Action Design Radio explores a variety of topics through the lens of behavioral science and psychology. Hosts Erik Johnson and Zarak Khan interview experts and practitioners to learn about cutting edge behavioral research, and how to practically apply it to fields like public policy and consumer products. The podcast is supported by the Action Design Network, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2012 to promote the use of behavioral economics and psychology with over 10,000 members across the US and Canada.
Behavioral Snowballs with Sarah Watters
How do you start a new pattern of behavior? Sarah Watters wants you to build a snowball. Sarah is a Senior Consultant and Behavioral Scientist at Wellth, a health tech company focused on driving healthy behaviors among complex, chronically ill, individuals.
Since joining Wellth in 2021, Sarah has designed foundational behavioral science strategies and frameworks that have resulted in significant reductions in avoidable inpatient care and high cost utilization among Wellth members. She received her MSc and PhD from the London School of Economics, where her research focused on how individuals make trade-offs in health-related treatment decisions when it comes to quality and duration through a behavioral science lens.
Social Trust and Coordination with Salma Mousa and Rachel Kranton
In this episode, Erik interviews top researchers on the topic of social trust and coordination live from the 2022 Norms and Behavioral Change Conference (NoBeC) at the University of Pennsylvania.
Erik interviews two speakers from the conference about their research on social trust and coordination:
Salma Mousa - Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University studying migration, conflict, and social cohesion. Interview begins at the 1:30 mark of the episode. Rachel Kranton - James B. Duke Professor of Economics at Duke University studying how institutions and social settings affect economic outcomes. Interview begins at the 20:20 mark of the episode. This episode is brought to you in partnership with the Norms and Behavioral Change Conference (NoBeC) organized by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Norms and Behavioral Dynamics.
Hiring a Behavioral Scientist
In this episode, Erik and Zarak discuss how to hire a behavioral scientist with a panel of BeSci practitioners and experts.
Zarak facilitates the discussion with the panel members:
Kathryn Ambroze - Manager of Behavioral and Marketing Sciences at HCD Research. Alli Wishner - Behavioral Analytics Consultant at Deloitte. Shoshana Davidson - Principal Advisor of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the Behavioral Insights Team, with expertise on the BeApplied platform and BIT's research on improving hiring practices. Erik Johnson - your usual AD Radio co-host. This episode is brought to you in partnership wtih HCD Research, a market research firm that specializes in the integration of traditional, psychological, behavioral, & neuroscientific tools to better understand consumers.
The conversation was recorded as a panel discussion for their NeuroU Conference, an online educational symposium to educate and celebrate the latest methodologies, technologies, and innovations in consumer research.
Shanta Ricks - The Psychology of Black Hair
Shanta Ricks takes over the podcast as a special guest host for this episode to share her research on the psychology of Black hair. While receiving her masters in psychology from North Carolina Central University, Shanta focused her thesis on researching the role of hair on Black American self-esteem and how factors such as racial identity and racial socialization impacts this relationship.
Shanta is a behavioral scientist at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight, where her research explores what factors play a role in racial health and financial inequity.
Zarak Khan - Behavioral Science in Innovation
We’re back! In our first episode after a summer break, Erik is joined by previous guest Laurel Newman to flip the tables and interview Zarak on how he applies behavioral science to the field of organizational innovation.
Aside from being co-host of this podcast, Zarak is a Senior Manager in Edward Jones' Firm Strategy Enablement Office, as well as a Senior Behavioral Researcher at Dan Ariely's Center for Advanced Hindsight. He also teach an applied behavioral science consulting course to graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania and serves on the Board of Action Design Network
Our conversation builds on his chapter for the book “Building Behavioral Science in an Organization,” which was edited by himself and Laurel Newman and published by Action Design Press with support from the University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program.
In the episode, you’ll hear Zarak’s expertise on topics like the behavioral and structural barriers to innovation and processes to increase innovative work in organizations.
Allison White - Behavior Mapping
Zarak and Erik chat with Allison White, a senior behavioral researcher at Duke University’s Center for Advanced Hindsight. Allison primarily advises FinTech companies on how to improve the design of their products to improve financial wellbeing for their users. Previously she was a senior UX design strategist at Deloitte’s InsightStudio, and is also a regular guest speaker at U Penn’s Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences program. Allison recently published with Habit Weekly a case study on her specialty of behavior mapping: https://www.habitweekly.com/behavioral-mapping-pro
Today Allison joins the podcast to dive into the various aspects of behavior mapping, including its nuances from journey mapping. Other topics include structural vs. psychological barriers, the importance of focusing on pain points, and what applied behavioral scientists can learn from the methodologies in other fields of human-centered design. According to Allison, one of the main advantages of behavior mapping is it forces you to incorporate a deeper level of specificity in your desired outcome, as well as the subsequent behaviors needed to reach that outcome.