Behavioral Scientist, Co-founder of Irrational Labs

Kristen Berman

At a glance:

Kristen Berman studies how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational.

Kristen Berman studies how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational.

Kristen co-founded Irrational Labs, a behavioral product design company, with Dan Ariely in 2013. Irrational Labs helps companies and nonprofits understand and leverage behavioral economics to increase the health, wealth and happiness of their users. She also co-founded Common Cents Lab, a Duke University initiative dedicated to improving the financial well-being for low to middle Americans. Under her leadership, Common Cents launched over 50 experiments with companies, touching hundreds of thousands of people. She was on the founding team for the behavioral economics group at Google, a group that touches over 26 teams across Google, and hosts ones of the top behavioral change conferences globally, StartupOnomics. She co-authored a series of workbooks called Hacking Human Nature for Good: A practical guide to changing behavior, with Dan Ariely. These workbooks are being used at companies like Google, Intuit, Neflix, Fidelity, Lending Club for business strategy and design work.Kristen is an advisor for Loop Commerce, Code For America Accelerator and the Genr8tor Incubator and has spoken at Google, Facebook, Fidelity, Equifax, Stanford, Bay Area Computer Human Interaction seminar and more.

  • Psychology of Money

    Strategies and perspective on how to combat our biases.

    Best for: banks and financial institutions, companies looking to change pricing strategies

    Money is a constant part of life — for everyone. Yet despite its importance, more often than not, we end up making decisions that aren’t optimal. This talk will reveal how and why people are irrational with their money and how companies can design products and services that help people be smarter. Kristen will go over surprising experiments that her team has done and highlight just how easy it is to change behavior.
  • Psychology of Decision Making

    How your customers are making (and not making) decisions

    Best for: leadership teams, tech companies, designers, sales and MKT teams

    Too often, we assume that consumers make rational decisions. We take them at their word when we ask them about their behavior — they say they want this feature and we assume they will actually use the feature once we build it. But there’s a gap between what consumers say they’ll do and what they actually do. How do we bridge this gap and design products based on actual consumer decision making and behavior? This talk will get to the core of irrational decision making. Kristen will share funny stories about how we are irrational, while also providing novel and insightful ways to design products and services that align with these irrationalities.
  • How to use behavioral economics to design products that change behavior (for good)

    Best for: leadership teams, policy and non profits, research teams

    Today’s product leaders often rely on the word of their customers when building their product road maps; whether it’s a customer survey or a phone interview, loads of qualitative data through these methods is being collected and used to dictate how to design and develop products. Seems like a foolproof plan, right? Actually, no — a reliance on customer input and feedback is built on an antiquated model of human decision making that assumes humans are rational. Kristen will go over her compelling research that highlights just how misleading customer research. She’ll take us through step by step the process that behavioral economists go through to understand behavior and then change it.

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