge than your total number of hours put in. [21:52] The other side of the IKEA effect is knowing that people actually like to put in effort for things.   [23:37] Humans aren’t the only animals who value putting in the effort--birds and rats do

    • 37 min
    Avoiding Everyday Work Disasters, an Interview with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

    Avoiding Everyday Work Disasters, an Interview with Dr. Gleb Tsipursky

    Today I am excited to introduce you to Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, a disaster avoidance expert and author of multiple books including Never Go With Your Gut, which we will be digging into today, as well as The Truth Seekers Handbook, and a brand new book called Resilience: Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. Gleb has been consulting, coaching and speaking for over 20 years and has done work for clients like Aflac, Honda, IBM, the World Wildlife Fund, and over a hundred others. He taught at the Ohio State University and is a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist studying the psychology of decision making in business. His research has appeared in Behavior and Social Issues, Journal of Social and Political Psychology and more.
    In our conversation today, Gleb will tell you about why you should never go with your gut, ways to think about avoiding disasters, what a disaster really is, and five important questions you should be asking to identify and avoid those potential disasters. I hope you enjoy the conversation and learn some valuable tips to apply into your life and business.
    Show Notes: [01:18] Gleb taught at Ohio State University and is a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist studying the psychology of decision making in business. [02:46] Gleb will tell you about why you should never go with your gut, ways to think about avoiding disasters, and five important questions you should be asking in your business. [03:42] Gleb is known as the disaster avoidance expert. Disasters come from bad decisions.  [05:06] In his research he looks at how we deal with these bad decisions in our professional and personal lives.  [07:01] A disaster is anything that makes a significant negative impact on your bottom line.  [09:01] Disasters can result from one big decision or a series of small decisions. [10:19] What are the alternatives to staying where you are and what are the long-term consequences of each action.   [13:19] Our emotions determine 80-90% of our decision making when we don’t follow a structured decision making process.  [14:14] We often feel emotionally attached and invested and don’t realize it will be better in the long run to let it go.  You have to acknowledge you are wrong to address the situation.   [16:45] Previously, the media filtered out some information, but now we have direct communication with public figures on the internet.   [18:55] We believe the first thing we hear until it has been proven wrong.  [19:10] Our gut reaction and intuitions are not wired for the modern world.   [20:09] The anchoring bias is when we are anchored to the first piece of information we hear. It weighs on us more heavily.   [22:19] The main reason we should not trust our gut is because it was created for the savannah environment and we don’t live in that environment anymore.   [23:36] Herding is one way we show our tribal tendency.  [25:44] There is tribal discomfort with someone that is clearly from another tribe. [26:43] An aspect of tribalism is called accent discrimination.  [28:02] Tribalism can hurt morale and engagement and cause disasters.   [29:59] We need to broaden our circle of empathy and who we consider to be part of our group or team.   [30:09] Take an outside perspective. Step outside of yourself and look at your situation from an outside view.   [31:17] Examples of aligning incentives so teams can work toward the same goal.  [33:29] It is important to have globalized incentives that support the company overall.   [34:44] There are more incentives that can be offered then just money.  [37:36] The empathy gap has to do with us underestimating other people’s emotions—especially those who are not part of our tribe. [39:11] It is important to figure out what is going to be emotionally appealing to people and address their emotiona

    • 50 min
    Survivorship Bias: Stop Missing What’s Missing (A Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode)

    Survivorship Bias: Stop Missing What’s Missing (A Behavioral Economics Foundations Episode)

