Why our brains confuse urgent with important, and how to tell the difference.

Source: Adobe Stock

Have you ever been in a meeting and watch as a new email pops up on your phone, with that fear-inducing symbol “❗”?

That little red exclamation point has a mysterious power over our attention. Suddenly, you’ve stopped listening to whoever’s speaking, stopped thinking about how you might contribute some value in the meeting, and all you can think about is, “What’s the emergency?!”

You probably opened the email right away, and whatever task needed to get done jumped to the front of your mind. …


The science of free samples and cheap hot dogs

Source: Adobe Stock

What if I told you that the world’s third-largest retailer was a members-only bulk-buy warehouse?

It’s hard to believe, but according to Deloitte’s 2021 Global Powers of Retailing report, Costco is the third-largest retailer in the world, trailing only Walmart and Amazon. The brand brings in an incredible $152.7 billion every year, despite limited advertising and an annual membership fee of between $60 and $120.

Costco’s business model is counter-intuitive:

  • It charges people to shop.
  • The store experience is best described as “bare bones.”
  • Most products are sold in laughably large amounts.

Nevertheless, as FastCompany put it “[Costco] succeeds because…


Check out our new YouTube channel!

I’m so excited to introduce the Choice Hacking YouTube channel, dedicated to exploring the ways the world’s biggest brands apply behavioral science and psychology to their experiences.

In each video, we unpack lessons that any business can apply — no matter the size or the industry.

If you enjoy the video, please consider liking and subscribing so more people can find our content, and you get notified whenever a new video is released — our goal for this video is to hit 500 likes, and every single one counts! :)

Click here for a direct link to the episode

Have you ever wondered what makes Netflix so addicting? How…


I’m so excited to introduce the Choice Hacking podcast, a show dedicated to exploring the ways behavioral science and psychology intersect with experience design, marketing, startups, and more.

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider subscribing and leaving a rating or review. Thanks!

Click here for a direct link to the episode

Listen and subscribe to the podcast: Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Simplecast.

You can also get our latest episodes on YouTube, click here to subscribe to our channel.

EPISODE SUMMARY

It feels like every company on earth is chasing personalization. …


How to use the thinking (and questioning) tool of the CIA

Source: Adobe Stock

Every day we’re presented with what seem like impossible challenges. Issues that you can’t crack, even after weeks, months, or years of trying.

How do you approach these challenges? Do you have a strategy that you follow, or do you just hope for the best? There’s a better way to solve impossible problems — improve the quality of your thinking.

Better thinking, problem-solving, and reasoning are skills. They can be developed through learning new frameworks and expanding our mental models.

To solve impossible problems, improve the quality of your thinking.

Lucky for us, brilliant thinkers and institutions have left behind…


Check out our new YouTube channel!

I’m so excited to introduce the Choice Hacking YouTube channel, dedicated to exploring the ways the world’s biggest brands apply behavioral science and psychology to their experiences.

In each video, we unpack lessons that any business can apply — no matter the size or the industry.

If you enjoy the video, please consider liking and subscribing so more people can find our content, and you get notified whenever a new video is released — our goal for this video is to hit 500 likes, and every single one counts! :)

Click here for a direct link to the episode

EPISODE SUMMARY

Apple. Gymshark. MrBeast. What do these three mega brands have…


Why research says it’s the gold standard of persuasion

Photo by mauro mora on Unsplash

“Men, it has been well said, think in herds.”
― Charles MacKay, Author

Has your mother ever said this to you: “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?” Or have you ever felt pressured to buy a specific brand of clothes, a particular model of phone, or a new car just to “fit in” at work or with your friends?

If so, you’ve experienced the power of Social Proof.

What is Social Proof?

Made famous by Professor Robert Cialdini in his book, Influence, Social Proof describes the tendency of people to look to the actions of others to…


Why your decision-making style can make or break your happiness

Source: Adobe Stock

How do you feel when making a major life decision, like buying a house or changing jobs? Are you able to choose quickly and feel happy about what you picked? Or did you labor over every detail, examine every option, before finally settling on something?

I remember the process of choosing a major in college — it was painful. There were so many options, and I had a ton of interests. I looked at majors by starting salary out of school, how happy the students seemed to be, even which professors seemed the coolest.

In the end, I chose a…


I’m so excited to introduce the Choice Hacking podcast, a show dedicated to exploring the ways behavioral science and psychology intersect with experience design, marketing, startups, and more.

If you enjoy the podcast, please consider subscribing and leaving a rating or review. Thanks!

Click here for a direct link to the episode

Listen and subscribe to the podcast: Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Simplecast. You can also get our latest episodes on YouTube, click here to subscribe to our channel.

EPISODE SUMMARY

Founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances, and home accessories. What started as a vision to bring interior design to the masses grew to…


It’s not rocket science, it’s a system

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

“Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.”

Jana Kingsford, author

I’ve had a side hustle since college. Or, as I like to call it, a side passion.

It doesn’t mean I don’t work hard or want to progress in my career — I love my job. But a side passion lets me enjoy the freedom of expressing myself through writing without the burden of using it to pay my bills.

How to Balance Your Career and a Side Hustle: The BLOCKS system

Over the years, I’ve developed a system that helps me stay productive, creative, and sane. …

Jennifer Clinehens

Behavior change strategist. Use science and psychology to improve design, CX, UX, marketing, habits — subscribe at https://choicehacking.com/freenewsletter/

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