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


Oct 30, 2023

In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, you'll hear a fascinating conversation between host Melina Palmer and guest David McRaney. They delve into the power of perception and how our minds construct reality. David shares his journey of discovering the topic of perception while researching for his book. The discussion explores how our prior experiences and brain processes influence our perception, and how our perception can vary greatly based on individual differences.

By understanding the power of perception, you'll gain valuable insights that can enhance your content creation and improve your understanding of how we construct our reality. So, join Melina and David on this thought-provoking episode to expand your knowledge and gain a new perspective on perception.

In this episode:

  • Discover the science behind psychology and behavior change.
  • Explore the power of perception and how our minds construct reality, revealing the impact it has on our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
  • Understand the intricacies of belief change and gain practical strategies for effectively changing minds and transforming perspectives.
  • Bonus: Learn expert tips for conducting interviews and securing interesting guests to keep your podcast episodes compelling and informative.

Show Notes:

00:00:00 - Introduction,
Melina Palmer introduces this episode, featuring a conversation with David McRaney about his book "How Minds Change." She explains that the book explores the psychology of changing minds and discusses why she chose to feature this episode.

00:02:32 - David McRaney's Background,
David shares his background, from owning businesses to working in journalism and local television. He talks about starting his blog, You Are Not So Smart, which led to a book deal and a successful podcast. He mentions his interest in biases, fallacies, and critical thinking.

00:05:00 - Overview of How Minds Change,
David introduces his book, How Minds Change, which explores the psychology of changing opinions, persuasion, and social change. He discusses his fascination with understanding conspiratorial thinking, resistance to change, and misinformation.

00:07:59 - Advice for Discerning Pursuits,
David advises against jumping into trends and suggests pursuing topics that spark a deep curiosity and obsession. He recommends exploring areas that you want to share with others and that drive you to learn more.

00:10:53 - Importance of Following an Obsession,
David emphasizes the importance of following an obsession and delving deep into a topic of interest. He shares his personal experience with his blog, You Are Not So Smart, and how his curiosity led to the success of his book and podcast.

00:14:02 - The Importance of Enthusiasm and Passion in Podcasts,
David discusses how he can quickly tell if a podcast is just following an algorithm, and emphasizes the importance of infectious enthusiasm and passion in keeping listeners engaged.

00:14:30 - The Need for Genuine Interest in Writing a Book,
David's agent stresses the importance of genuine passion and commitment when pitching book ideas, and he agrees that he prefers to embark on a book project without all the answers, allowing the authoritative voice to emerge naturally.

00:15:17 - McRaney's Approach to Writing a Book,
As a journalist, David believes that his books are better when his authoritative voice develops throughout the project, taking readers on a journey of discovery and learning alongside him.

00:18:04 - Behavioral Baking and Connecting with the Audience,
David shares his experience with introducing a cookie segment on his podcast, where he would bake cookies and share them with his audience. While some loved it, others were not as enthusiastic, leading David to retire the segment after 100 episodes. Melina discusses his concept of "Behavioral Baking" and how it ties into her podcast.

00:28:08 - The Power of Networking,
David shares his experience of reaching out to experts at NYU and how it led to valuable connections and collaborations for his podcast and book projects.

00:29:33 - The Fascination with the Dress,
David discusses the viral phenomenon of "the dress," an image that appeared on the internet and sparked intense debate over its colors. He explains how this event became a touchstone for understanding disagreements and perception.

00:31:35 - The Importance of Curiosity,
David emphasizes the importance of curiosity and asking questions when networking and conducting interviews. He shares advice from a seasoned journalist on always coming back with multiple story ideas to avoid writer's block.

00:32:45 - The Dress Phenomenon Explained,
McRaney delves into the psychology and neuroscience behind the dress illusion. He explains how the brain processes overexposed images and how this can lead to different color perceptions. He references the strawberries illusion as another example.

00:43:09 - Going Beyond Right and Wrong,
Engaging in arguments over who is right and who is wrong prevents deeper conversations about why people hold different interpretations. This applies to various disagreements and limits our understanding of ourselves and others.

00:45:25 - The Croc Experiment,
The croc experiment demonstrated the surf pad concept by showing that people's prior experiences influenced how they perceived the color of crocs and socks under different lighting conditions. This bizarre experiment highlights the complexity of perception and how it varies among individuals.

00:49:36 - Minds Changing on Same-Sex Marriage,
The shift in attitudes towards same-sex marriage challenged the notion that people can't change their minds. Understanding what happens in a person's brain when they no longer agree with their past beliefs became the focus of investigation.

00:51:28 - How to Change Minds,
Changing minds requires moving away from a confrontational approach and towards compassionate listening. Brute-forcing facts on others doesn't work; instead, engaging in non-judgmental conversations that allow for understanding can lead to effective persuasion.

00:55:43 - 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.

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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