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Texas A&M University Human Behavior Laboratory

Setting Brainy Goals

Ended Feb 9, 2022

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Full course description

Setting Brainy Goals (Winter 2021) 

The human brain is wired to love the status quo and keep you doing what it knows to be predictable. That means it is programmed to make it very difficult to achieve your goals—especially stretch goals—because they are unpredictable, and your brain doesn’t like that.

However, when you understand the rules of the brain and the tricks it uses to keep you stuck, it becomes easy to work with and turn yourself into a goal-achieving machine. This class will help students be more effective in their day-to-day work as well as being more likely to continually hit and exceed their professional and personal goals all year long. This laser-focused, 3-week condensed course, part of the Certificate in Applied Behavioral Economics, will give students the formula for achieving and exceeding goals with behavioral science.  


The course instructor is Melina Palmer, founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. Her podcast, The Brainy Business, has downloads in over 160 countries. Melina worked in corporate marketing and brand strategy for over a decade before earning her master’s in behavioral economics. She has contributed research to the Association for Consumer Research, Filene Research Institute, and runs the Behavioral Economics & Business column for Inc Magazine. 

Curriculum Outline (subject to change)

In this class, students can expect to learn about: 

·  The truth about distraction and productivity

·  Tackling the brain biases and tricks that keep you stuck

·  The 4 types of clutter and how they impact you daily

·  A behavioral economics framework for achieving big goals with tiny tasks


➡️ FAQs ⬅️

What is a 'minimester' course?

Minimesters are condensed courses that take place between fall and spring and spring and summer semesters. Two of these condensed minimester courses take the place of one elective course in the certificate program in Applied Behavioral Economics.  

What other 'minimester' courses are available?

In 2021, we will offer two additional minimester courses: eCommerce and Website Design.

Who is this course for? 
Our classes are designed specifically for practitioners and professionals in a wide range of fields. The courses are more applied than theoretical, so whether you are established in your corporate career and looking for an edge (or change of pace) or an entrepreneur and everything in between, you will benefit from this course. 

Is there an application form to sign up for this course? 
Yes, once you click on the Enroll button you will be prompted to answer a series of questions that we view as your application. We strongly believe that everyone should have an opportunity to knowledge, but if we determine that you would not be a good fit for the course then we will promptly refund your money.

How is the course taught? 
This program is entirely online so students from around the world can participate. One aspect that makes this course unique is that it is the lecture is prerecorded so you can listen whenever you wish. Students can choose to attend the virtual office hours and interact with fellow students and the instructor or they can watch the recorded discussion later. The course is pass/fail with the majority of graded material being posted discussions with your class cohorts.

What if I have questions about the course material? 
Each week we will offer virtual “Office Hours” so you can talk directly with the instructors.

How long is the course? 
The course is 3-weeks long. Each week you will have readings and assignments to complete.

Where can I learn more about the Certificate Program? 
For full details, visit Certificate Program.

How much of a time commitment is required each week? 
We would suggest that you allot 2-3 hours to complete the readings, assignments, and watching the presentations. Most weeks we will have optional readings in case you are really interested in that week’s topic and want to dig in more, but that is completely up to you.

What are the technical requirements? 
We use the online learning platform, Canvas that we will grant you access to once you enroll in a course. As long as you have access to the internet you should be good to go. Also, it would help if your computer has a camera and microphone enabled so you can take full advantage of the “Office Hours” and to be able to ask questions during the class, though this is not required.

Are the course credits transferable to either a Bachelor’s or Master’s program? 
No. Courses offered through are non-credit-bearing courses. These are offered as opportunities to learn new skills and enhance job performance and to assist numerous professional licensing and accrediting bodies that require continuing education as a provision for the preservation of good standing in their industry. Those who complete the full Certificate program in Applied Behavioral Economics will receive a certificate of completion. 

How many courses can I take at any one time? 
We want to ensure students take time and learn the material deeply so we limit students to taking up to 2 courses per semester.  There are opportunities to take shorter condensed courses in between semesters. (If you are participating in the full Certificate in Applied Behavioral Economics, you can take two condensed courses in place of one elective.)

Can you drop a course once it has started? 
Yes, you can drop any required or elective course before the second week of class for a full refund.  

What is the Human Behavior Laboratory? 
The Human Behavior Laboratory at Texas A&M University is one of the largest biometrics lab in the academic world, bringing together a transdisciplinary team of leading researchers and advanced technology to deliver insights never before produced at this scale and speed. From marketing and education to nutrition and economics, biometric research applies to a wide range of disciplines. When you understand how people make decisions, you can be better prepared to help them make better ones. Individuals can make better life choices about their health, finances, relationships, what they buy and how they manage risk. Businesses can increase product recognition and sales if they know what customers really want and how to reach them. Health providers can increase patient compliance and success by understanding how to motivate patients to develop self-control and adopt healthy behaviors.

After I have enrolled/registered for my course, how do I log in to view more information about it? 
Once you have registered for a course, workshop or conference, additional information can be found in the Catalog listing.  Go to and click “Login” in the upper-right corner of the website.


Additional Questions? If they are about Continuing Education at TAMU go here. Otherwise, please contact the program manager at HBL@TAMU.EDU