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

Dec 18, 2020

Today I am very pleased to introduce you to Jez Groom and April Vellacott, coauthors of the book Ripple: The big effects of small behaviour changes in business. Jez and April work together at Cowry Consulting in the UK, which he founded in 2015. Cowry incorporates behavioral science into recommendations for all sorts of clients, including one fascinating study you’ll hear about today where they made workplaces safer by painting the walls pink!  

During the conversation, we talk about all sorts of concepts, like nudges, anchoring, framing, loss aversion, priming, and more.

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Show Notes:

  • [00:41] I am very pleased to introduce you to Jez Groom and April Vellacott, coauthors of the book Ripple: The big effects of small behaviour changes in business.
  • [03:07] April studied psychology for her undergrad. She has always been very interested in the way people around her behaved. 
  • [04:23] April discusses her thesis on using behavioral science in cybersecurity. 
  • [06:56] Jez has done some amazing things in his second career of behavioral science.  
  • [08:01] Jez has always been an entrepreneur and he can’t wait to see the next wave of behavioral science. 
  • [09:59] Jez is excited for more behavioral science applications and studies, as well as diversity in behavioral science. 
  • [11:11] Behavioral science shouldn’t be exclusive. They are going to be campaigning in small territories to start their own programs and studies. 
  • [14:01] April shares about the Preventing Falls with Pink Walls study.  
  • [15:55] The team went to the construction site to help nudge them to be safer. One tactic was painting the walls pink. 
  • [18:07] There was a huge shift in behavior after they implemented their changes including a reward system. 
  • [18:57] If you are a hard-core behavioral scientist, it is crazy to do three interventions all at once, but they only had one shot to change the behavior so they had to take the risk. 
  • [20:50] It is worth the risk when making affordable changes that can have a huge increase in health and safety. 
  • [23:32] The interventions don’t always work across the board, but it is the ideas behind the interventions that matter for future projects. 
  • [24:25] Ripple walks anyone who is working in business or interested in applying behavioral science through the steps to get started. The first step is convincing other people in your organization that behavioral science is an amazing tool that applies to them and your business. 
  • [25:54] No matter where you are in your journey or the size of your business, Ripple is full of practical tips for getting started. 
  • [26:15] There are some interventions that capture your attention because they are counterintuitive. 
  • [27:21] The objective of behavioral science should be to change behavior for the better. 
  • [28:13] Jez shares about his favorite intervention they discuss in the book from their research in South Africa. 
  • [31:11] In South Africa they were working with a store and trying to get people to buy their first sim card from them.  
  • [33:04] We should celebrate the simple more. Many instances can be conveyed in simple terms and that doesn’t mean they are any less genius. 
  • [36:01] Simplicity is very important.  
  • [38:34] “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” - Albert Einstein 
  • [39:29] April shares the process they used for writing the book. 
  • [41:22] Some people are really good at saying what they want to say, but others are really good at writing their thoughts down. 
  • [43:20] We are moving on to the next era in behavioral science. We are trying to figure out a better system of codification of what behavioral science looks like. 
  • [44:57] Complexity and too much information is a huge problem for financial services.  
  • [48:30]Melina’s closing reflections.

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