CM 044: Jonah Berger on Hidden Forces Shaping Our Behavior

Blog Post - Jonah BergerMore than 99 percent of our decisions are shaped by others. From the clothing we buy to the cars we drive to the political candidates we vote for, our choices are the results of the invisible influence of those around us. And once we recognize that, we start to see our behavior — and the behavior of others — in a whole new way.

Jonah Berger, marketing professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has spent 15 years studying the ways that influence impacts our lives. He wrote about it in his bestselling book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On, and, now, in his latest book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior.

In this fascinating and compelling interview, he shares insights on:

  • Two reasons why we often overlook the power of influence
  • What animals can teach us about learned behaviors
  • When peers can improve our performance and when they can work against it
  • A common trait among most elite athletes
  • The power of the Goldilocks Effect when it comes to designing products and services
  • What cockroaches can teach us about performance and peers
  • The secret to changing behavior
  • The power of proximal peers in motivating ourselves and others

Selected Links to Topics Mentioned


Contagious: Why Things Catch on By Jonah Berger


Monkeys Adept at Picking up Social Cues

The Goldilocks Effect


The Horsey Horseless

Robert Zajonc and Social Facilitation

Dan Yates and Opower

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Thank you to Emmy-award-winning Creative Director Vanida Vae for designing the Curious Minds logo, and thank you to Rob Mancabelli for all of his production expertise!



1 Comment

  1. […] CM 044: Jonah Berger on Hidden Forces Shaping Our Behavior – has made me consider changing the way we report student achievement to parents. […]