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Tim Houlihan & Dr. Kurt Nelson – Behavioural Science (#83)

How to use behavioural science to make better decisions and overcome your fears

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Tim Houlihan & Dr. Kurt Nelson - Behavioural Science (#83) | My Home Vitality

Introduction to guest:

Tim Houlihan and Kurt Nelson are the hosts of the Behavioral Grooves podcast, in which they delve into the enchanting depths of human behaviour – i.e. why we do what we do (including all the stupid things!).

Not only are they accomplished podcasters, they’re also experienced Behavioural Science practitioners…

Tim helps corporations and public institutions solve “people issues” using a behavioural lens in order to achieve high-impact results.

Kurt earned a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology. He founded The Lantern Group more than 20 years ago, using behavioural science to improve employee motivation for a host of Fortune 500 clients.

If you want to understand more about human behaviour, why we do what we do and how you can use Behavioural Science, Behavioural Design, and Communication to get the most from your life (and team), continue scrolling to find the full podcast below.

Enjoy the show and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more!

More from Tim and Kurt:

Key quotes and takeaways from the show:

“IT DEPENDS!” Context is everything! You would speak in a library differently to how you would speak in a sports stadium.

Evolution does not have a moral compass.

We act through the filter of our beliefs.

We often prioritise lesser short-term rewards over greater long-term rewards because, from an evolutionary perspective, short-term rewards kept us alive for another day.

We are terrible forecasters of what we think will make our life better in the future.

Status Quo Bias – “it’s too much effort and too scary to push beyond what I know.”

Our behaviour is based on emotions. We rationalise decisions after the fact.

If you want to change behaviour, you need to change your routines, environment, systems and habits. Willpower has its limits.

Use heuristics to make better quick decisions.

Use the “if…then…” model for pre planning decisions that need to be made quickly.

Deep thinking about ANYTHING can get us to better decisions but we find it difficult to do in the modern world.

Aphantasia is the inability to voluntarily create a mental picture in your head.

There’s no such thing as muscle memory. Your muscles don’t have a memory. All movement comes from the brain.

Sufficing and Satisfying = “Satisficing”. You can use “satisficing” to make minor decisions that are just “good enough”. You don’t have to maximise every outcome!

People are different. Some are maximizers, some are satisficers.

A master often returns to the basics (but with a different level of knowledge and understanding).

State is everything! Example of Gaz staying calm when being violently attacked vs. him getting worked up over small unimportant thoughts.

The Spotlight Effect. We think we’re in the spotlight but, most often, no one really cares. “What is the worst that can happen to me?” “What am I going to care about most when I approach the end of my life?” “I only have so many days on this earth, how do I want to spend those days?” “Will my car dealer, mortgage broker or financial adviser visit me on my deathbed?”

The people that you surround yourself with are vital to your success. Relationships matter!

The power of our unconscious mind is significantly underrated.

Music is a really good topic of conversation because it brings out a side in someone that is often difficult to access. It’s a good emotional driver.

Everything is conjecture.

The foundation of high performance is good health.

Our skin does not have moisture sensors.

You don’t know what you don’t know. Your mind plays tricks on you. Keep an open mind.

Be kind!

Prioritise happiness, health and kindness.

Seek “wonderful trouble.”

Question of the day:

“Do you go with your gut, head or heart when making decisions?”

Links to podcast sites:

Listen on Audible
Listen on iTunes
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Stitcher
Listen on Overcast

The full podcast:

Related episode:

For more podcasts about human behaviour, emotions and how the brain works, check out these complimentary podcasts…

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Show notes:

  • 00:00:00 – Coming up
  • 00:00:34 – Where to find more and
  • 00:01:09 – An introduction to Tim and Kurt.
  • 00:03:06 – Our first 4-way.
  • 00:04:35 – Why do we do things that we know are bad for us?
  • 00:10:56 – Where do decisions come from?
  • 00:15:46 – How to make better decisions.
  • 00:20:09 – Can we use visualisation to speed up the learning (and decision making) process?
  • 00:29:51 – Exploring intuition. Do you go with your gut, head or heart when making decisions?
  • 00:45:16 – How to overcome your fears.
  • 00:55:03 – Behavioral Grooves
  • 00:56:17 – The main lessons Tim and Kurt have learned from the Behavioral Grooves podcast.
  • 01:01:30 – The main lessons Shaun has learned from the My Home Vitality podcast.
  • 01:08:03 – The main lessons Gaz has learned from the My Home Vitality podcast.
  • 01:09:27 – Principles and life lessons that Tim and Kurt live by.
  • 01:09:43 – Books that Tim and Kurt recommend, gift or refer back to.
  • 01:11:36 – What advice would Tim and Kurt give to their younger selves?
  • 01:13:04 – What has added the most value to Tim and Kurt’s lives?
  • 01:15:49 – Gaz’s final thoughts.
  • 01:16:06 – Tim’s final thoughts.
  • 01:16:16 – Kurt’s final thoughts.
  • 01:16:29 – Where to find more from Tim and Kurt.
  • 01:18:08 – Where to find more and
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