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Nate’s Notes 53: John Busenbark | Listening Versus Mindreading

By February 20, 2023June 8th, 2023No Comments

John Busenbark

Professor at the University of Notre Dame

John Busenbark is an excellent teacher, and I always love learning from him.

First, when we try to mind read other’s expectations for us, we are prone to overreact in ways that don’t help us. For example, goalies who try to block a penalty kick would be best served to “basically just stand there” and guard the middle of the net, rather than dive in a random direction. But the expectations that they impute from others can cause them to choose the lower probability defense. So rather than imputing expectations from others, we should simply listen to what is said and stay focused on those expectations.

Second, our disfavor towards outgroup members tends to be much strong than our preference for ingroup members. In other words, we don’t just disfavor people who are not like us, we are prone to hate them, specifically when it comes to politics. But fortunately there’s a simple solution to this: familiarity and exposure. By getting to know people who have different views than our own, we realize that they’re not all that different from us, and we become more likely to accept them as they are.

In summary, by listening to others and getting to know them, we can sidestep these biases that John described.

It’s a simple idea, please take it seriously. 

John Busenbark Bio:

John Busenbark is a professor of Management at the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business. He earned a PhD from Arizona State University and an MBA from Indiana University. John researches corporate governance and research methods, including endogeneity, non-spherical disturbances, model specification, and construct operationalization.

I hope you enjoyed learning from John Busenbark, because I always do.

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