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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

186. Get It Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation with Ayelet Fishbach

Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Ayelet Fishbach. She is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the past president of the Society for the Study of Motivation and the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON). She is an expert on motivation and decision making and the author of the brand new book, which just released this week called Get it Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation.  

 

Of course, Ayelet’s insights are valuable all year round, but it is very much intentional to have this as the first episode of the year. This really is the time of year where people are thinking about goals and motivation. Your New Year’s resolutions are still hopefully intact, and you can increase your chances of meeting and exceeding them with these insights from Ayelet. Regardless of when you listen, it’s always a good opportunity to set and achieve a new goal. After all, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life. 😉 She shares so many top tips for getting it done this year…you don’t want to miss it!

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HERE'S A 2 MINUTE TIP.

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SHOW NOTES:

  • [00:42] Today I am very excited to introduce you to Dr. Ayelet Fishbach,  the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the past president of the Society for the Study of Motivation and the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON).
  • [01:17] Ayelet’s groundbreaking research on human motivation has won her several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Best Dissertation Award and Career Trajectory Award, and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award.
  • [04:18] Ayelet shares her background and how she got into the space of motivation science. 
  • [07:02] Our circumstances often influence what we achieve in life and sometimes we are lucky to have situations where our personal interests fit what people are starting to be interested in around you. 
  • [07:57] She started her research with an interest in self-control and the question on her mind was how people respond when they learn that there is an upcoming problem. For example, will you eat more or less when you know in advance that the food at the party will be delicious and tempting? 🤔 
  • [09:22] Her Ph.D. dissertation research was testing if the anticipation of knowing temptation was coming made people better able to combat these temptations.
  • [11:05] Thinking through problems and knowing what obstacles are going to happen to allow you to create a plan to keep yourself motivated and on track. 
  • [13:52] Ayelet’s new book is called Get It Done. She shares how the book cover came about. 
  • [17:33] Ayelet’s book takes a very different approach by starting with a cautionary tale about Everest. 
  • [19:19] Choosing the right goal is critical. Have a healthy relationship with your goals. 
  • [21:56] We need to move from setting unhealthy extreme goals for our lives. 
  • [22:37] Setting goals can also have downsides. 
  • [24:58] More than half of the New Year’s resolutions that people set are working out and eating healthy. 
  • [26:04] The predictor of success for our New Year’s resolution is how much pleasure we find in the path of pursuing the goal. So plan accordingly. 
  • [26:40] It has to be somewhat rewarding as you do it and you have to find a path that is fun and rewarding along the way. 
  • [28:47] We don’t have a lot of empathy for our future selves. We think that our future self will do what is important to her. 
  • [29:42] The number one mistake in setting resolutions is setting it to some ideal version of yourself that is not who you are. 
  • [31:45] Do the mental simulation of how it will feel to do your resolution all year. Then think about how you can make it more fun. 
  • [34:05] Ayelet shares why something like Pokémon GO! can be valuable for goal achievement of being healthier or walking more. It allows you to get the steps, connect with other people, and connect to your childhood. 
  • [35:16] Make your activities rewarding in the moment so you are excited to do them.
  • [36:41] The problem with avoidance goals is that they are not exciting and they bring to mind the thing you are trying to avoid. 
  • [37:28] You need to consider, “What should I do so I don’t do the thing I don’t want to do? What should I think about that is helpful to me?” Framing things as what you should do is almost always better. 
  • [40:04] When people think about healthy food in a tasty way, they are better able to actually eat the healthy food. 
  • [41:25] She shares a wine example that comes from thinking about how people resolve tradeoffs. 
  • [43:42] Ayelet shares the four buckets all goals need to have so you have a better chance of achieving them.
  • [45:01] The last element is social support. Who in your life is going to help you with your goal? It is so critical that people around us are supportive. 
  • [47:34] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [49:53] Check out and subscribe to Brainy Bites — now on LinkedIn!
  • [52:16] If you enjoy the experience I’ve provided here for you, will you share about it? That could mean leaving a rating/review or sharing the episode with a friend (or 10!)

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