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Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Kurt Nelson, PhD and Tim Houlihan

3 Creators

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Stories, science and secrets from the world’s brightest thought-leaders. Behavioral Grooves is the podcast that satisfies your curiosity of why we do what we do. Explanations of human behavior that will improve your relationships, your wellbeing, and your organization by helping you find your groove.

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10/17/21 • 64 min

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Anxiety in the workplace has always been present, even pre-pandemic but rates of anxiety, particularly among young employees, have worsened since 2020. So what obligation do organizations have to their employees' mental health? How can managers recognize the signs of anxiety, and how can we help our colleagues with those feelings?

Following our incredibly popular first episode with Chester Elton in July 2021, on showing gratitude (episode 238), we are thrilled to be talking with him again about anxiety in the workplace. As a best-selling author, speaker and executive coach, Chester, and his co-author Adrian have shown over and over again, that the key to really successful companies is really successful relationships with employees. And because of the pandemic, we wanted to talk with Chester about their most recent book; Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done:

Thank you to all of you who have subscribed to our show, written a review or shared an episode with your friends. Please also consider donating a small amount each month to our work, through our Patreon site:

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


(3:03) Speed round questions.

(5:30) Is anxiety in the workplace increasing or decreasing?

(10:11) How to manage with empathy, not just sympathy.

(14:59) Unleashing employees' potential.

(20:17) The number one cause of anxiety and how managers can recognize it.

(23:34) Showing vulnerability as a manager.

(29:12) Will people take advantage of mental health days off?

(32:07) How to deal with your own perfectionism and anxiety.

(36:57) The ways you can join Chester’s community.

(40:22) Chester’s anti-anxiety playlist.

(44:05) Chester’s kind promise to listeners.

(45:00) Grooving Session discussing how to apply Chester’s insight to our lives.

Books by Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick

Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done:

Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results:

All In: How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results:

The Best Team Wins: The New Science of High Performance:

The Orange Revolution: How One Great Team Can Transform an Entire Organization:


Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

Chester Elton:

Chester Elton, Episode 238: Who Makes You Feel Grateful? Tell Them!

We Thrive Together: A safe community to talk about anxiety and stress with over 500 members.

Anxiety at Work with Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton:

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy:

Nicole Malachowski:

HR Leaders Podcast with Chris Rainey:

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Episode 246: Are You More Honest with Google or Your Friends?

The Heart of Business: Leadership Principles for the Next Era of Capitalism” by Hubert Joly:

Garry Ridge at WD-40:

Musical Links

Pharrell Williams “Happy”: ht...

4 Listeners

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The clearest indicators of our financial solvency are based on the behaviors we exhibit with our investments. Dr. Daniel Crosby PhD is a psychologist, behavioral finance expert, asset manager and bestselling author of four books including “The Behavioral Investor”: We examine with him the question of whether financial success ultimately brings us happiness? Surprisingly it can, but not in the ways that we think it does.

Having studied the growing list of 200 odd behavioral biases and heuristics, Daniel has whittled them down to what he describes as the four “Big Daddy” biases: ego, emotion, attention and conservatism. We learn about why these matter so much and interestingly what Coke Zero can teach us about our biases!

Daniel touches on his other bestselling book “You’re Not That Great”: which refreshingly embraces the fact that we are in fact all fairly average! That self esteem is built not by awarding prizes for participation, but by taking a risk, working hard and acknowledging that occasionally we will fall flat on our face along the way!

In our Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim, following our interview with Daniel we talk about the ways that we can apply Daniel’s insights to improve our wellbeing and our relationships. [Tim quotes the infamous “Man in the Arena '' quote from Theodore Roosevelt but apologies, we incorrectly credited the quote to Eisenhower, not Roosevelt in the episode.]

If you would like to invest in the work that Behavioral Grooves does to bring you interviews like Daniels every week, please support our Patreon page: thank you.


(3:09) Welcome and speed round.

(5:51) Why understanding people is vital to understanding markets.

(8:20) Daniel's journey into behavioral finance.

(11:02) What behavioral finance can help with beyond your bank balance.

(15:17) Can money really boost our happiness?

(20:05) The benefits of embracing our mediocrity.

(24:30) How stress impacts performance.

(26:58) Meta-biases: ego, promotion, attention, conservatism.

