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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Apr 1, 2020

My guest this week is Jonah Berger, a Marketing Professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, an internationally bestselling author, and a world‐renowned expert on change, word of mouth, social influence, consumer behavior, and how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on. He has published over 50 articles in top-tier academic journals, teaches Wharton’s highest rated online course, and popular accounts of his work often appear in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. Over a million copies of his books, Contagious, Invisible Influence, and The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind are in print in over 35 countries around the world. Berger often keynotes major conferences and events like SXSW and Cannes Lions, advises various early-stage companies, and consults for organizations like Apple, Google, Nike, Amazon, GE, 3M, and The Gates Foundation.

In this episode, Jonah and I discuss how parents can be a positive catalyst in improving their child’s behavior versus enforcers of change experiencing constant pushback. Jonah breaks down the behavioral patterns behind the persuasion of change and helps parents interact and instill change without disrupting behavior. To learn more about Jonah Berger click here.

Episode Timestamps

Episode Intro … 00:00:30
Jonah’s Story … 00:02:50
“Pushing” For Change … 00:07:20
Guided Choices … 00:10:10
Be A Catalyst … 00:09:00
Be A Role Model … 00:19:40
Episode Wrap Up … 00:24:52  


Episode Highlights

Pushing For Change

  • We often push others (children, spouse, colleague) when we want change to happen
    • This easily results in a harder pushback from the individual whose control in the situation feels threatened
  • 5 key barriers discussed in The Catalyst
    • R.E.D.U.C.E.
      • R= reactance, E- endowment, D= distance, U= uncertainty, CE= corroborating evidence


Guided Choices

  • Giving a small set of options to shape and encourage people to go into a particular direction providing freedom and control but still not allowing any option to be made
    • I.e. With toddlers, “Which shirt do you want to wear? This shirt or that shirt?”
    • These directives empower the individual with a choice and sense of control
      • This results in removal of frustration that typically comes from forced directives


Where to learn more about Jonah Berger...


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