Choiceology with Katy Milkman

The Big Impact of Small Changes

Feb. 26, 2018

You don’t make decisions in a vacuum. Context matters, perhaps more than you think. On this episode of Choiceology with Dan Heath, we explore the subtle, sometimes hidden structures that influence your decisions. You’ll see how small changes in the way choices are presented can have a huge impact on everything from vandalism to traffic congestion to retirement savings.

Tara Austin of Ogilvy Change tells the dramatic story of how she and her team worked to reduce street crime in a London neighborhood after a devastating riot. It was a surprisingly simple project that had a measurable impact. You can see images from the project in this BBC News article.

You’ll also hear about an experiment we ran on a busy intersection in an attempt to reduce collisions between bicycles and pedestrians—using nothing but a roll of duct tape.

And behavioral design expert Sille Krukow explains how choice architecture can channel our inherent laziness to help us make better decisions.

After listening, you can read our bonus article Nudge Yourself to learn even more about how to turn smart decisions into easier ones.

Choiceology is an original podcast from Charles Schwab. For more on the series, visit

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