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78 — Dr. Katy Milkman — How to Change: The Science of Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

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The Game Changing Attorney Podcast with Michael Mogill
Duration: 43:15
"If we can set goals, that make it bite-size to achieve the long run objective, then that brings forward also our motivation, because we can see what we need to do today and tomorrow."
Katy Milkman
What inspired Katy Milkman to become a behavioral scientist?
What is 'present-bias' and why is it so c
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"If we can set goals, that make it bite-size to achieve the long run objective, then that brings forward also our motivation, because we can see what we need to do today and tomorrow."
Katy Milkman
What inspired Katy Milkman to become a behavioral scientist?
What is 'present-bias' and why is it so common?
How are habits maintained and built?
What are the personal benefits of 'temptation bundling'?
Jack of all trades: An illustrious careerBehavioral scientist, professor of operations, economist; Dr. Katy Milkman can do it all. She's so versatile that in addition to being a Professor at Wharton School of Business, she has a secondary appointment at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. Her research revolves around the process of decision-making and habit formation; essentially, how people change. With a range of academic interests and abilities, Dr. Milkman is one of the most reliable resources in the field. She’s won awards through research, including an early career award from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences. She was named one of the top 40 under 40 business school professors in the world by Poets & Quants, as well as a finalist for the Thinkers 50 2017 Radar Thinker Award. Katy's work is published on platforms such as The New York Times and The Harvard Business Review and is regularly featured on NPR.She's become something of a celebrity in academic circles. But it's her work translating the science for ordinary people that may have the most impact. She hosts the Choiceology podcast for Charles Schwab, has a TEDx talk, and her new book, How to Change, was named one of the Amazon’s best of 2021. Dr. Milkman is not just researching change. She's making it available to everyone.Gaming the System: Exploring behavioral economicsThroughout her career Katy has gained insight from the decision-making process of average people. Knowing what makes people tick and why can be life-changing. We look at what motivates people, internal and external barriers, goal pursuing and habits. We dig into the mechanics behind behaviorism as Katy tells us about devices like 'present bias' and 'gamification'.Gamification can be a powerful force for change. By creating game-like incentives for behavior, goal achievement can be more fun. This strategy can be applied to individual habits or to something larger like employee performance and government programs, like vaccine adoption. The possibilities are endless.Patience is a Virtue: Behavioral change takes timeAs a member of the Forbes Top 10 Behavioral Scientists of 2020 list, Dr. Milkman knows a thing or two about human nature. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Milkman argued that getting people to wear masks would have been easier if people had considered them as fashion items. This thesis closely relates to a term she coined: 'temptation bundling'. It’s the idea of coupling something you enjoy with something you view as a burden to invoke the willpower to get things completed. As she says, "if we recognize we need to make it fun to pursue our goals, we're going to be much more likely to persist". In our discussion, Katy draws on the ways people find motivation to pursue their goals, self-discipline and social influence. Want to find out more about yourself? Katy has the answers.Key takeaways:

Tick Tock: Behavioral and habitual change doesn't happen overnight. Take your time, understand the process

Dilemma: Learn to address and overcome internal and external barriers

Understand your surroundings: Recognize how your social environment impacts your decision-making
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