Behavioral Science

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So What's This Behavioral Science Stuff Anyways?

Behavioral science investigates how people make decisions, what drives their behavior and the internal biases that we exhibit. It combines research from fields such as psychology, social psychology, behavioral economics, neuroscience and cognitive science.

Employees are irrational beings. We do things and are influenced by factors that, rationally, shouldn’t impact us. Research has shown that our behaviors and attitudes are influenced by things such as loss aversion, anchoring, perceived fairness, social proof, cognitive load, and framing to name a few. We use these behavioral insights to help you understand the underlying drivers of your employee issues. Then we help you use this information to craft solutions that address the human side of those issues.

Here Are Some Key Behavioral Concepts You Can Start Using Now!

Case Studies


Our Commitment to YOU

When we work with you, we promise to provide you with our insight, experience, energy, and passion!

Our clients are what motivates us. Driving performance within your organization, engaging your employees and driving the right behaviors in your team is our passion. From Pharma to Finance, Tech, Automotive and more here is a small glimpse at a few of our motivated clients. Don't miss out on the power in your organization, join the list!

But Don’t Just Take our Word For It!

“Your partnership has been extremely valuable, not only to me, but to our entire organization. We would not be in the spot we are today without your knowledge and insight. You have taught us a lot on motivation and behavioral economics that now has become embedded inside of Lilly. We are driving a new way of thinking about rewards and recognition that is making change happen. So please accept this as my sincere thanks for all you've done.”

James Brewer

“Thank you so very much. I love having you as my coach. It is something that I so need and want in order to become a stronger leader.”

Jennifer Kahn
BI Worldwide

“I want you to know that I had a district manager come up to me and say, ‘I've never had my incentive plan presented to me in such an easy way to understand.’ Thank you for your help in this – we couldn't have done it without you.”

Ian Benson

“I want you to know that you have once again ‘raised the bar’ on our incentive roll–out workshops. You have an amazing talent for using creative, eye–popping graphics to clearly and simply communicate complex material. I am very pleased!!”

Randy David
Johnson & Johnson

A Few of our Motivated Clients

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Our Team

We come from varied backgrounds. We talk different, look different, think different. But in the end, we all have the same desire — to understand and help drive positive change within organizations and people.

So Who Are We?

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    Kurt Nelson

    President & Founder ‐ Applied Behavioral Scientist

    Kurt is a sought after speaker and recognized leader in human motivation and behavior change. For over 20 years, Kurt has worked with global companies to apply behavioral science principles to drive change in their organizations. All his work is focused on understanding ways to positively influence how people behave. Kurt lives in Minneapolis, MN, is married and has two, grade school children.

    Likes: Kurt geeks out about reading (behavioral economics, psychology and fantasy genres), traveling (every state in the US — now working on countries), good beer (dark, malty flavor — current favorite is Surly Bender), biking, canoeing, skiing and spending time with family and friends at their cabin.

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    Ben Granlund

    VP of Marketing & Communications

    Ben applies his Masters in design to optimize how your communications are built. He combines behavioral science principles with graphic design, crafting communication pieces that actually change the way employees behave. He also provides on-site technical support and expertise for our consulting work. His design background and technical prowess enables us to dive deeper into our client’s participant’s mindset and understand their underlying behaviors.

    Likes: In his spare time Ben likes to travel the world, downhill ski (he's skied at least once every month for two years straight), mountain bike and log as much time in the mountains as he can.

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    Raya Parks

    Marketing & Growth Specialist

    Raya combines her natural creativity and “business brain” to design and coordinate our marketing initiatives. She is all about new opportunities and jumps at each chance she can; seriously she has already dabbled in multiple different fields of marketing…and her career is just beginning! She believes great ideas come from the power of multiple minds and positive thinking.

    Likes: Tacos, concerts, traveling, being outdoors, living a healthy and balanced life.

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    Tim Houlihan

    Strategic Partner – Applied Behavioral Economic

    Tim is a bridge connecting academic research with the corporate world. He focuses the lens of behavioral economics on strategic business issues using research and executive education with companies around the world. He has partnered with researchers at Carnegie Mellon, Duke, Harvard, Quinnipiac and Monmouth Universities and is always on the prowl for new insights into human behavior. Tim is joyfully married and lives in Minneapolis. He has two children.

    Likes: Tim's passion is writing, recording and producing music. He is an Americana singer songwriter with 6 CD's and has performed in Spain, Portugal, Ireland, New York, Nashville and dozens of cities around the Midwest. He loves hiking, sailing, gin and travel (49 states, Europe, SE Asia, South America) for the way it reveals how similar we all are.

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    Kim Granger

    Strategic Partner – Behavioral Experiences

    Kim is a guru in all things “event management” and coordinates our behavioral reward and recognition experiences – including award trips, experiential learning events, and more! She has had extensive experiences in both US based and international events including a major US retailer, an international fast food franchise company, and a global medical device company.

    Formally trained as an art historian and having dipped her toes into archeology, Kim is dynamic, organized and finds unique parallels between these fields and the work she focuses on now.

    Likes: Travel (for pleasure, for work, and to live), analogue materials, the ocean, and the sound of waves.

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    Brent Boston

    Strategic Partner – Copywriting & Proofing

    Brent has been writing and proofing copy for 17 years, with a primary focus on sales incentive campaigns and employee performance improvement initiatives. He thrives on coming up with the perfect words to achieve the desired messaging. Brent lives on a remote farm site in rural southwestern Minnesota with his wife, two children, dog and two cats.

    Likes: When he isn't writing, Brent can usually be found at his kids' school, where he helps in nearly every capacity – even as the backup school nurse.