(31:09) What Coke Zero can teach us about conservatism bias.

(36:51) Ethics and behavioral finance.

(41:09) What music does Daniel invest in?

(48:44) Grooving Session on how to apply Daniel’s work in our own lives.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

Books by Daniel Crosby

The Laws of Wealth: Psychology and the secret to investing success:

The Behavioral Investor:

You're Not That Great:

Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management


Van Leeuwen Ice Cream Honeycomb:

“Subjective Well-Being and Income: Is There Any Evidence Of Satiation?” Betsy Stevenson and Justin Wolfers (2013):

The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness” by Morgan Housel:

Daniel Crosby TEDx:

Nudge: The Final Edition” by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein:

Barry Ritholtz, Episode 47. How to Reduce Evolutionary Panic:

The Rocket City Trash Pandas:

Sludge: What Stops Us from Getting Things Done and What to Do about It” by Cass Sunstein:

At Uber, a New C.E.O Shifts Gears, The New Yorker:

Trevor Foulk episode (publishing at the end of Oct 2021)

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, Episode 246. Are You More Honest with Google or Your Friends?

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10/31/21 • 18 min

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Listen to Kurt and Tim’s spooky Halloween Special about some common biases that can seem a bit scary. But don’t fear, the scariest thing about this episode is actually Kurt and Tim’s jokes! Find out why some biases are a bit spooky, what makes us susceptible to them, and most importantly how we can overcome them.

Thanks for taking the time to learn a bit about how to overcome the biases you may find impacting your life. If you’d like to support our work further, please consider donating a treat (no tricks please!) on our Patreon page: Your financial support helps with all our production costs.


Behavioral Grooves Twitter: @behavioralgroov

Kurt Nelson Twitter: @motivationguru

Tim Houlihan Twitter: @thoulihan

Common Biases and Heuristics:

Scary Biases:

Behavioral Grooves Patreon page:

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12/29/21 • 24 min

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It’s the time of year for setting New Year’s resolutions. But how can you set goals that you will actually achieve? Will you look back at the end of 2022 and feel a sense of accomplishment? The first step to reaching your goals is actually knowing how to set yourself up to succeed.

In this fun Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim, they break down the steps needed to create motivating goals in 2022. Using insights from past guests, plus their own expertise in behavioral science, Kurt and Tim break down the skills behind successful goal setting. In addition, they dispel some ill-advised myths. Think willpower is enough to help you lose weight? Sorry, but creating healthy habits takes more than just good intentions.

If you want to better your health, your relationships or your organization in 2022, listening to this fun and informative episode will start you off on the path to success.


Gary Latham PhD, Episode 147: Goal Setting, Prompts, Priming, and Skepticism:

Katy Milkman PhD, Episode 232: How to Make Healthy Habits that Actually Last:

Roy Baumeister PhD, Episode 171: Self Control, Belonging, and Why Your Most Dedicated Employees Are the Ones To Watch Out For:

Leave a review for Behavioral Grooves Podcast:

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves

3 Listeners

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10/27/21 • 71 min

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Rudeness is contagious, in a similar way to a virus. When experiencing a rude encounter, our brain perceives it like a threat. And once we’ve tuned in to this low-level threat, we’re more likely to notice it around us, and therefore more likely to display rude behavior ourselves.

Our guest on this episode is Dr Trevor Foulk PhD, Assistant Professor of Management & Organization at the University of Maryland. His well published research on deviant workplace behaviors and workplace power dynamics, has been featured in Time magazine, Harvard Business Review, and the Wall Street Journal.

Trevor walks us through what rude behavior actually is, what our evolutionary response to it is and how we can take steps to mitigate the effects of it. We are also delighted to talk about Trevor’s research around the way power changes our behavior, and what impact a feeling of paranoia can add to the dynamics. And to Tim’s delight, Trevor also boosts our understanding of how music affects work performance.

Truth be told, our conversation with Trevor has opened our eyes into how rude behavior really impacts people. And in our Grooving Session, at the end of the episode, Kurt and Tim recap the ways Trevor’s research can improve our lives.

If you enjoy listening to our podcast, you can become an exclusive Behavioral Grooves Patreon member at


(3:28) Welcome and speed round

(8:38) How rudeness is contagious.

(11:45) Why do we view rudeness as threatening?

