My research addresses questions related to judgment, collaboration, and social influence using theories and methods from social psychology, organizational behavior, and behavioral decision-making. Although most of my studies are conducted in the laboratory, I am most interested in questions that have immediate "real world" implications. In addition to gaining greater understanding of fundamental human behavior, I want to have an impact on problems faced by managers, consumers, and policy-makers.
My work to date has pursued three main topics of inquiry:
1. SHORTCOMINGS IN COLLABORATIVE JUDGMENT
Many important management, consumer, and policy decisions are based on an underlying quantitative judgment, or a prediction about the future:
- How much will this home sell for?
- How much should we save for retirement?
- How large is the market for this new product?
Especially in cases of important decisions, people often turn to others to ask for advice or to make the decision together. My research addresses the biases that prevent individuals from maximizing the benefits of collaboration, and lead to wasted time, effort, and judgment error.
2. RECEPTIVENESS TO OPPOSING VIEWS AND ATTITUDE STRENGTH
What would the world be like if pro-choice and pro-life activists, Liberals and Conservatives, and partisans in international conflict willingly and thoughtfully considered each other's views? My work with Frances Chen, Benoit Monin and Zak Tormala explores receptiveness to opposing social, political, and moral views of others. We have tested different interventions to make people more open to opposing views, even in contexts when attitudes are unlikely to change substantially or even at all, such as in cases of deep-seated ideological conflict.
3. THE EFFECTS OF ASKING QUESTIONS
Several of my papers explore the effects of questions on judgment, receptiveness to opposing views, and strategic interactions. Questions are a ubiquitous part of human interaction, yet little research has addressed the manner in which they affect social outcomes. In my research with Nicole Ruedy and Maurice Schweitzer we propose a new model - the Question Disclosure Model - that elaborates the way in which questions influence strategic communications.