Max H. Bazerman (Program on Negotiation Executive Committee member and professor at the Harvard Business School) recently was quoted in an op-ed in The New York Times entitled, “Let’s All Feel Superior.”
In this piece, columnist David Brooks explains how some people have difficulty processing horrific events. Our natural tendencies to self-deceive come into play and cause many of us to look the other way.
In the case of the alleged sexual abuse scandal involving Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator for Penn State’s football team, many onlookers could not understand why those who knew of the allegations against Sandusky did not report them to the police. Brooks explains that there is more going on than simply ignoring the situation. In fact, this reaction could be caused by a number of different psychological biases.
Professor Bazerman and co-author Ann E. Tenbrunsel were quoted from their book, Blind Spots, in saying, “When it comes time to make a decision, our thoughts are dominated by thoughts of how we want to behave; thoughts of how we should behave disappear.”
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Professor Max H. Bazerman is a Program on Negotiation Executive Committee member and will be teaching at the next Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives in December. Professor Bazerman, along with Iris Bohnet, will also be leading a one-day author session on March 22, 2012, based on his book, Judgment in Managerial Decision Making, 7th Edition. For information on our three-day Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives or on attending Professor Bazerman’s course, please visit our website.
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