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A selection of articles, books, podcasts, latest thinking and cornerstone readings – spanning psychology and anthropology – fodder for reflecting on human behaviour (or engaging in ‘virtue signalling’ with your friends and colleagues). 

1. The science of changing minds

Anti-vaxxers, extreme ideologies, political polarisation, poor organisational decision making, failed policies, politicisation of brands… Research shows that informing, arguing, ridiculing and appealing to data or rationality often does not change people’s minds. With so much at stake we need to better understand the science of changing minds.   

Check out the following:

  • The Influential Mind (2018), Tali Sharot, professor of cognitive neuroscience: book review or in podcast on the ‘The Science Behind Changing Minds’ by the Depolarization project on Apple, Spotify or iHeart Radio,  
  • Why People Believe Weird Things (1997), Michael Shermer, Science writer and sceptic 
  • Don’t Think of an Elephant (1990), George Lakoff, cognitive linguist and philosopher

2. The Psychology of Design

Right now, all around you, everything present is influencing you. Unless you are incredibly mindful, you have no idea – workplaces, shops, homes, transport are full of sensory experiences which influence our body and psychology. Some designers understand and use  this, but the science goes deep and there are unexplored opportunities. 

Check out the following:

  • Speaking of Psychology podcast, transcript and video at on The Psychology of Design, with Sally Augustin.
  • Hooked: How to build habit-forming products (2014), Nir Eyal, product designer and behavioural engineer

3. Evolutionary mismatch

There’s a mismatch between the worlds most of us live in now, and the world our minds and bodies are adapted to. To change behavIours we need to deal with the fundamentals of who we are as a species.

Check out the following:

  • Mismatch: How our Stone Age Brain Deceives us Every Day and What we Can do About it (2018), by Ronald Giphart and Mark van Vugt, evolutionary psychologist: interview with the author
  • Positive Evolutionary Psychology: Darwin’s Guide to Living a Richer Life (2019) Glenn Geher, Nicole Wedberg: book review
  • The mating mind: How sexual choice shaped the evolution of human nature (2002) Geoffrey Miller, evolutionary psychologist

Adélaïde Vinay


Kris White

Behavioural Psychology specialist