(13:10) The solutions to rudeness.

(15:36) How our response to rudeness differs from holding a grudge.

(17:52) Are certain personality types more susceptible to rudeness?

(19:15) What effect does rudeness have on medical professionals?

(22:59) Can gratitude have the opposite effect to rudeness?

(24:27) How the Anchoring Effect is affected by rudeness.

(28:43) How does a feeling of power change our behavior?

(35:40) Paranoia and power.

(39:51) How does music influence performance?

(47:35) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing what we’ve learnt from Trevor’s interview.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Dr Trevor Foulk PhD:

Foulk, T.A., Woolum, A., & Erez, A. (2016). Catching rudeness is like catching a cold: The contagion effects of low-intensity negative behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology:

Riskin, A. Erez, A., Foulk, T.A., Kugelman, A., Gover, A., Shoris, I, Riskin, K., & Bamberger, P.A. (2015). The impact of rudeness on medical team performance: A randomized trial. Pediatrics:

Foulk, T.A., Lanaj, K., Tu, M., Erez, A., & Archambeau, L. (2018) Heavy is the head that wears the crown: An ator-centric approach to psychological power, abusive behavior, and perceived incivility. Academy of Management Journal:

John Bargh: Episode 155. Dante, Coffee and the Unconscious Mind:

John Bargh, Episode 248. Do We Control Situations or Do Situations Control Us?

Vanessa Bohns, Episode 253. Why You Don‘t Need to be Powerful to be Influential:

Musical Links

Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen “This Old Porch”:

Jim Croce “Operator”:

Rancid “Fall Back Down”:

Jimmy Buffett “Margaritaville”:

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01/09/22 • 82 min

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If you have a creative vision, how do you focus your skills on making it happen? Can you turn your dream into a career? How can we encourage more creative entrepreneurs? And can we incorporate more creativity into an analytical job?

Jeff Madoff is an American director, producer, photographer, writer and professor living in New York City. He is the founder and CEO of Madoff Productions, winning awards for his commercials and videos AND he is a die hard music loving fan.

In his upcoming production of The Lloyd Price Musical, Jeff learnt a valuable lesson of asking himself the question “is it essential?” Even work that is funny and engaging, may not be an essential part of the bigger story. “Is it essential?” is a challenging question for all of us but can be incredibly useful at keeping us focused on reaching our goals.

In our discussion with Jeff, he dispels the myth that you are either creative or analytical. And he brings home to us the importance of listening. Listening not just to form an appropriate response, but listening in order to fully understand the other person.

Fans of Behavioral Grooves, please consider leaving us a review on your podcast player. If you listen on Apple, here is the podcast review page for Behavioral Grooves to get you started:

© 2022 Behavioral Grooves


(3:31) Welcome and speed round questions.

(10:11) How to encourage creative careers.

(16:58) Turning your passion into a career.

(22:36) How to weave creativity into any job.

(25:43) When the creative world and the business world meet.

(29:41) Learning to ask “Is it essential?”

(42:25) What is on Jeff’s playlist?

(46:53) How entrepreneurs can be creative.

(53:48) The story behind The Lloyd Price Musical.

(1:04:06) Grooving Session discussing Jeff’s interview.


Creative Careers: Making a Living with Your Ideas by Jeff Madoff:

Gregory Peck:

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace by Gordon MacKenzie:

The Lloyd Price Musical:

Musical Links

Frank Zappa “Montana”:

Buddy Guy “Stay Around A Little Longer”:

Slim Harpo “I’m a King Bee”:

Lightnin’ Hopkins “Woke Up This Morning”:

Muddy Waters “Mannish Boy”:

Chuck Berry “Sweet Little Sixteen”:

Jimi Hendrix “Foxey Lady”:

Link Ray “Rawhide”:

Howlin Wolf “How Many More Years”:

Stevie Ray Vaughan “Texas Flood”:

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What does your customer want but can’t tell you? What effective marketing techniques use behavioral economics? If only you had a way of understanding how your customer’s brain made decisions. Well our guest, Melina Palmer sits down to discuss exactly that.

Melina Palmer is the founder of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. She also hosts a podcast, The Brainy Business, and has recently published her first book What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics:

What You Will Learn From Melina Palmer

(6:23) Melina explains her book “What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You”

(13:30) Why should we care about dopamine?

