Series 2 Episode 4

The untapped power of human psychology with Nathalie Nahai

Episode show notes

Business often walks hand-in-hand with human psychology, with marketing and technology either facilitating or coercing our every decision.

Nathalie Nahai is an expert in psychology, persuasive technology and human behaviour, deciphering the messaging we see from companies and which brands truly have your interests at heart.

Join us to hear from Nathalie about how virtual environments shape behaviour, where companies falter most frequently when communicating with consumers, the ethical grey area behind the persuasive tech, and much more…

What we cover

  • How behavioural sciences are applied in business
  • The ways in which virtual environments shape our behaviour
  • What businesses are missing when communicating with consumers
  • Persuasive technology, and the difference between facilitation and coercion
  • How consumer behaviour has changed post-pandemic


About our guest

Nathalie Nahai is an author and expert in psychology, persuasive technology & human behaviour. Nathalie draws upon a rich background in human behaviour, web design and the arts, to offer a unique vantage point from which to examine the complex challenges we face today. 

Having studied psychology and worked as a web designer early in her career, her frustration at the lack of a comprehensive framework through which to understand online behaviour, led her to write what has since become an international best-seller: Webs Of Influence: The Psychology of Online Persuasion. Nathalie also hosts The Hive Podcast, Guardian podcasts, and contributes to national publications, television and radio on the impact of technology in our lives.



“Depending on your culture, we're not necessarily educated to know what we want, know what our preferences are, and to be able to communicate them clearly. Especially in British culture, a lot of it is a guessing game. I think possibly that's why I was so attracted to psychology; how do we make sense of relationships, decision making, and why do we do the things that we do?”

3:50 - Nathalie Nahai

“People don't necessarily know what their primary call to action is, which basically means when you land on any website, of any service in any industry, a lot of the time you'll land on the site and it won't be really clear what that service provider or business does.”

9:10 - Nathalie Nahai

“On the one hand, board members tend to be largely older white men. But I know a lot of white men who are older, my dad's one of them, who are passionate feminists and wonderful people. So it's also that question of how do you create a more nuanced conversation, while also naming the problem, and make paths towards greater integrity? So it's a big conversation.”

22:55 - Nathalie Nahai

“Anything that is based in technology that you interact with which shapes behaviour is what I think of very, very broadly as persuasive tech. The ethics part comes in for me, and it’s a very grey zone, which is exactly why we need to have conversations about it. It's highly personal, but for me there's a difference between facilitation and coercion.”

27:35 - Nathalie Nahai

“Whether we like it or not, I think consumers do have to be more mindful, because it's unlikely that large companies are going to self regulate, because it's not in their interests, and the ones that do are not going to be the ones that are the most pervasive.”

35:10 - Nathalie Nahai

“Bloom and Wild have created what's called the thoughtful marketing movement, which gives the consumer, the customer, greater agency into how they want to be reached out to by the brand. So it's that question of what you're doing to get meaningful relationships with your customers, respecting them, giving them greater agency and creating a personalised space in which they're doing the personalisation?”

38:30 - Nathalie Nahai

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