Behavioral Grooves Podcast

Covid-19 Crisis: Howard Friedman, PhD on The Value of Human Life

June 7, 2020

Howard Friedman is a data scientist, health economist, and writer with decades of experience in both the private and public sectors, as well as academia. He is widely known for his work as a statistical modeler and he currently lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University. 

Howard's new book, Ultimate Price: The Value We Place on Life, is about how the monetary values assigned to our lives by governments, medical professionals, and insurers can determine who will survive during times of crisis. 

We talked to Howard about different models for the valuation of human life and how the crisis has revealed many opportunities for improvement.  The conversation’s content is sobering, but Howard keeps things light, whenever possible. We hope you’ll enjoy listening as much as we did. 

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves


Connect with Kurt and Tim: 

Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates  e-mail: [email protected] 

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan  e-mail: [email protected] 

Lantern Group:


Behavioral Grooves:

Weekly Grooves:

Common Biases & Heuristics:

Patreon Site for Behavioral Grooves:


General Coronavirus Info: 

Daily Newsletter Summarizing data from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security:


Great videos on the science behind this by Dr. Peter Attia – this is the first in a series:

What is herd immunity?:

A list curated by [email protected]


Coronavirus & Behavioral Science: 

Selected Links: The Behavioral Sice of Coronavirus:

Why no one is reading your coronavirus email:

Handwashing can stop a virus, so why don’t we do it?:

The behavioral science of handwashing: 

Ideas 42: The Behavioral Side of COVID-19 here: 

Greater Good:


How We Can Cope During This Crisis: 

Tip Sheet from HUMU:

Resources for learning at home:


General Behavioral Science Links: 

Common Biases and Heuristics:

Jonathan Haidt – 5 Moral Foundations:

Annie Duke’s “How To Decide”:

“16 Ways To Promote Hand Washing With Behavioral Science” article by Aline Holzwarth:

Aline Holzwarth’s Playlist on Spotify:

Deontological and Consequential Moralities:

Difference between descriptive and injunctive norms:

Emotion Research from FinalMile:

Pandemic Playbook from FinalMile:

Irrational Labs Bootcamp:

Claire Bidwell Smith “Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief”: neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.