    On today’s behavioral economics foundations episode we are going to be talking about survivorship bias. I decided on this episode when Kurt Nelson (cohost of Behavioral Grooves with Tim Houlihan--last week’s guest) shared a comic of the concept on LinkedIn. After some conversation with Benjamin Granlund (the artist from the Lantern Group who created the comic) I learned this is part of their new 100 Behaviors project. They’re sharing (you guessed it!) 100 different behaviors/BE concepts on the socials through these fun little cartoons. One of the early ones is on survivorship bias, and I have linked to their Instagram so you can follow along as well.
    So, what is survivorship bias? It may sound like it is only a life or death thing…and while that is part of how it was discovered it is more than just about surviving. And, like all the biases you hear me talk about on the show, your brain is using this one all the time, and it can absolutely impact the decisions you make in your business. 
    Survivorship bias impacts entrepreneurs for sure, but it is also leading people astray in all sorts of businesses. Understanding this concept and being on the lookout for it can help you make better decisions on what to invest in—money and time, make your calculations and predictions of your work more accurate, and generally increase the likelihood that your endeavors are more successful. 
    Let’s start with the story of how this bias was discovered, which will require us to journey back to the days of WWII... 
    Show Notes: [03:19] Survivorship bias impacts entrepreneurs for sure, but it is also leading people astray in all sorts of businesses.  [03:49] Melina shares the story of how this bias was discovered, which requires us to journey back to the days of WWII. In a war, the slightest edge can be the difference between success and failure. [05:52] The problem with reinforcing the spots on the planes that have received the most bullets, is that it doesn’t account for a very large and important part of the data set (the planes that didn’t make it back). This conclusion is missing what’s missing. [06:46] In fact, those blank spots are where you want to reinforce the planes. It will make them stronger in those places so they can take some fire there and not go down. [07:39] One common example of survivorship bias is when you seek advice on how to be successful. [09:11] 2 million of the students who start college each year will drop out before graduating. [10:04] If you only look at the successful people and ignore those who failed you aren’t getting the true picture. [10:53] We just see the few who win and it makes it seem like those stories are more common than they really are. [11:24] As we look back on our own lives, we see choices that we think got us to where we are, but those on their own are not the answer.  [13:15] There are lots of other factors that determine success. If you do exactly the same thing year after year you will not always have the same end result. [13:51] Survivorship bias was making them only look at what they did and assume that it is the winning formula no matter what, but it just isn’t the whole picture. [15:10] Just because two things are seen at the same time doesn’t mean that one caused the other to occur. This is the difference between correlation and causation.  [16:07] Just because two data sets appear to go together doesn’t mean one actually caused the other to happen. [16:59] Even if there is causation it doesn’t mean that it is the only thing that is causing that particular outcome to occur.  [18:12] For every 1 popular book out there, one million unsuccessful books and their authors are the other side of this survivorship bias phenomenon. [18:41] There isn’t a magic pill or silver bullet to “win.” It takes trial and error and a lot of hard work.  [19:28] Being read

