Newsletter - April 2020

Hey, Groovers…

We have a couple of cool things to share about the podcast before we talk about the meetup.

First, Behavioral Grooves was named a Global Top 20 Social Science Podcast in March by Chartable, the de facto standard in podcast reporting. We were tickled for the recognition as our mission is to expand the community and being recognized as a Global Top 20 podcast indicated we’re on the right path.

Second, March saw the largest number of downloads since we started more than 2 years ago. Downloads were up 73.9% over February and 41.9% over our best month ever (December 2019). The growth is happening because folks like you are spreading the world and we appreciate it!

Also, have you checked out our new podcast channel called Weekly Grooves?

Weekly Grooves views the week’s headlines through a behavioral science lens. You can check it out at https://weeklygrooves.podbean.com/. (It will be live in Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, ACast, etc. shortly!) The Weekly Grooves is a fresh way to interpret the weekly headlines for those who might want to dig a little deeper.

And we want to let you know that our podcast series on COVID-19 features talented experts including Barry Ritholtz (host of Bloomberg’s Masters in Business), Annie Duke (author of Thinking in Bets), Caroline Webb (author of How to Have a Good Day), Wendy Wood (author of Good Habits Bad Habits), Rodd Wagner (author of Widgets and is a Forbes contributor), Liz Fosslien (author of No Hard Feelings), Ali Fenwick (Hult University in London), Deb Small (Wharton), Eugen Dimant (University of Pennsylvania), James Brewer (Eli Lilly), Christian Hunt (Human Risk)…and more every day!

As always, we’d greatly appreciate you sharing our podcast with a friend or taking a moment to write us a review. We have no sponsors, so we ask your help in getting the word out. Thanks, and keep on grooving!

~ Kurt & Tim


Highlighted Behavioral Grooves Podcast: The Economics of Online Gaming

As noted, Andrew Wagner came over to the Behavioral Grooves Pleasant Street Studio to record a conversation about economics and behavioral science in online gaming. In this episode, Andrew shares some counter-intuitive observations about trustworthiness, at least as a player in the game.

Also, fellow Meetup member from New Jersey, Adam Hansen, joined us for a rousing discussion on innovation. Lots of laughter, banal humor, and sideways comments that will keep you in Wikipedia for a month.

Kurt’s Reading

I’m going all Fantasy on you this month.  I don’t binge on a lot of things, except when I get a good fantasy book (or series), then watch out; I’ll stay up the entire night reading.  N.K. Jemisin’s Hugo Award-winning trilogy, The Broken Earth series, compelled me to stay up way past my bedtime this past week, reading all three books: The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, and The Stone Sky.  There is a reason all three books won the Hugo – Jemisin’s writing is sharp, her stories are unique, and the perspectives are wonderful.  I highly recommend that you read it (but maybe not the whole series in 4 days).

Tim’s Reading

The Ministry of Common Sense by Martin Lindstrom is a book that wonders why individuals display lots of evidence of common sense – looking both ways before we cross the street – but organizations suppress our natural instinct for empathy and ignore basic rights and wrongs. His focus is on both the employee and the customer experience and it’s a good reminder of the very common roadblocks to applying common sense in the workplace.

Kurt’s Music

I love it when I find a new song that quickly becomes my favorite and stays that way, even upon multiple repeated listenings.  Sea Wolf’s “Forever, Nevermore” is just that song.  The lyrics, melody, and emotion that they song evoke grow with each listen.   I’ve mentioned Sea Wolf (which is the band moniker of Alex Brown Church) in the First Thursday Newsletter before, with “Middle Distance Runner.”  I’m super stoked that Sea Wolf is coming out with a new album on March 20th.

Tim’s Music

I was at a show recently (with Kurt) and saw a new artist open that I think you might enjoy. Her name is Madison Cunningham and her approach is grounded in the contemporary Americana singer-songwriter genre. In other words, she plays acoustic guitar and sings. But she does it at a very high level. Aside from having terrific pipes – great control of her voice without any affect – she’s also got terrific bona fides as a guitarist. In the clip linked to her name, a Beatles song called “In My Life,” Madison plays the solo and knocks the arrangement out of the park.


Available at our Behavioral Grooves website, iTunes, Spotify, and just about anywhere you catch your podcasts, we have new podcasts including Andrew Wagner’s and Adam Hansen’s episodes. You can check all of these podcasts, and more, at our Behavioral Grooves website at https://behavioralgrooves.com/.


Next Meetup: 03-19-2020

February 20, 202 (IN MINNEAPOLIS)

Location: Azul Seven. Located at 1310 Quincy St NE Suite #102, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Phone: 612 767 4335

Time: Gather at 5:30pm, Presentation at 6:00pm


*** We are finalizing our speaker/topic for March at this writing. We’ll update everyone once the details are set! ***


Behavioral Science Principles for April

Choice overload (or The Tyranny of Choice)

Also referred to as ‘overchoice,’ the phenomenon of choice overload occurs as a result of too many choices being available to consumers. Choice overload may refer to either choice attributes or alternatives. The greater the number or complexity of choices offered, the more likely a consumer will apply heuristics. Overchoice has been associated with unhappiness (Schwartz, 2004), decision fatigue, going with the default option, as well as choice deferral—avoiding making a decision altogether, such as not buying a product (Iyengar & Lepper, 2000).

Halo Effect

The tendency for a person’s positive or negative traits to “spill over” from one personality area to another in others’ perceptions of them (see also physical attractiveness stereotype).

Fading Affect bias

A bias in which the emotion associated with unpleasant memories fades more quickly than the emotion associated with positive events.


. . . .

Kurt Nelson, PhD / 612-396-6392 / kurt@lanterngroup.com

Kurt has over 25 years helping organizations understand their employees.  His company, The Lantern Group, is a Behavioral Design & Communications Agency focused on Employee Motivation, Company Culture, and Organizational Friction.  He has a passion for trying to understand “why we do what we do,” skiing (downhill and water), the Timberwolves, good books, and good beer.  Find out more at www.lanterngroup.com

Tim Houlihan / 612-386-5886 / tim@behavioralchemy.com

Tim founded BehaviorAlchemy, LLC, nearly 3 years ago after nearly 20 years at BI WORLDWIDE, a global incentive agency based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. At BIW, Tim was the Vice President of Reward Systems with corporate responsibility for $300,000,000 in revenues for products distributed to over 1 million participants in 49 countries and 32 languages. Tim is also a committed Americana singer-songwriter with 6 self-published records and performs more than 35 gigs each year.


Is your company maximizing its human capital?  Does your leadership team know how to leverage behavioral insights to improve performance?  We can help you take that leap with a custom podcast for YOUR company? Give us a call!

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves


Disclosure: some of the links in this post are Amazon affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase, we will earn a commission. This helps us offset some of the costs of the podcast and running the monthly meetups.  Note, you can always bypass these links and just buy them directly. 


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