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

Jul 16, 2021

Today I am very excited to have a fellow behavioral science podcaster, Dr. Nick Hobson on the show. His podcast is called, It’s All Just a Bunch of BS. He also writes for The Behaviorist and is the chief scientist at Emotive Technologies.

So, why did I say at the top of the show that this would likely show you a different side of Nick than you may have seen or heard before? It is because we really focus on philosophy, which is different than anything I’ve had on the show before and was a lot of fun to chat about.

I must admit, in my undergrad I really hated philosophy. I’m not sure if I had a bad teacher or if I just wasn’t ready for it yet, but it was one of my least favorite classes. As time has passed, I’ve come to realize that the types of questions I love to ask and my personal approach to applying behavioral economics are built on a foundation of philosophy. So even if you’ve not been a fan of the field in the past, I recommend you stick around. I think you’re going to like the conversation. 

Show Notes:

  • [00:06] In today’s episode I’m excited to introduce you to Dr. Nick Hobson for a fascinating conversation that even if you know Nick, I’m guessing you haven’t heard him talk about on a show before.
  • [01:13] In this episode, we really focus on philosophy, which I found to be so interesting and I hope you will too.
  • [03:51] Nick shares a funny story about being a doctor and using it for a dinner reservation with his wife.
  • [05:49] Nick has a doctorate degree in social psychology and social neuroscience. His dissertation was about the psychology of neuroscience and rituals. 
  • [08:03] He was very interested in rituals and that determined the next five years of his life. 
  • [09:45] Now he is an applied behavioral scientist. 
  • [12:31] There is a great deal of value that comes with philosophy, the arts, and philosophical thinking. 
  • [13:57] Good scientists are always trying to push the boundaries, explore the outer edges, and breakthrough with scientific intervention. 
  • [16:52] We answer questions with tools of measurement. Tools of measurement are the foundation of any science. 
  • [18:20] Nick shares about the “trolley problem.”
  • [20:20] Nick shares how he transitioned from the space of rituals and about the work he does today. 
  • [21:43] Behavioral scientists and all business owners are interested in the point of action that a person engages (and re-engages) in over and over. What is that decision process?
  • [23:45] There are a lot of rituals on the external, customer-facing side, and the internal employee side as well.  
  • [25:12] We are ritual creatures. 
  • [26:16] Nick talks about the types of consumer projects they are working on. 
  • [27:36] He shares a specific client scenario he worked through. 
  • [29:16] The problem is never the price. It is about all the stuff that happens before. If you can showcase the value you are providing people will buy. 
  • [30:25] Two areas of opportunity for improvement for his client were joy and respect. Once the areas of opportunity are discovered you can create strategic interventions. 
  • [34:02] For all the behavior that we are looking at and observing, let’s not forget about what is actually happening inside the mind, which are the precursors to those behaviors. 
  • [35:06] Melina shares her closing thoughts.
  • [36:54] Melina’s award-winning first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is available on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

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Check out What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia