Episode 85: Creating Extraordinary Experiences

How can businesses create extraordinary experiences for customers, employees and learners? Through 20 years of neuroscience research, Dr. Paul Zak has discovered what it takes to create it. Find out what characteristic define extraordinary experiences how immersion is being used by movie studios and business, and its application in creating effective learning and training.

Dr. Paul Zak is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He is a regular TED speaker and his most recent book is titled Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness. Dr. Zak is ranked in the top 0.3% of most cited scientists with over 180 published papers and more than 19,000 citations to his research. He is a recognized expert in oxytocin, and his lab discovered in 2004 that oxytocin allows us to determine who to trust. This knowledge is being used to understand the basis for civilization and modern economies, improve negotiations, and treat patients with neurologic and psychiatric disorders.

If you enjoy the show, please rate it on Spotify. Your rating helps more people like you discover the podcast!

Episode Highlights


Research on oxytocin that led to the discovery of Immersion


How Immersion helps advertising, entertainment and corporate training


Why asking "did you like it" doesn't give us good data


How long does Immersion last?


Applying Immersion to help drive movie ticket sales


Three keys to create Immersion in business settings


Why social learning is more effective than learning alone


Group size to maximize the benefits of social learning


Caseworx and designing learning around storytelling


How Immersion is measured with smartwatches


The 20-20-20 rule for effective learning design


How Accenture uses Immersion in their training


Privacy and ethics for collecting biological data

Paul’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

Paul’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

"My inclination, which is going to make you laugh, is to say love. In the philia sense, I really mean caring...Real camaraderie, that teamwork, that cooperation, caring, love, and again, that friendship kind of notion where people really have each other's backs, they're really working together."

What “working with humans” means to Paul

“It means recognizing every individual you work with as a human being who has his or her own concerns, own gifts, [and] own failings, will have good days and bad days. [It's] seeing that person, not as an employee or a worker, as a human being a fully developed human who is imperfect like all of us… just wants to get better at what they're doing and be a contributing member of their organization. So, it really is a call not only for tolerance for the beautiful weirdness of the human beings really accepting and again, embracing our diversity as human beings.”


Follow: Paul on LinkedIn

Read: Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness

Visit: Paul's website

Visit: Get Immersion

Visit: Center for Neuroeconomics Studies

Visit: Caseworx website

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.