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The problem of exceptionalism

covid exceptionalism Aug 06, 2020

This image just about sums up human behaviour, doesn't it?  

Image via @CorkCoypu

I'm writing to you from the locked-down city of Melbourne. A few weeks ago it seemed we were on top of Covid-19 but in a blink we find ourselves under Stage 4 restrictions. An 8pm-5am curfew, a 5 kilometre boundary in which we can shop - but only for essentials - remote schooling and limits on outdoor exercise.

It feels like the whole class got 6 more weeks of detention because some naughty kids...

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6 cognitive biases that get people to buy online

6 cognitive biases that influence online shopping

Google's consumer insights team wanted to "understand how consumers make decisions in an online environment of abundant choice and limitless information."

They found that "people deal with scale and complexity by using cognitive biases encoded deep in their psychology."

As consumers cycle through exploration and evaluation phases of their decision, they rely on the following six cognitive biases:

  1. Category heuristics -...
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It's natural, but is it acceptable?

Uncategorized Jul 22, 2020

I’ve found myself talking a lot about in-group bias recently.

It's our tendency to favour our group over others. 
 
What’s our group? It could be our family, footy team, hair colour, ethnicity, choice of car, nationality, or even, as I have witnessed during Melbourne’s second lockdown, suburb.
 
We naturally sift and sort people into categories so we can navigate the world, separating “us” and “them” as we go. From an evolutionary...

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Let's talk behavioural models

bmap comb east mindspace Jul 09, 2020
 

Does the world really need another behavioural framework? 

I wrestled with this as I developed and shared my model for behaviour change.

How is it different? Why should people bother? 

And the thought came screaming back as I presented at Nudgestock a few weeks ago. A lot of concepts and approaches were thrown around over 14 hours. It was overwhelming. 

So here's what I thought I'd do.

First, sketch a landscape of the more commonly known behavioural...

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Why we're all a bit like Trump

“When you do testing to that extent, you are going to find more people, you will find more cases. So I said slow the testing down.”

US President Donald Trump’s statement about slowing COVID-19 testing was so appalling that it rightfully made headlines around the world.

For a world leader to so flagrantly place vanity above the health of his citizens was truly gobsmacking.

But there’s a second reason it was so awful.

Inadvertently or by design, Trump made blatant what...

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Nudgestock Global 2020

 

I was excited to present at the world's biggest and best festival of behavioural science, created by Ogilvy.

It kicked off in Sydney and travelled around the globe, finishing in New York 14 hours later.

Here's my 'tight ten' in which I explain my behaviour change model.

 

What now?

  • Read a quick overview of my Behaviour Change Model here.
  • Clarify your very own behavioural challenge with my free Behavioural Analysis tool.
  • Get behavioural tips and ideas by subscribing...
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Nanette-ing your approach to influence

Much of the power of Hannah Gadsby’s hit show “Nanette” was her deconstruction of comedic performance, lifting the veil and stepping us through the set-up, tension and release.

The comedian’s role, Gadsby shared, is to deliberately create tension so they can then relieve us of it.

That’s your role too, by the way, if you are interested in gaining traction for your ideas or winning new business. Whether you are creating a PowerPoint presentation, writing a tender...

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When it comes to habits, should you moderate or eliminate?

For some, moderation works. My mother, for example, can leave food on her plate and limit herself to two squares of chocolate a night.

For others, elimination is better. I am prone to eating everything on my plate and gobbling two ROWS of chocolate. I am therefore better to serve smaller meals on smaller plates, eliminating the decision whether and how much to leave. Eliminating chocolate from the house also works best for me.

Whether you are wired to moderate or eliminate will have a large...

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Best 5 TED talks on behaviour change

 

My Top 5 TED talks on behaviour change, including key take outs.

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Once we're in it, how do we exit?

covid entry exit Apr 30, 2020
 

After returning from a 16-day hike of the Larapinta trail in 2017, I swore I would never take a hot shower for granted again.

Of course I did, because taking things for granted is our default.

We take for granted people, possessions, freedom (if we have it) and that the sun will rise tomorrow. Three weeks ago, I treasured each square of toilet paper. Now I barely think about it.

When we stop, though, we find ourselves in awe of sunrise. Of our freedom. Of our loved ones.

But it’s...

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