    • 28 min
    Secrets of Motivation and Incentives, Tim Houlihan Interview

    Secrets of Motivation and Incentives, Tim Houlihan Interview

    Today features an interview with Tim Houlihan, cohost of Behavioral Grooves podcast and the Weekly Grooves podcast, also the founder of Behavior Alchemy. Behavior Alchemy is a consultancy helping companies to incorporate behavioral economics into their businesses, we will talk about some of his work and past projects – including one with Dan Ariely.
    In life, I think it is important to find joy and humor in the small things. So when there was an opportunity for some with this episode, we took it. You see, I was a guest on the Behavioral Grooves podcast for episode 109 of their show, and even though this was recorded several weeks ago, Tim and I agreed it was worth holding onto for a bit so we could have this crossover episode of sorts be the same number.
    In our conversation, Tim and I focus on goals. Something you have heard covered a lot on the show, and while he has some similarly aligned tips, the stories and studies he references are mostly going to be new to the show. And in my opinion, reinforcing tips is important to help you find the right way to achieve more of your own goals. It is a good thing to revisit in as many ways as we can so everyone can find the thing that resonates with them specifically. I am sure you will find some interesting and useful tips and tidbits in this conversation with Tim.
    Show Notes: [01:32] Habit Weekly shared their top behavioral science content of 2020 so far. There were only 4 podcast episodes included, and my interview with Dan Ariely on the Shapa numberless scale (ep 101) was one of them! Thank you Habit Weekly!  [02:51] In life, I think it is important to find joy and humor in the small things and so when there was an opportunity for some with this episode,we took it... [04:37] 20 some years ago, Tim got involved in a business designing incentives and employee engagement programs, rules and rewards. That led him down a path of falling in love with behavioral sciences.  [05:59] They use the Behavioral Grooves podcast to expand their own learning and it has become a public service about application of behavioral science at work and life.  [06:20] On the Behavioral Grooves podcast they talk to researchers, practitioners, and “accidental behavioral scientists.”  [08:26] Think as big as possible when you are setting your goals and vision. When you are looking at actually moving forward, you want to go as small as possible, especially when executing.  [09:29] Tim uses Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). These light up our prefrontal cortex which gets our imagination engaged.  [10:18] If you don’t break those big goals down into small bricks you can’t build the cathedral.  [10:29] The articulation of the plan is most important in any goal development.  [11:27] Self-selected goals are the richest kind of goals we can have.  [13:01] Since the half marathon Melina has been training for is pivoting to a virtual half marathon she is having to revisit and reshape her vision based on what the world will allow.  [15:21] Social media is going to help people to stick to their commitments and achieve their goals.  [17:12] If people are not given due dates they often procrastinate and struggle to meet the goal.  [20:03] Many people would do the bare minimum to hit their goals at the call center.  [21:39] The environment and context was shaping their decisions.  [23:42] A More Beautiful Question talks about using questions instead of answers and some schools that have come up with alternative models to teaching.  [25:03] Tim recommends the fewer the goals the better and no more than three goals at one time. (Matching Melina’s advice! Narrow down to your three goals with the free Master Your Mindset Mini Course) [25:46] Goals need to be time specific and time manageable. Tim suggests month long goals or quarterly goals.  [26:25] The shorter the goals, the more likely you ar

    • 50 min
    How To Start and Grow a Successful Podcast, Tips from a Behavioral Economist

    How To Start and Grow a Successful Podcast, Tips from a Behavioral Economist

    2 years. 6 continents. 108 episodes. 162 countries. 207,000+ downloads.
    and this is just the beginning…
    Today’s episode honors the two year anniversary of the podcast with some celebration and my tips for starting and growing a successful podcast. The Brainy Business podcast launched with its first three episodes on Friday, July 6, 2018. We have had an episode every single week since then and never missed a Friday release or newsletter in those 2 years. Hooray!

    That first month had 844 downloads, which I was incredibly excited about at that time! As you’ll learn in this episode, my show actually hit the average podcast download numbers in that first month...and since then things have gone up and up. It took 483 days to hit the first 100,000 download milestone and less than half that time (only 237) to get the next hundred thousand. If pace stays the same we will be passing the quarter million mark around October, which is amazing as well!
    There have been listeners on every continent (minus Antarctica) and 162 countries.
    Shout out to the top downloaders! Not surprisingly, the US tops the list, followed by the UK, then Canada, Australia, India, Germany, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, and Spain rounds out the top 10. Coming in at 11 we have the Netherlands, followed by South Africa, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Switzerland, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, and France rounding out the top 20. Shout out to my friends in Canada! The top Canadian provinces by downloads are Ontario, followed by British Columbia and Alberta. And to those in the states, we still have a lot of the same top 10 with a fairly similar order: California has the most downloads followed by Washington, Texas, New York, Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina.
    What has made the podcast successful, and what can you learn from my first two years in podcasting?  That’s what this episode is all about. I’ll answer questions like:
    How long does it take to run a successful podcast? Do you really need to be weekly? How many downloads does the average podcast get? Do most podcasts make money? How should you strategically think about your cover art and podcast name? What the heck is podfade, and should you be concerned about it? All this and more covered in this week's episode…[PLUS my awesome Podcast Episode Best Practices Checklist is now available for preorder!]
    Show Notes: [00:46] This week is the two year anniversary of The Brainy Business podcast, which launched with its first three episodes on Friday, July 6, 2018. [01:38] There have been listeners in 162 countries. [04:04] I appreciate each and every one of you who has ever interacted or connected with The Brainy Business. [06:10] Podcasting is a growing medium, and just like any exciting new format it can feel like “everyone” has a podcast and that you “must” be there to be successful in business. [07:24] If it isn’t worth your time to be there and build it the right way, it probably isn’t worth doing. [09:39] Sure, I could spend less time preparing for each episode, but all those things are what make The Brainy Business successful. [11:41] I did the research and invested in good audio from the beginning. [13:45] Why is a podcast a good fit for your business model and how will it support the work you do? [14:28] One other reason I started the show was to help people understand what behavioral economics even is and how it can apply to business. [16:36] Knowing your goals before you jump in and create a podcast is incredibly important and should be used to determine how you set up the structure of your show.  [19:03] Clear, concise, targeted content can often take more time to create than something longer.   [20:35] Most podcasts don’t get past episode seven.   [21:27] Podcast stats aren’t as detailed as we would all like them to be. [22:35] Most podca

