Introducing our new podcast, The Science of Change

Listen to The Science of Change here 💡

Behavior change is hard. Actively changing another person’s behavior is even harder. But many companies have been able to crack that code. They’re the companies who understand that people don’t always — or maybe even rarely — act rationally.

The Science of Change is a podcast that seeks to demystify how businesses apply the psychology of decision-making. Each episode features visionary product or organizational leaders to find out what they have discovered about their customers’ behavior — and how they’ve managed to change it. Those insights, along with some of the latest research in their fields, will help us get to the bottom of our core psychologies.

Here is Kristen explaining what you can expect with each Science of Change episode:

A few examples:

We cover the strategies behind Peloton’s enormous success, talking about their Leaderboard system, what they discovered about group classes, how they’ve avoided the downsides of Streaks, and their own surprise at the powerful accountability of an engaged Peloton community. From Peloton’s Senior Director of Product David Packles:

I’ll speak with Director of Product Management Cem Kansu from Duolingo about how they gamified language-learning, using streaks, error-based interactive environments and testing to improve user consistency and language acquisition.

Why you should tune in

Throughout my conversations, I’ll add in expert commentary and behavioral science insights, explaining the concepts, the benefits, and the downsides to their strategies — effectively packing an introductory behavioral science course into a 10-episode podcast season. It’s a great opportunity to see behavioral science in action, and contextualize it with the products you already use every day.

Accompanying some of our episodes, we’ll also have “The Science Behind The Science of Change,” a written summary of the major concepts we discussed and a collection of research on the topic that week, along with citations.

For our Peloton episode, Irrational Labs’s behavioral scientists organized a summary of research on exercise routines, how we build them, how we break them, and shared some surprising, original insights about why we should focus on preparing to exercise. For our Duolingo episode, we researched the fluency heuristic, how to strike a balance between effective instruction and engagement, and the value of testing in language acquisition.

Who it’s for

The Science of Change is a great fit for

  • Product Managers
  • Product Marketers
  • Behavioral Scientists
  • Anyone curious about how their favorite app has hooked them so well

It’s full of industry insights and surprising lessons. We talk about everything from gamification and streaks, to reducing friction and building accountability. Throughout, we learn how behavioral design can engage users at every step and drive behavior change.

As one listener called it, it’s a “Masterclass in UX design for human beings,” full of tools that you can apply to your own life and work.

And a personal note

It’s been a lot of fun making The Science of Change. I’m continually surprised by the innovative ideas and creative strategies coming from the visionary product leaders I talk to. We get into big ideas, small quirks and the data behind their success. I ask some tough questions and share their passion for their work. If I wasn’t the host, I’d still be listening — the conversations are really that good.

We release episodes every Tuesday. You can listen and subscribe here. And a favor? Leave the show a review on Apple Podcasts, subscribe on Spotify and learn more here. Thanks for tuning in!

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Thinking about Irrationality. Behavioral Scientist. Co-founder of Irrational Labs and Common Cents Lab.

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Kristen Berman

Kristen Berman

Thinking about Irrationality. Behavioral Scientist. Co-founder of Irrational Labs and Common Cents Lab.

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