This is a special episode of Remarkable People that involves not one but nine remarkable people talking about the COVID-19 vaccine.
They are experts in the fields of such as psychology, history, decision sciences, and human behavior. They agreed to participate in this special project in order to help combat the corona virus.
I asked them to assume that we figured out the development, manufacturing, and logistics of vaccination. Then I posed one question: how do we ensure as many people as possible get vaccinated?
Dr. Bob Cialdini “Don’t lose your place in line.”
First up is Dr. Bob Cialdini–also known as the godfather of influence. He is the Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. Dr. Cialdini received his PhD from University of North Carolina and post doctoral training from Columbia University. He has held Visiting Scholar appointments at Ohio State University, the University of California, the Annenberg School of Communications, and the Graduate School of Business of Stanford University.
He has four books to his name: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion–this is a book that changed my life, Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, Small BIG: Small changes that spark a big influence.
Dr. Gretchen Chapman “We shouldn’t assume that just giving people the facts is going to change their behavior.”
Next is Dr. Gretchen Chapman. She is a Professor of Social & Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to joining the faculty at CMU, Dr. Chapman was a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University where she served as Department Chair of Psychology and Acting Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Science.
She is the recipient of an American Psychological Association early career award and a NJ Psychological Association Distinguished Research Award. She is a former senior editor at Psychological Science, and a past president of the Society for Judgment & Decision Making.
Dr. Phil Zimbardo “Join the bandwagon rather than be left behind.”
Dr. Phil Zimbardo is a professor emeritus of Psychology at Stanford University. He has also been on the faculty at Yale, New York University, and Columbia University. His Stanford Prison Experiment is considered a classic demonstration of the power of situations to shape human behavior. He is the recipient of the APA Division 1 Hilgard Award for his lifetime contributions to theory and research in general psychology.
He is the author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life, and five other books.
Last, but not least, he taught me Psychology when I attended Stanford in the previous century.
David Aaker “The last metaphor wins.”
David Aaker is next. What Bob Cialdini is to influence, David is to branding. He is Professor Emeritus at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley and the vice-chairman of Prophet, a marketing consultancy co-founded by Scott Galloway.
In 2015, David Aaker was inducted into the American Marketing Association Hall of Fame for his lifetime achievements.
David has written Creating Signature Stories: Strategic Messaging that Energizes, Persuades and Inspires, Managing Brand Equity, and Building Strong Brands plus ten other books. Oh yeah, he is also the father of Jennifer Aaker, a remarkable professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Jonah Berger “We need to ask rather than tell.”
Dr. Jonah Berger is an Associate Professor of Marketing at Wharton. He received a BA from Stanford University in Human Judgment and Decision Making, and a PhD from Stanford in Marketing
He is the author of three books: Contagious: Why Things Catch On, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, and The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind.
Dr. Sinan Aral “We’ve got to reduce and snuff out the misinformation.”
Dr. Sinan Aral is the David Austin Professor of Management at MIT. He co-leads MIT’s Initiative on the Digital Economy. Sinan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Northwestern University, holds Master’s degrees from the London School of Economics and Harvard University, and received his PhD from MIT. He is the author of The Hype Machine. He is one of the world’s experts about the impact of social media on society.
Dr. Neil A. Lewis, Jr. “When you’re talking about historically marginalized communities since country trust building is even more essential.”
Neil is an assistant professor of communication and social behavior at Cornell University with graduate faculty appointments in Communication and Psychology. He also holds a joint appointment in the Weill Cornell Medical College Division of General Internal Medicine as an assistant professor of communication research in medicine.
Lewis received his B.A. in economics and psychology from Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan. He won the Rising Star Early Career Award (2019) Association for Psychological Science.
Sam Wineburg “People’s opposition to vaccinations is not monolithic.”
Sam Wineburg is the Margaret Jacks Professor of Education and a professor of History & American Studies at Stanford University. He attended Brown and UC Berkeley. He holds a doctorate in Psychological Studies in Education from Stanford. Wineburg also heads the Stanford History Education Group. If you want to learn the history of history and how to not be misinformed by the Internet, Sam is your man.
Dr. Katy Milkman “We trust authority figures, but we also trust authority figures who represent our identity group.”
Our final remarkable guest is Dr. Katy Milkman. She is a Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at Wharton. She also holds a secondary appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University (summa cum laude) in Operations Research and Financial Engineering and her Ph.D. from Harvard University’s joint program in Computer Science and Business.
Her upcoming book: How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be is not to be missed. None other than Angela Duckworth wrote the foreword for this book. And when I asked Angela to participate in this episode, she told me that since Katy was in it, I didn’t need both of them. Can’t get higher praise than that.
I hope you found this special episode of enlightening, inspiring, and above all, actionable. If you know people who can use this information, please ask them to give it a listen. It’s literally a matter of life or death.
My thanks to the nine remarkable people who participated in this episode. They gave unselfishly of their time and expertise. My thanks to Peg Fitzpatrick and Jeff Sieh who helped me put so many moving pieces together. Everyone, all eleven people, did this during the holiday season.
The great news is that vaccines are here and more are coming. But they will do little good if we don’t take them. And for those of us who are not yet vaccinated, remember to continue to social distance, wash your hands, and wear a mask.
It’s one big ohana…we are all in this together.