In my post last week I outlined some great books and papers to get you into behavioural science. I am a massive bookworm, so that’s where I got my start. However, I’ve realised that a lot of people are either not super keen on reading, or that they consume most content online. So I thought I’d give the public what it clearly prefers, and also write you a nice list of online resources to get started in behavioural science!
Podcasts For those who do not like to read, there is always the podcast! Podcasts have really taken off, and the pandemic spurred their popularity even further. Not very surprising that we (Sarah Bowen and I) also started the Questioning Behaviour Podcast. We’re small fish in a big pond, but we had a good time interviewing people! Much bigger fish are the Brainy Business Podcast by marketing expert Melina Palmer, and Habit Weekly’s Behavioral Design Podcast. And if you want to up the ante, and have some serious time to kill, there’s also the Behavioral Grooves Podcast. I’m pretty sure they will be close or already past episode 300 once this article goes live, so be prepared for that! Of course, if you’re looking for a massive (think big whale) podcast, and maybe sort of the OG in being huge in behavioural science, there’s the Freakonomics Podcast. Some topics might not initially feel very behavioural science-y, but there’s a lot of gems there. This is also a time commitment – Freak has several sub(!!!)channels with Freakonomics Radio currently rocking 607 episodes, and the three subchannels with different (co)hosts have accumulated over 150 episodes as well. This list is far from exhaustive, because I’m not a massive podcast consumer (sorry). So luckily Nick Mishkin has made the behavioural economics playlist on Spotify, which includes many other podcasts as well, such as The Knowledge Project, Armchair Expert, Choiceology and of course Hidden Brain. So you can get your fix there!
YouTube Slightly different from the podcast is YouTube (or similar platforms). Often shorter and more visual, there are channels out there which do Of course, friend of this blog Pete Judo (full name: Peter Judodihardjo) is a known YouTuber, explaining the applications of behavioural science in life, business and more! He also reviews books, social media and other source material claiming to be “behavioural scientific”. A great channel to get a start in behavioural science and figure out your niche of interest! BrainyTab has made a YouTube list as well, which you should also check out, it is linked. They mention Ganna Pogrebna’s Data Driven, which is a specialized channel looking at the interactions between Behavioural and Data Science. Maybe a bit too specialized for a “starter”, but a good channel nonetheless. Another great channel for someone who’s at least medium-deep into behavioural science is Christian Hunt’s Human Risk. Again, this channel has a focus – applied behavioural science in risk and compliance – so it might not be a starter pack resource, but a good resource nonetheless! Other recommendations are a bit more in the psychology domain (Opinion Science), with channels looking at self-improvement (Better Ideas) and others such as Bite Size Psych and Psych2go that really focus on explaining a plethora of psychological concepts. YouTube can also be used as a marketing tools, and companies do use it as such, with companies such the BIT, and BEWorks using YouTube as well. However, these are often not the “learning” type videos, but rather they can be podcast recordings, round table discussions and other promo material taken from events.
Newsletters (Aggregators) If both this article and the previous one are hitting you like a Wreeeeeeeeeecking ball (I genuinely hope you now have that song stuck in your head), then what you need might be a newsletter. Yup, I said it. A weekly, or maybe even monthly newsletter can help you cope with the vast amount of content being published in the behavioural science (and adjacent) domain. I’m not a betting person, but if I were, I’d be pretty certain the Habit Weekly newsletter is the biggest one around. They send out weekly emails summarizing what was good that week. They make sure to keep tabs on all content – most of the people mentioned in this article have had their work mentioned there (myself included). If email is not really your thing, there’s also the Facebook group called the Behavioral Economist, with over 100.000 members, content gets promoted there too! There’s or course many other newsletters: most companies and publications will have them, but if it’s content selection you’re looking for, this is where I’d take my business! And attention is a booming business after all 😉
Blogs/Written Online Publications Now back onto the written word. My favourite! Where would you go for a good read? Maybe a bit on the nose, but there’s obviously the Behavioral Scientist. I would genuinely argue that this is the starting point for reading about behavioural science. However, maybe you want a publication which directs you to more academic resources and explains concepts, in that case BehavioralEconomics.com might be the site for you! A more recent addition in this space looking specifically at applied behavioural science in the business domain is insideBE. I am affiliated with the latter, so if you want a discount code to be able to use the full site, let me know! What’s notable about these publications is that they’re “organized”, by this I mean that they have a collective of writers. There are several very successful bloggers who write by themselves. My favourite example is the “Accidental Behavioural Economist” also known as Koenfucius (real name: Koen Smets). He writes both on wordpress and medium, both in English and in Dutch (native language of us both). So you can’t claim lack of access! Other solo writers are Jason Hreha, and Peter Slattery. The latter publishes exclusively on LinkedIn and I encourage you to not look for a site with this name – that’s a different person! Despite this Peter did win the Behavioural Science Person of the Year in the Habit Weekly Awards of 2021, so this SEO issue has not mentioned to undo the impressiveness of this content! Despite all these amazing names, it is clear that you’re already on the best blog there is on behavioural science, mine! Although I admit I’m not much of a generalist – most of my focus continues to be on the application of behavioural science to personal finance management.
Companies to check out There’s also companies who make sure they have blogs up or publish white papers that are worth a read and I didn’t want to ignore them – credit where credit is due! I have already mentioned that insideBE has become an interesting online publication, but insideBE is affiliated, or is at least run by, the co-founder and managing partner of MINDWORX (Matej Sucha). This company has a lot of written content as well, which I always find interesting to read. Another young CEO and white paper writer is Torben Emmerling, CEO of Affective Advisory. They recently published a white paper on the D.R.I.V.E framework which may be interesting for other applied behavioural scientists to read. Of course, I have mentioned them before, the BIT and BEWorks have white papers and blogs as well. Although it has to be mentioned that the BIT also co-publishes academic papers, but often exclusively under the names of the BIT employees directly involved (so you might need to do slightly more digging than usual to find that out). Last, there are several university affiliated companies, or rather centers, that also publish about their work and research. One great example is the center for Advanced Hindsight. But there are several other university-affiliated centers, and even universities that publish their work on behavioural science. Check out the LSE’s subsites for both behavioural science and psychology for a great example of this!
So, I think I gave a pretty good (or at least long) overview of some amazing resources to get you started in behavioural science. I’ll admit, some of these are rather advanced or niche, and not really starter pack material. Some of this stuff may even be a bit too advanced for the average behavioural enthusiast rather than a full-blown behavioural scientist/practitioner, but sometimes the best way to learn about a topic or field is to just jump into the deep! Let me know in the comments or on the socials whether you agree with my list, if I missed some really cool resources and whether you can recommend me some more! Stay learning 😊