(16:26) The effectiveness of using a lottery draw

(20:43) Why is priming so important in marketing?

(27:41) How Melina helps you to apply her insight

(30:59) What sparked Melina’s interest in Behavioral Economics?

(32:24) What is the biggest secret that customers can’t tell you?

(33:54) Is the marketing industry still sexist?

(34:40) The music Melina would take to survive on a desert island

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which gives other listeners social proof that we’re worth listening to!

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Melina Palmer, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You: Unlocking Consumer Decisions with the Science of Behavioral Economics:

Episode 109: Melina Palmer: Using Behavioral Economics to Help Businesses:

The Brainy Business:

The Brainy Business Podcast:

Melina Palmer, INC:

Melina Facebook:

Melina Instagram:

Melina YouTube:

Melina Twitter:

Melina LinkedIn:

The Brainy Buiness LinkedIn:

BE Thoughtful Revolution:

Episode 232: Katy Milkman: How to Make Healthy Habits that Actually Last:

Episode 226: The Power Of Unity: Robert Cialdini Expands His Best Selling Book Influence:

McDonald’s Monopoly: A Masterclass in Promotions:

Human Behavior Lab, Certificate Program:

Musical Links

Paul McCartney “Find My Way”:

Lady Gaga “Stupid Love”:

John Mayer “Last Train Home”:

Melina’s Pandora station:

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Misinformation is like a virus, spreading quickly and propagating in a way that doesn’t benefit its host. Andy Noman describes harmful ideas as acting like “mind parasites” that deploy clever tactics to infect our thinking by circumventing our mental immune systems. And we’re even more susceptible to bad ideas than we realize.

So how do we immunize ourselves against mind parasites? Can we reach herd immunity? Can we critically think our way out of this epidemic of unreason? After 30 years of research on this topic, Andy has concluded that the traditional models of critical thinking are not up to the task in our hyper-connected world. We need a more comprehensive framework for inoculating our minds against viral nonsense.

Andy Norman is an award-winning author who teaches philosophy at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. He has recently published his new book, “Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think”: We are thrilled to welcome Andy as part of our series on understanding more about Conspiracy Theories. Our conversation with Andy reveals details of his framework for strengthening our own mental immunity. We hope you enjoy listening!

Subscribe to Behavioral Grooves on your podcast player so you are notified about our new episodes. Next week we will be hearing from Prof. Eric Oliver about how to talk to our friends and family about conspiracy theories.

If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through our Behavioral Grooves Patreon page: We also love reading your reviews on the podcast, which help others find our content.


(3:37) Welcome and speed round questions.

(6:20) We are experiencing an epidemic of unreason.

(8:17) How can we immunize ourselves against disinformation?

(14:10) How our identity can affect our mental immunity.

(17:54) A framework for mental immunity.

(21:11) Thinking in probabilities instead of in black & white.

(26:08) Why acknowledging other people's truths can have a surprising effect.

(29:38) The objective difference between a good idea and a bad idea.

(32:25) Arguing with someone who only cares about themselves.

(38:54) Is there a chance we will reach mental herd immunity?

(44:13) What music is on Andy’s playlist?

(47:11) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim talking about how to apply Andy’s work.

© 2021 Behavioral Grooves


Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think” by Andy Norman:

Ludwig Wittgenstein:


Dan Kahan, “Identity Protective Cognition”:

Episode 176: Annie Duke on How to Decide:

Musical Links

Mark Knopfler “Piper to the End”:

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03/27/22 • 62 min

We are always learning, whether it’s changing careers or learning a new instrument. But how do we transition from the curiosity stage, to completely mastering the skill? It turns out it’s a rather predictable process. The growth and learning journey we all embark on, many times in our life, can, according to Whitney Johnson, be visualized on the S Curve of Learning. The growth and learning journey comes in three phases: the Launch Point, the Sweet Spot, and Mastery.

In this episode with Whitney and in her new book Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company”, we can learn how to keep going when growth is slow and why we sometimes leap from one journey to another. By familiarizing ourselves with the growth journey, we can better ourselves, our workplaces and our societies.

