Podcast Episodes

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?

382. Understanding Customers Through Emotions w/ Nick Hobson (Refreshed Episode)

In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, Dr. Nick Hobson, a distinguished behavioral scientist specializing in social psychology and social neuroscience, joins host Melina Palmer for an insightful discussion on the intersection of psychology, philosophy, and behavioral science. Dr. Hobson’s journey into the realm of rituals and moral emotions, shaped by collaborations with renowned behavioral scientists like Mike Norton and Francesca Gino, underscores his profound expertise in the field. 

The episode delves into the practical applications of psychology, emphasizing the interconnectedness of theoretical foundations and real-world practices in understanding human behavior. Nick’s expertise in leveraging technology and behavioral science to analyze emotions and attitudes, exemplified by Emotive Technologies’ product, Apex, offers valuable insights for businesses seeking to understand consumer actions. With a wealth of knowledge and expertise, Nick’s perspective adds depth and practical relevance to the conversation, making this episode a must-listen for behavioral science researchers and practitioners.

In this episode:

  • Explore the profound impact of rituals on human behavior, shedding light on their significance in shaping daily actions and choices.
  • Gain insights into the cognitive processes underlying decision-making behavior, illuminating the intricate mechanisms guiding individual choices and preferences.
  • Delve into the realm of moral emotions through psychological research, uncovering the intricate interplay between emotions and moral decision-making.
  • Uncover effective business strategies harnessing the power of behavioral science, offering valuable lessons for leveraging human behavior in organizational settings.
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00:00:00 – Introduction,
Melina  introduces the episode and the guest, Dr. Nick Hobson, a prominent behavioral scientist with a background in social psychology and neuroscience.

00:02:36 – Background and Research on Rituals
Nick discusses his research on the psychology and neuroscience of rituals, which was the focus of his dissertation.

00:05:31 – Philosophy and Science
The conversation delves into the value of philosophy in scientific research, emphasizing the importance of asking questions, running thought experiments, and thinking critically. Dr. Hobson highlights the blend between philosophy and computational cognitive science in the work of Daniel Dennett.

00:10:06 – Qualitative and Quantitative Research
The importance of embracing both qualitative and quantitative research methods is discussed. The conversation emphasizes the balance between asking big questions and curiosity (qualitative) and empirical methodological thinking (quantitative) in scientific research.

00:11:22 – The Role of Philosophy in Research
Nick reflects on the role of philosophy in research, advocating for a philosophical mindset to push the boundaries of scientific innovation. He emphasizes the tension between exploration and replication in scientific research and the value of philosophical thinking in curiosity and hypothesis testing.

00:15:19 – The Birth of Psychology
Nick discusses the marriage between philosophy and physiology in the late 19th century, which led to the birth of psychology. He highlights the influence of philosophers like William James on the founding of psychology.

00:17:04 – The Trolley Problem
Nick delves into the moral dilemma known as the trolley problem, where individuals must make a decision that reflects their moral philosophy. He explains the differences between utilitarianism and deontology in approaching ethical decisions.

00:20:30 – Emotive Technologies and Apex
Nick introduces Emotive Technologies and its product, Apex, which combines technology and behavioral science to uncover and track emotions and attitudes in audience relationships. He emphasizes the tool’s ability to analyze consumer behaviors and provide strategic insights to clients.

00:23:39 – Rituals in Consumer Behavior
Nick explores the role of rituals in both customer-facing and employee contexts. He discusses how rituals can influence consumer behaviors and highlights his work on fan rituals in sports and health and beauty rituals.

00:27:16 – Leveraging Behavioral Insights
Nick shares a case study where behavioral insights from Apex revealed a counterintuitive finding for a client. He explains how the tool provides precise prescriptions for clients to improve their brand’s engagement by focusing on specific psychological constructs.

00:31:14 – Exploring the Intriguing World of Behavioral Science
Nick and Melina delve into the fascinating world of behavioral science, discussing the importance of understanding the mind’s role in shaping behaviors, and the need to explore the philosophical side of behavioral economics.

00:32:23 – Connecting with Dr. Nick Hobson
Nick shares his contact information, including his LinkedIn profile, email, and website, for those interested in learning more about behavioral science and connecting with him.

00:33:29 – The Nexus of Behavior and Mind
Nick emphasizes the significance of understanding the interplay between behaviors and the underlying thoughts and beliefs in shaping human actions, highlighting the importance of exploring both the behavioral and psychological aspects.

00:34:43 – Parting Thoughts on Behavioral Science
Nick encourages listeners to consider the relationship between behaviors and the mind, prompting them to reflect on the drivers of human actions and the underlying thought processes that influence behavior.

00:35:33 –  Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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