I am a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

My webpage

Ethical Systems Interview (September 2015)

ES blog mentions

My Approach to Ethical Systems:

I am a social psychologist who studies mind reading: how we make inferences about others’ thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, intentions, and other mental states. Of particular interest is trying to understand how smart people like us can so easily misunderstand each other, and what can be done to make us better.

The major problem is a failure of perspective taking. Each of us is the center of our own universe, viewing the world through own eyes and interpreting it through own interpretive lens of experience, beliefs, and attitudes. Getting over ourselves and being able to consider, accurately, the interests, emotions, feelings, and rights of others is a major challenge in any ethical system. We find little evidence in our research that actively trying to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, trying hard to adopt his or her perspective, actually makes you understand the other person better. Instead, it may actually inflame misunderstanding.

The only way you truly understand the mind of another person is by getting the person’s perspective directly, either by experiencing the other person’s situation for yourself or by listening carefully as they explain it to you.

My Ethical Systems Research Pages: Conflicts of Interest and Leadership

My Major Relevant Publications:


  • Mindwise (2014) (public library). This book describes our impressive ability to understand the minds of others, and how the shortcomings of this ability lead to predictable and problematic misunderstanding. Understanding these mistakes helps you be wiser about the minds of others.


Academic Articles 

See a full list of my academic publications.