Not only has Whitney been a fascinating guest on our podcast, she has also generously given us some signed copies of her book for our listeners! All you have to do is write a Twitter post about why you would like to read Whitney’s book Smart Growth on social media and tag us in the post: @behavioralgroov. We will choose the lucky winners and send you a FREE SIGNED COPY!


(1:18) Find out how to WIN Whitney’s new book, Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company”.

(4:11) What is the S Curve of Learning?

(11:33) How we have learnt to integrate our work life and home life during the pandemic.

(15:44) Nobody climbs their S Curve alone; how important is context?

(18:49) The 6 phases of the S Curve.

(26:28) How Shellye Archambeau jumped onto new S Curves in order to reach the summit.

(34:51) What is Whitney’s next challenge?

(40:58) Whitney’s S Curve with music.

(47:00) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim recapping what we learnt from Whitney.

© 2022 Behavioral Grooves


Win a signed copy of Whitney’s new book at @behavioralgroov

“Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company” by Whitney Johnson:

The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change)” by Clayton Christensen:

Thich Nhat Hanh quote: “You have to do it by yourself. You can not do it alone.”

Episode 204, How Shellye Archambeau Flies Like an Eagle:

Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

Jacqueline Novogratz on Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

Simon Sinek on Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

Livingston Taylor On Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

Sunil Gupta on Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

Musical Links

Diana Krall “Just The Way You Are”:

Stevie Wonder “As”:

Rodgers & Hammerstein“Getting To Know You” from The King and I:

Aimee Nolte piano jazz tutorial:

Tori Kelly “Don’t You Worry About A Thing”:

2 Listeners

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07/14/21 • 60 min

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When did a colleague last thank you for your work? Managers generally underappreciate their employees, but more importantly, they tend to undervalue the benefits of expressing their gratitude. Best-selling author, speaker and executive coach, Chester Elton has a lighthearted discussion with us about the value of expressing gratitude. What makes gratitude different to recognition? And how do you create a grateful work environment?

Chester, along with his co-author, Adrian Gostick, have sold millions of books on how to lead with gratitude. In our conversation with Chester, he tells us how there is disparity between how well managers believe they are expressing their gratitude and how employees feel they are valued. To create a work environment based on gratitude, your colleagues need to know their work is appreciated. Showing gratitude to employees is the easiest, fastest and most inexpensive way to boost performance.


(5:07) Welcome to Chester Elton and speed round questions

(8:03) Why being grateful brings us joy

(14:27) Be specific with praise

(17:16) The benefits of random acts of kindness

(22:33) What’s the difference between gratitude and recognition?

(23:48) How to create a work environment filled with gratitude

(31:36) Your inner voice and why it matters

(35:08) Chester’s Covid playlist

(43:16) Grooving Session discussing how to apply Chester’s insights:

  • Gratitude at work
  • Recognition that we’re on track
  • Expressing gratitude is not always through words
  • Psychological safety at work

Chester Elton

Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results by Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton

Leading with Gratitude Podcast with Chester Elton

Leading with Gratitude Live

We Thrive Together

The Gratitude Journal – LinkedIn

Anxiety at Work with Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton

Roger Federer

Rod Laver

John McEnroe

Chris Hadfield

Bill Manning

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty

Calm app

Dan Airely

IKEA Effect

Episode 170: Seven Questions to Assess the Psychological Safety of Your Teams with Susan Hunt Stevens

Episode 220: How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets

Books by Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick

Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices f...

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How many episodes does Behavioral Grooves Podcast have?

Behavioral Grooves Podcast currently has 356 episodes available.

What topics does Behavioral Grooves Podcast cover?

The podcast is about Podcasts, Social Sciences and Science.

What is the most popular episode on Behavioral Grooves Podcast?

The episode title 'Anxiety at Work: Why We Feel It and How To Manage It | Chester Elton' is the most popular.

What is the average episode length on Behavioral Grooves Podcast?

The average episode length on Behavioral Grooves Podcast is 57 minutes.

How often are episodes of Behavioral Grooves Podcast released?

Episodes of Behavioral Grooves Podcast are typically released every 6 days, 2 hours.

When was the first episode of Behavioral Grooves Podcast?

The first episode of Behavioral Grooves Podcast was released on Oct 24, 2017.

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out of 5

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15 Ratings

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Kurt Nelson


Oct 6

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We have a lot of fun creating this show - bringing insights from behavioral science into our daily lives

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