Behavioral Grooves Podcast

How Decision Making is Critical for Back Country Skiers and Sex

Jan. 11, 2021

Have you ever been caught in an avalanche or spoken to someone who survived? In this episode, you’ll hear what living through an avalanche is really like.

Audun Hetland (a psychologist) and Andrea Mannberg (an economist) are researchers at the White Heat Project in Tromsø, Norway. The project is a collaboration between The Arctic University of Norway, Montana State University, and Umeå University, in Sweden. Their international team also includes researchers in geography, snow science, and political science. They are focused on the effects of positional preferences and bounded rationality on risk-taking behavior, and more specifically, skiing in avalanche terrain.

As project leader, Andrea spoke about how this interdisciplinary team is helping backcountry skiers do a better job of managing their risk in avalanche terrain. To do so, they are studying decision-making under uncertainty and the curious way cold and hot states affect our choices.

Their work has clear implications for corporate leaders who make decisions about budgets and human resources, and in many situations, the consequences can be quite high.

In case you’re not familiar with Tromsø, Norway, it is a 2-hour flight north of the Arctic Circle.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Andrea Mannberg, PhD and Audun Hetland, PhD:

White Heat Project:

Bridger Bowl:

George Loewenstein & Dan Ariely’s paper on hot states vs. cold states:

Seinfeld Morning Guy vs. Night Guy:

Max Bazerman “Better, Not Perfect” Episode 196:

Common Biases & Heuristics:


Musical Links

John Coltrane “Green Dolphin Street”:

Tom Waits “Tom Traubert’s Blues”:

White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”:



The Clash “London Calling”:

Folk og Røvere:


Andrea’s “dance song”:

Isolation Years (A band from Andrea’s home town):

The Knife:

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