Thought Calibration: How Thinking Just the Right Amount Increases One’s Influence and Appeal
Previous research suggests that people draw inferences about their attitudes and preferences based on their own thoughtfulness. The current research explores how observing other individuals make decisions more or less thoughtfully can shape perceptions of those individuals and their decisions, and ultimately impact observers' willingness to be influenced by them. Three studies suggest that observing others make more (versus less) thoughtful decisions generates more positive reactions when a choice is difficult, but more negative reactions when a choice is easy. In essence, people perceive the quality of others' decisions to be greater when other individuals engage in the right amount of thinking for the situation. These assessments then affect observers' own decisions and openness to influence.
Cognition and Thinking;
Power and Influence;
When Does a Platform Create Value by Limiting Choice?
We present a theory for why it might be rational for a platform to limit the number of applications available on it. Our model is based on the observation that even if users prefer application variety, applications often also exhibit direct network effects. When there are direct network effects, users prefer to consume the same applications to benefit from consumption complementarities. We show that the combination of preference for variety and consumption complementarities gives rise to (i) a commons problem (to better satisfy their individual preference for variety, users have an incentive to consume more applications than the number that maximizes joint utility); (ii) an equilibrium selection problem (consumption complementarities often lead to multiple equilibria, which result in different utility levels for the users); and (iii) a coordination problem (lacking perfect foresight, it is unlikely that users will end up buying the same set of applications). The analysis shows that the platform can resolve these problems and create value by limiting the number of applications available. By limiting choice, the platform may create new equilibria (including the allocation that maximizes users' utility); eliminate equilibria that give lower utility to the users; and reduce the severity of the coordination problem faced by users.
Keywords: platform governance;
direct network effects;
indirect network effects;
tragedy of the commons;
Balance and Stability;
Decision Choices and Conditions;
'My Bad!' How Internal Attribution and Ambiguity of Responsibility Affect Learning from Failure
Learning in organizations is a key determinant of individual and organizational success, and one valuable source of this learning is prior failure. Previous research finds that although individuals can learn from failed experiences, they do not always do so. To explain why this is true, we explore how individuals process failed experiences as a potential source of learning. Drawing on attribution theory, we conceptualize the differential impact that internal (self-focused) and external (factors outside of one’s control) attributions after failure may have on individuals’ learning and identify a key factor that shapes whether individuals attribute failure internally or externally, namely perceived ambiguity of responsibility. We hypothesize that when perceived ambiguity of responsibility is low rather than high, individuals will be more likely to attribute their failure internally and in turn devote more effort to learning and improving. We test our hypotheses using data collected in field and laboratory settings. This multi-method approach supports our theoretical model and permits us to gain further insight into how learning from failure occurs for individuals in work organizations.
Mobilizing Culture for Public Action: Community Participation and Child Rights in Rural Uttar Pradesh
Community-based initiatives that work to empower the poor and promote their participation have gained strong support among scholars and practitioners of development. Yet the questionable assumptions about culture and development that inform these initiatives render it unclear as to whether and how community participation can be promoted in practice, especially in settings that depart from the ideal conceptions of community. Through a detailed case study of the UNICEF-IKEA Bal Adhikar Pariyojana (BAP), a grassroots initiative that seeks to advance child rights in India, this paper examines how traditionally disempowered community members learn to mobilize collectively around child education and health in the least-likely setting of rural Uttar Pradesh. Building on the recent literature on culture and public action, and relying on extensive field research, village-level comparisons and interviews with key stakeholders, this paper traces the process by which BAP fieldworkers and community members make strategic use of the cultural understandings, norms and identities that govern family, gender and caste relations to build new community-based networks that promote the rights of children. Yet there are serious drawbacks to these cultural strategies when attempting to scale up participation directed at an unresponsive state. To maintain ties with different caste groups, BAP takes an apolitical posture and does not actively build the capacity of communities to mobilize politically and make demands on state agencies. The findings suggest that cultural strategies for promoting community participation in rural India need to be understood within a broader political context of poor local governance and caste politics.
