Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Do We Favor Quick Decisive Leaders and Penalize Slower, Deliberative Thinkers?

Stanford Professor Zakary Tormala, doctoral student Daniella Kupor, HBS Professor Michael Norton, and Kellogg Professor Derek Rucker have conducted some new research about how we react to the decision processes of others.  They asked the question:  Do we favor those who we perceive as quick decisive leaders and form less favorable impressions of those who engage in a slow, deliberative thought process?  Their research suggests that the answer is not black and white. Our impressions depend upon the situation.  If someone faces a very challenging decision, then we look for and are impressed by a thoughtful, comprehensive decision-making process.  On the other hand, if someone faces a very easy choice, then we think less favorably of that person if he or she labors over the decision.  In short, we want to see people match the comprehensiveness of the decision process with the complexity of the situation.   The Stanford story about this research summarizes the main conclusion as follows: "In general, people seem to be less drawn to and less open to being influenced by individuals who overthink small decisions or 'underthink' big ones." 

No comments: