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This episode was recorded live at the Etch Summer Summit 2019, and takes a quick look at how our own brains could be the hidden persuader when it comes to making decisions. Are you really in control over the choices you make, or has your brain just made you think you are? Five studies from psychology build on each other to make you doubt every decision you’ve ever made.

I got the idea for this talk about talking with Prof. John Fox about Nick Chater’s book ‘The Mind is Flat’. The basic premise that we don’t make decisions based on an underlying belief system or attitudes is rather controversial, and so I thought it would be of interest at the Etch Summer Summit after people had downed a few summer cocktails. …

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In this follow-up to the last episode on resolutions, I’m delighted to be joined by eminent psychologist and author of ‘Self-Help Without the Hype’, Dr Robert Epstein. We chat more about the idea of self-management, behaviourism and behavioural psychology and how it relates to today’s digital world.

Our chat moves through topics such as Epstein’s own experiences working alongside BF Skinner, the innovative (and quirky) practices which Skinner applied to himself, the relevance of behavioural psychology today and the association with behavioural economics. …

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A resolution isn’t just for January, we make them all the time. But not only do most of us find it hard to stick with our personal resolutions, designers and design teams are often now at the heart of creating self-improvement apps, websites and products. So it’s no longer just about changing ourselves, a designer can often help others change too.

Show notes:

‘Self-help Without The Hype’ by Dr Robert Epstein

‘Skinner as Self-Manager’ by Dr Robert Epstein

You can read more about BF Skinner here:


The Design Psych

A psychologist and designer with a passion for finding intelligent ways to encourage, support and enable people to make better choices for themselves.

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