|Successfully managing other people—be they competitors, customers, or co-workers—requires an understanding of their thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and motivations. An accurate understanding of these factors, however, can be difficult to come by, and intuitions are often misguided. This course is intended to provide the scientific knowledge of human thought, motivation, and behavior that is critical for successfully managing others, and also for successfully managing yourself.
The course will utilize lectures, discussions, and group interactions to provide an introduction to theory and research in the behavioral and psychological sciences. The primary goal is to gain conceptual knowledge that will help you understand and manage your own unique and complicated work settings, and to help you think like a psychological scientist in those settings.
|1. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell writes: “What is the question we always ask about the successful? We want to know what they’re like, what kind of personalities they have, how intelligent they are, or what special talents they might have been born with. And we assume that it is those personal qualities that explain how that individual reached the top.” What psychological principle does this passage illustrate about the way people perceive the performance of others? What lesson can managers draw from this principle about how to boost the success of their team?
2. One of the earliest questions of work and industrial psychology was the question whether the mere presence of other people boosts or hinders performance. How did Robert Zajonc conceptually solve the apparent contradictions in findings at his time? Describe two illustrations or applications of his theory in an organizational setting.
3. Explain three common problems with the quality of data from everyday life and show how well-conducted experiments can effectively deal with these problems.