Jun 28, 2019
Today is our last episode in the
series on biases – and the last episode of the first year of the
podcast! Can you believe it? A whole year of behavioral economics
and business. A lot has happened over this year and I look forward
to sharing that in next week’s anniversary episode.
Today’s episode closes out the
series on biases by talking about our brains’ penchant for novelty
and story. You probably know that people remember better when they
hear stories, and that they pay more attention, but this will
explain the concepts of our brain that make it the case for
everyone - and how you can use it in your business to be more
- [04:00] Our brains like things
that stick out or are different. This is called the
bizarreness effect because things that are bizarre are remembered
better than more common stuff.
- [05:13] We are also more likely
to remember funny things compared to those that are not humorous
due to the humor effect.
- [06:32] Incorporating humor
into messaging is not always easy. If it is not done right and
feels staged it can be detrimental to any brand.
- [07:32] Due to
brains are primed to see faces in pretty much everything. No matter
how vague or random the stimuli, it can be seen as significant when
our brain gets a hold of it.
- [08:14] Illusory
correlation is an
inaccurate memory about the relationship between two different
- [09:17] Seeing faces on houses,
trees, cracks in the sidewalk or whatever else (pareidolia) are
deeply rooted in our love of story and of novelty.
- [10:51] Our brains’
appreciation for stories impacts so much of everything we do. We
often tell ourselves stories about other people because it helps us
to understand them.
- [11:07] Due to the
empathy gap, we
are likely to underestimate how much feelings will influence
decisions and how strong they can be – this occurs both for
ourselves and for other people.
- [12:48] Due to the
tend to have a lesser response to a large group of people than they
do to a single person.
- [13:58] Giving a specific story
can help form a picture in their brain, which means they are more
likely to remember you in the future.
Survivorship bias is a way we can remember and focus on those who
survived and ignoring everything else because it is less
- [16:14] If you are not thinking
about where survivorship bias could be impacting your analysis, you
could be doing a huge disservice to your business.
- [16:33] The just
world hypothesis is where
we want to believe the world around us is fundamentally just, and
we will rationalize some injustice that is otherwise inexplicable
as being deserved by the victim.
- [17:20] Moral
luck is the tendency for
someone to use the outcome of an event to assign moral standing
even when it is likely unrelated.
Authority bias is
where we are more likely to believe and be influenced by the
opinion of someone in authority.
- [20:35] The Ben
Franklin effect shows that
if we have done a favor for someone, we are more likely to do a
second favor for them.
- [22:03] Social
desirability bias is where
we want others to see us in the best possible light, so we will
likely overreport our own socially desirable behaviors and
characteristics, while we will under report them for everyone
- [22:30] The
courtesy bias is
where we share opinions that are more socially acceptable than our
true thoughts and feelings so we do not offend anyone.
- [22:47] Because of
omission bias we
will judge actions (also known as commissions) more harshly than
inactions (or omissions) even if they are more harmful than taking
- [24:18] The
backfiring effect is when we have done something good, and are
therefore more likely to allow ourselves to do something
- [25:33] The stories we tell
ourselves are impacting the decisions we make all the time, and it
doesn’t have to be as dramatic as these studies have made it
- [25:56] Once you understand how
these biases impact you and your life, think about how it impacts
the opinions others have of you (and you have of others). Then
think about how understanding them can help you to make better
- Thanks for listening. Don’t
forget to subscribe on
Android. If you like
what you heard, please leave a
review on iTunes
and share what you liked about the
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