The Decision Corner connects you with cutting-edge insights from the world's best applied behavioral scientists to bring wisdom to your daily and professional life.
Rather than talking about nudges and trying to codify science into design principles, TDC goes deep and finds out just how the world's brightest minds solve complex real-world problems using the social sciences.
How to argue with Julia Minson
In this episode of The Decision Corner, Brooke discusses disagreement with Julia Minson, an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and former lecturer at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Her research explores the psychology behind disagreement and collaboration — why we often suck at turning the former into the latter, and how we can be better. Brooke and Julia dissect the thought processes that often fuel our discussions, how discussions turn into arguments (particularly, unproductive ones), and the reasons we can’t seem to figure out why. Julia gives us practical interventions, applicable on a personal level, that can help us avoid the feared Thanksgiving dinner screaming match and other conversations like it.
Specific topics include:
Advocacy v.s. Inquiry mindset
Why being a know-it-all is a problematic blindspot
How to effectively signal open-mindedness
Active listening: body language and verbal acknowledgement
Cognitive misconceptions about our counterpart’s open-mindedness
Scopes, baselines, and defaults
The role of asking questions, and how to ask them with genuine curiosity
Conversational receptiveness, intentional vocabulary, and the HEAR technique
The stories we tell at work with Grace Lordan
In this episode of The Decision Corner, Brooke is joined by Grace Lordan, an associate professor of Behavioral Science at LSE and author of Think Big, Take Small Steps and Build the Future You Want. Together they discuss the importance of narratives in the workplace, and how the stories that we tell can improve opportunities, diversity, and well-being within organizations.
This podcast covers a variety of topics, including:
How marginalized communities can wield behavioral science to shatter glass ceilings
Why having a growth mindset often falls short - and how talking to three people can fix it
A numerical strategy to prevent likeability from biasing your hiring decisions
The paradox of cronyism in the workplace
How to defeat the “cascade effect” that causes toxic meeting environments
Keeping cool in the face of eco-anxiety with Britt Wray
In this episode of the podcast, Brooke chats with Britt Wray - author of Generation Dread and a Human and Planetary Health Fellow at Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Britt talks about her work around eco-anxiety, the reasons and extent to which different people feel it, and the tools people can deploy to harness it and achieve positive, climate-friendly outcomes.
Some of the topics discussed include:
The drivers of eco-anxiety, media hysteria, and the evolutionary experience of an existential threat.
Why do some communities experience higher levels of eco-anxiety than others?
The role of time perception and present bias in eco-anxiety, and why it can be compared to Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Why climate change is a unique ever-evolving challenge for us to contend with psychologically.
Tools to help us acknowledge and accept eco-anxiety as being real and valid, and move beyond a state of anxiety-induced paralysis.
Soldiers and Scouts with Julia Galef
In this episode of the podcast, Brooke chats with Julia Galef - co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality and host of the podcast 'Rationally Speaking'. They discuss the topic or Julia's book, 'The Scout Mindset' which looks at the underlying motivations that guide our beliefs and behaviors. Some of the things covered include…
- Scout versus soldier mindset - how they differ and why we rely on both, depending on the situation.
- The downsides of soldier mindset and why our tendency to defend our beliefs no matter what can get us into trouble.
- The benefits of adopting an evidence-based mindset and being open to things that challenge our beliefs, aka 'drawing the map in pencil'.
- Practical ways we can embrace a scout mindset in our personal and professional lives.
The behavioral biases behind our investments with Clare Flynn Levy
In this episode of the podcast, Brooke speaks with Clare Flynn Levy - CEO and Founder of Essentia Analytics, a company that uses behavioral data analytics to help professional investors make more skilled investment decisions. Drawing from her own experience as a fund manager, Clare shares her insights into the types of biases that influence investment decision making and the evolution of behavioural interventions that seek to address them. Some of the things discussed include:
- How investors can identify patterns in their decision-making and understand where things might be going wrong.
- Exit-timing and the role of loss aversion.
- The endowment effect, fear of missing out and other common behavioural patterns.
- How Clare and her team work to automate the questions investors should be asking themselves before each important decision.
- Strategies that investors can adopt to overcome the behavioural biases that might be hindering their performance - starting tomorrow
Mental models for business decisions with Roger Martin
In this episode of The Decision Corner, Brooke is joined for the second time by Roger Martin, one the the world’s leading business minds, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business, and the author of the newly released book A New Way to Think: Your Guide to Superior Management Effectiveness. This time around, the two discuss how mental models guide business decisions, and how we can restructure failing mental models to improve ourselves, our teams, and our organizations.
Topics discussed include:
- When you should give up on your mental models - and when to keep pushing at it
- Why writing down your decision making process is vital - and the dangerous behaviors that occur if you don’t
- The simple, but powerful “if-then” model
- How socializing strategy can help us scale over decision-making hurdles
- Why you should make the most skeptical person in the room in charge of test design
- How to overcome disappointing decisions - and why they are so important to make