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The Choice Hacking Podcast

Host Jen Clinehens explores the practical side of applying behavioral science and psychology to business through stories, interviews and real-life examples.


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Coming up... 

How Netflix Used Psychology to Perfect Its Experience 

S2: E10

If there’s a company synonymous with a seamless customer experience, it’s Netflix. Over the past two decades, the platform has become the default entertainment source for many. 

Fifteen percent of the world’s web traffic goes to Netflix, and during the first few months of the pandemic, streaming traffic increased another 12%.

The rise of Netflix is down to deeply understanding customers and — consciously or not — applying behavioral science and psychology to its experience.

In this episode, I'm unpacking the behavioral science and psychology principles that NETFLIX used to grow from a media underdog to a Hollywood powerhouse worth $247 billion. 


The Gruen Effect: 

The fascinating ways store environment affect what (and how much) we buy

S2: E9

Shopping can be a feast for the senses — color, light, smells, and even taste put customers into a state of emotional arousal.

But what happens when that "feast" becomes too much for our brains to handle?

Well, turns out we impulse buy, lose track of time, and forget what we came in for.

It’s down to a psychological principle known as the Gruen Effect.

Join me this week as we examine the psychology behind how IKEA and TARGET apply the Gruen Effect to their stores, and how you can (ethically) apply this principle to your own business. 


Confirmation Bias: 

The ethics and advantages of customers' desire to be right

S2: E8

Have you ever ordered dinner in a restaurant, and after telling the waiter your order they comment “Good choice!”.

How did it make you feel?

Did you begin looking forward to your meal a little more, knowing that your choice was a “good” one?If so, you’re not alone.

When taking a risk, making a choice, or buying a product, people love to hear that their decision was a good one. So much so, that they’ll ignore information that directly conflicts with this belief.

Why? It’s an example of a psychological phenomenon known as Confirmation Bias.

Join me today as I dive into how to avoid - and take advantage - of this common cognitive bias.


How Nike Used Psychology to Become the World's Biggest Sportswear Brand

S2: E7

Founded in 1964, Nike — originally called Blue Ribbon Sports — started with only $1200 in the bank. Now worth $38 billion, they are the undisputed kings of sportswear and control nearly 50% of the global athletic shoe market.

The rise of Nike is down to deeply understanding customers and — consciously or not — applying behavioral science and psychology to its experience.

In this episode, I'm unpacking the behavioral science and psychology principles that Nike used to grow from a tiny reseller to the world’s biggest shoe brand.


wordle example

WORDLE: 

The fascinating psychology behind why it's gone viral.

S2: E6

It started a few weeks ago. Tiny, colorful squares started popping up on my Twitter feed.

At first, I only saw one or two. But this week, almost my entire feed became a series of tiny yellow, green, and grey boxes.

Ladies and gentlemen — we have reached peak Wordle.

People can’t stop playing.

But what is it that makes Wordle so addicting?In this episode, I unpack the psychology and behavioral science principles that helped this simple word puzzle go viral.


The Halo Effect:

Why design is more important than functionality.

S2: E5

Did you know that people consider good-looking individuals more intelligent, more successful, and more popular?

That studies even shown that attractive people get lighter prison sentences when judged for the same crime as an unattractive person?

It's all down to a cognitive bias known as the Halo Effect.

Join me in this week's episode where I'll revisit the secrets of the Halo Effect, and how we can use it to create more meaningful, persuasive, and engaging customer experiences. 


How Starbucks Used Psychology to Perfect Its Experience 

S2: E4

Starbucks has created the biggest coffee brand in history, by repositioning the humble cup of joe into a premium product that introduced coffee culture to millions around the world.

As former CEO Howard Schultz put it: “Starbucks has a role and a meaningful relationship with people that is not only about the coffee.”

But how did they grow so big, so fast?

Turns out it's not just the caffeine that get people addicted to Starbucks.

In this episode, I'm pulling the lid off the behavioral science and psychology principles that make Starbucks' customer experience so special.


How Peloton Used Psychology to Perfect Its Experience

S2: E3

In the past few years, most of us haven’t been able to get to the gym on a regular basis.

But even when the gyms were open and running as normal, people still had trouble getting motivated to go.

Why? Because humans are hardwired to value immediate rewards like sleeping in, over long-term rewards like being fit.

This mental model, called hyperbolic discounting, means people have to outwit their own psychology in order to get in a workout.

But for Peloton owners, some of whom (like myself) struggled for years to stick to a fitness routine, their workout has become an addiction - all because of how Peloton uses psychology to make exercise (ethically) addictive.


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Latest Articles


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