The Science of Behavior Change with Kristen Berman
Play • 1 hr 1 min

#23: Behavioral Scientist Kristen Berman joins Chris to discuss what research shows about why people act so irrationally, how we can actually change our own behaviors, why she thinks habits are overrated, and some great hacks for increasing happiness. 

Kristen Berman (@bermster) co-founded Irrational Labs  and Common Cents Lab at Duke University, and is a founding team member of Google’s behavioral science unit. Kristen also co-authored a series of workbooks called Hacking Human Nature for Good: A practical guide to changing human behavior and is the host of the new podcast: Science of Change.  

Full show notes available at:


Selected Links From The Episode

Connect with Kristen Berman: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter

Kristen's New Podcast: The Science of Change

Irrational Labs: Website | Newsletter | Online Bootcamps

Rescue Time App: Website

Habit Discontinuity theory  

How to use other people to achieve your goals

Why Habits are overrated

Get a dog (and why you shouldn't try to create habits)

Give yourself a deadline - the deadline made me do it. 

3 ways to stress less about money

Collection of Rule of Thumb research


Full Show Notes

Who is Kristen Berman? (00:14)

What actually influences our decision-making? (01:59)

Is efficient decision-making as simple as changing your environment? (3:20)

Why saving is NOT a habit. (05:49)

Setting up decision days. (09:10)

How you can stop procrastinating with your decisions. (10:37)

Why online communities focused on money motivate you. (13:25)

How you should act when you have a really busy to-do list. (15:21)

What voting, flu shots, and your to-do list have in common. (18:39)

Why teaching someone something is simply not enough (according to scientific research) (20:10)

Setting up systems for your life that suit your personality and your ERRORS. (22:54)

How to make committing to working out easier. (28:03)

Here’s why (and how) you should disrupt your life more often. (30:32)

One thing everyone can do to optimize their life experience. (35:44)

An easy hack to feel happier almost instantly. (37:47)

Why you should get uncomfortably specific about your goal behaviors. (38:52)

How to have self control in a world full of impulse triggers. (42:00)

Is being aware of your biases enough to change your behavior? (45:11)

Why opting out of things can make you happier. (46:38)

Designing for peak experiences when you travel. (48:25)

How to have more interesting conversations. (49:56)

What is Kristen Berman up to these days? (52:46)


Connect with All the Hacks

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Chris Hutchins: Twitter | Instagram | Website | LinkedIn

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