Who Donates Their Bodies to Science? The Combined Role of Gender and Migration Status Among California Whole-body Donors
The number of human cadavers available for medical research and training, as well as organ transplantation, is limited. Researchers disagree about how to increase the number of whole-body bequeathals, citing a shortage of donations from the one group perceived as most likely to donate from attitudinal survey data—educated white males over 65. This focus on survey data, however, suffers from two main limitations: First, it reveals little about individuals’ actual registration or donation behavior. Second, past studies’ reliance on average survey measures may have concealed variation within the donor population. To address these shortcomings, we employ cluster analysis on all whole-body donors’ data from the Universities of California at Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Two donor groups emerge from the analyses: One is made of slightly younger, educated, married individuals, an overwhelming portion of whom are U.S. born and have U.S.–born parents, while the second includes mostly older, separated women with some college education, a relatively higher share of whom are foreign born and have foreign-born parents. Our results demonstrate the presence of additional donor groups within and beyond the group of educated and elderly white males previously assumed to be most likely to donate. More broadly, our results suggest how the intersectional nature of donors’ demographics, in particular, gender and migration status, shapes the configuration of the donor pool, signaling new ways to possibly increase donations.
Fiscal Risk and the Portfolio of Government Programs
This paper proposes a new approach to social cost-benefit analysis using a model in which a benevolent government chooses risky projects in the presence of market failures and tax distortions. The government internalizes market failures and therefore perceives project payoffs differently than do individual private actors. This gives it a "social risk management" motive -- projects that generate social benefits are attractive, particularly if those benefits are realized in bad economic states. However, because of tax distortions, government financing is costly, creating a "fiscal risk management" motive. Government projects that require large tax-financed outlays are unattractive, particularly if those outlays tend to occur in bad economic times. At the optimum, the government trades off its social and fiscal risk management motives. Frictions in government financing create interdependence between two otherwise unrelated government projects. As in the theory of portfolio choice, the fiscal risk of a project depends on how its fiscal costs covary with the fiscal costs of the government's overall portfolio of projects. This interdependence means that individual projects should not be evaluated in isolation.
Keywords: Risk Management;
Government and Politics;
Leveraging Crowdsourced Peer-to-Peer Assessments to Enhance the Case Method of Learning
Many marketing educators use the case method to help their students strengthen their decision-making skills. Rigorous class participation is essential to achieving learning objectives in case method learning. One challenge for case method instructors is the assessment of students' class participation, particularly in large classes. This article offers a solution that mines the practices of peer-to-peer feedback and crowdsourcing to enhance the assessment of learning and student-to-student interactions in face-to-face class sessions. The article outlines a technique used in an MBA marketing course for crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessment of class participation during case discussions and empirically validates how crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessment compares to students' self-assessment and to the instructor's assessment of class participation performance, based on five years of data (N=7,025) across ten sections. The article demonstrates that crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessment (unlike self-assessment) offers ratings that are highly correlated with instructor assessment and demonstrate strong inter-rater reliability. Results show that crowdsourced peer-to-peer assessments are perceived as fair and accurate. Educators can leverage peer-to-peer sharing to enhance the assessment of class participation during face-to-face case discussions.
Case method teaching;
The Cost of Friendship
We investigate how personal characteristics affect people's desire to collaborate and whether this attraction enhances or detracts from performance in venture capital. We find that venture capitalists who share the same ethnic, educational, or career background are more likely to syndicate with each other. This homophily reduces the probability of investment success, and the detrimental effect is most prominent for early-stage investments. A variety of tests show that the cost of affinity is most likely attributable to poor decision making by high-affinity syndicates after the investment is made. These results suggest that "birds-of-a-feather-flock-together" effects in collaboration can be costly.
Keywords: Venture Capital;
Partners and Partnerships;
Can an 'Ethical' Bank Support Guns and Fracking?
A case study is presented on business ethics and bank management. The situation facing the president of a community bank established to operate as a green business and to consider ethical issues of bank loans when it is considering an application for a large commercial loan by a firearms industry company in its community is examined.
Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance
Research on learning has primarily focused on the role of doing (experience) in fostering progress over time. In this paper, we propose that one of the critical components of learning is reflection, or the intentional attempt to synthesize, abstract, and articulate the key lessons taught by experience. Drawing on dual-process theory, we focus on the reflective dimension of the learning process and propose that learning can be augmented by deliberately focusing on thinking about what one has been doing. We test the resulting dual-process learning model experimentally, using a mixed-method design that combines two laboratory experiments with a field experiment conducted in a large business process outsourcing company in India. We find a performance differential when comparing learning-by-doing alone to learning-by-doing coupled with reflection. Further, we hypothesize and find that the effect of reflection on learning is mediated by greater perceived self-efficacy. Together, our results shed light on the role of reflection as a powerful mechanism behind learning.
Keywords: learning by thinking;
Cognition and Thinking;