Aug. 19, 2022

Rory Sutherland & Paul Craven on Alchemy & Magic

Rory Sutherland & Paul Craven on Alchemy & Magic

What do Alchemy and Magic have to do with human decision-making? 

On this episode, I’m joined by two Behavioural Science gurus who have both been on the show before: Rory Sutherland and Paul Craven. Rory is the author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power...


What do Alchemy and Magic have to do with human decision-making? 

On this episode, I’m joined by two Behavioural Science gurus who have both been on the show before: Rory Sutherland and Paul Craven. Rory is the author of Alchemy: The Surprising Power of Ideas That Don't Make Sense. Paul Craven is a magician and member of the prestigious Magic Circle. So that’s both bases covered!

Rory is also the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, and Paul began his career in Finance with over 30 years working for Schroders, PIMCO and Goldman Sachs. Both are Behavioural Science thought leaders.

Since the show is approaching its 200th episode — this is the 199th — I thought I ought to celebrate it. So I did what we always do when we celebrate special occasions and decided to replicate the winning formula I used last time. On that occasion, I was joined by Rory Sutherland and Gerald Ashley. Since then, I’ve also recorded a doubleheader with Gerald and his and Rory’s good friend Paul Craven. Like Rory and Gerald, Paul has also done a solo appearance on the show.

So for two episodes, I’m joined by Rory Sutherland and Paul Craven. 

In our discussion — and I’m just talking about this episode here — we talk about framing, ethics, Sludge, electric cars, the best joke at this year’s Edinburgh festival — warning, it’s an adult joke — the Pratfall Effect, or why making mistakes can make us seem more human, ho one man saved the world from a nuclear war, the Beatles, how we look at data and so much more. Links to all of those are below.



Paul Craven - https://www.paulcraven.com/


Rory Sutherland - https://www.linkedin.com/in/rorysutherland/?



Rory’s book Alchemy - https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/430379/alchemy-by-rory-sutherland/9780753556528


Economist Nicholas Gruen - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_Gruen



French magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Eug%C3%A8ne_Robert-Houdin



Former guest Gerald Ashley referring to Paul as a conman - https://twitter.com/HumanRiskLtd/status/1395316840105234432?s=20&t=7v2vbVi0FoiyzozKY9soug



Marks & Spencer’s ‘Dine In For Two’ Deal - https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/food-to-order/dine-in



Edward De Bono - https://www.debono.com/

Germany’s ’two click to unsubscribe’ law - https://www.thelocal.de/20220303/how-germany-is-making-is-easier-for-consumers-to-cancel-contracts/



Sludge - https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerdooley/2021/09/29/you-cant-nudge-if-youve-got-sludge/



[Warning: the most controversial show note ever. Contains adult content.
Spanish Comedian Ignacio Lopez on Dogging.

Here’s what the term means: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogging_(sexual_slang)].



Here’s the joke: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=246981890669484



The BBC series My Life As A Rolling Stone -