    • 49 min
    How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race & Inequality: Interview with Kwame Christian

    How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race & Inequality: Interview with Kwame Christian

    Today’s episode features a discussion with Kwame Christian, host of the Negotiate Anything Podcast, with tips for having difficult conversations around racism, inequality, and more. Today is an especially important episode of the podcast, as it was inspired by the current landscape in the United States, which has grown to include global conversations around inequality and racism on all levels.
    I’m not sure if you have noticed this, but in general, I make a very conscious effort to not be political or inflammatory on the podcast. It is my goal to be impartial whenever possible, and I debated for a long time about whether or not to do an episode on this topic. I didn’t want to say more of the same stuff that was out there and wanted to make sure that the value was still tied to the intent of the podcast: applying brain and behavioral science into business. I had almost decided to not cover the topic when Brian Ahearn (whom I interviewed on episode 104 of the podcast) sent an email with a guest suggestion – a friend of his named Kwame Christian. Kwame is an attorney, negotiation expert with a background in psychology.
    In our conversation today, Kwame will tell you about his three-step framework for negotiating anything, from 9-figure business deals to conversations with kids. He will also share how even though his personal and business credo is “The best things in life are on the other side of difficult conversations,” he was reluctant to be a voice in the Black Lives Matter movement, but once he stepped into the role with a virtual town hall, he has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, and USA Today. He is also one of the nicest guys around, and while his kind demeanor may seem counterintuitive in negotiating, I think it is his superpower (and it can be yours too with his great tips!)
    Show Notes: [00:52] Today is an especially important episode of the podcast, as it was inspired by the current landscape in the United States, around inequality and racism on all levels. [01:24] It is my goal to be impartial whenever possible, and I debated for a long time about whether or not to do an episode on this topic. [02:11] Kwame talks about the importance of compassionate curiosity, has a TED Talk on finding confidence in conflict, and incorporates details about how the brain works in his tips for how to have productive conversations. [04:15] In our conversation today, Kwame will tell you about his three-step framework for negotiating anything, from 9-figure business deals to conversations with kids. [06:14] His motto is, “The best things in life are on the other side of difficult conversations.” [07:27] You can empathize without agreeing.   [09:29] The thing that drew him to negotiating was psychology. [11:16] Kwame hosted a virtual town hall and expected a couple dozen attendees...over 1,000 people showed up to discuss having difficult conversations about race.   [12:19] Race is a difficult conversation, but an important one that we can’t ignore anymore.   [14:39] There is a fear that often keeps people from saying anything at all. [15:56] The majority of people want to get engaged, but don’t know-how.  His advice is to do something. Anything! One small thing at a time.   [17:01] We have to control the narrative for ourselves.   [17:57] There is something you can do. Just find one little thing and do it.   [19:15]The Compassionate Curiosity Framework is simple and flexible to use in different difficult situations  [20:20] The compassionate part is important because it helps to moderate your tone.    [22:01] The IKEA Effect is when we feel much more connected and are willing to overlook the flaws on something we built or created ourselves. [24:09] Take the time and prethink difficult conversations as much as possible.    [26:53] He likes to use the gap theory of persuasion. The gap theory is using a

    • 48 min

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