Top 5 Psychology-centric TED Talks for Business Success

Posted on 23rd June 2017 in Business

Written by James Marren

Understanding psychology, yours and others, can be crucial to your business success. From maintaining a positive mindset to understanding a client’s position so that you can better serve them, it all adds up. So sit down comfortably (perhaps in a Freud-like couch) and enjoy our selection of the top 5 TED Talks to expand your thinking.

1. Tim Ferriss – Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

Tim Ferriss is an early-stage tech investor (Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Duolingo etc.), best-selling author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The 4-hour Workweek and the host of the most popular business/interview podcast on the internet. He’s been listed as one of Fast Company‘s “Most Innovative Business People” and one of Fortune‘s “40 under 40.”

In this talk, he demonstrates a powerful exercise called “fear-setting” that you can use to encourage yourself to take action despite your fears. The hard choices and questions in life are usually the ones that we should be pursuing and the more you practice writing down your fears and analysing them, the more you can start to thrive in high-stress situations and make the best decisions.

2. Amy Cuddy – Your body language may shape who you are

Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist that has defied the odds, having overcome a serious head injury caused in a car accident that doctors said would cause permanent brain damage and prevent her from finishing her studies. Thankfully, she has managed to prove them wrong and is now a professor at the Harvard Business School, where she studies how snap judgements and nonverbal behaviour affect people and can improve your odds in business and in life.

Here she discusses how your body language affects how people perceive you and also how you see yourself. She argues that “power posing” even when you’re not feeling confident can encourage self-confidence and improve your chances of success.

3. Dan Gilbert -The psychology of your future self

Dan Gilbert has a doctorate in social psychology from Princeton, has won a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Phi Beta Kappa teaching prize for his work at Harvard. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and carries out research at his Hedonic Psychology Laboratory.

He believes that “Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.” He argues that most of us have the wrong map for finding happiness and success and that we are being fooled into misjudging what we think will make us happy. Find out how to get on the right track towards personal and professional happiness with this short but inspiring talk.

Watch 5 TED Talks to help you predict the future

4. Barry Schwartz – The paradox of choice

Looking a little further back in the TED archives, but still as relevant as ever, Psychologist Barry Schwartz challenges us to look again at one of the principle beliefs of western societies: freedom of choice. Rather than making you freer or happier, Schwartz argues that infinite choice causes you paralysis, dissatisfaction and is psychologically exhausting. Do your clients really want so much choice?

Barry Schwartz is an American psychologist and Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social theory and social action at Swarthmore College. He frequently publishes editorials in the New York Times applying his research in psychology to current events and is the respected author of The Paradox of Choice and Costs of Living, and the TED Book, Why We Work.

5. Philip Zimbardo – The psychology of time

Philip George Zimbardo is a famous psychologist and professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is well known by all in the psychology community and beyond for his 1971 Stanford prison experiment and has since authored various introductory psychology books, textbooks for college students. Other notable works include The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, The Time Paradox and The Time Cure.

Another oldie but goodie, this talk explains that happiness and success are rooted in a trait most of us disregard: the way you orient toward the past, present and future. Much like financial reporting and forecasting for your business, the key to success is finding the right balance of each.

(Psycho)analyse your numbers with FUTRLI

Start your free trial