Tug-of-War Worldviews

The Nature and Consequences of Competitive Mindsets

Source: International Journal of Innovation and Economic Development

Daniel Ames, BA Beloit College; PhD University of California, Berkeley

Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Business, Columbia Business School

Shai Davidai, BA Hebrew University, PhD Cornell University

Assistant Professor in the Management Division, Columbia Business School

We live and work in a competitive world, real or perceived. As a member of many groups we feel part of, we interact with our counterparts on a daily basis. Whether it is cooperative and win-win, or competitive and zero-sum, is rooted in how we project our self-image onto others. Our real success therefore, is tied to our understanding of this projection. 

Join Columbia Business School Professors, and social psychologists, Daniel Ames and Shai Davidai as they discuss their intriguing research on zero-sum thinking and competitive worldviews. In conversation, they'll explore Professor Davidai's work examining the psychology of zero-sum beliefs (that one group's gains entail another's losses) and their links to well-being and political ideology, among other things. They'll also discuss Professor Ames' research on competitive worldviews and how they shape peoples' interpretations and behavior, ranging from what information people share or hold back during negotiations to how Americans comply with, or defy, public health recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants will be encouraged to take a fresh look at their own assumptions and will leave with a better appreciation for how individuals in society, at this pivotal moment, imagine one another.

The conversation will be followed by Q&A.

Cosponsored by:

Cal Club of Washington DC

Daniel Ames is the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Business at Columbia Business School. He heads the School’s curriculum on negotiation and leads teams of MBA students teaching negotiation to incarcerated individuals. He also co-directs Columbia Business School’s Leadership Lab, which supports leadership development within and beyond the MBA curriculum. A social and personality psychologist, he earned his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley before doing post-doctoral research at Stanford University. His research revolves around how people perceive and interact with one another. He studies how people fight and cooperate, how people form impressions and bond, and how people read one another’s minds—or fail to.

Shai Davidai is an Assistant Professor in the Management Division at Columbia Business School. His research examines the psychological forces that shape and distort how people see the world, especially when it comes to important societal issues such as inequality and economic mobility. He received his PhD in Social and Personality Psychology from Cornell University and his B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel. Prior to joining Columbia University, Shai was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University and an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at The New School for Social Research.

December 03, 2020 at 6:30pm - 8pm


Washington, DC
United States

Kambiz Rahnavardy

James Bush Christine Chen Diana Preston Ava Akua Graf Chris Masten Rachel Golden Jeffrey Kateman Cynthia Kemp Mary Elizabeth Beim Joan Habermann Caroline Altmann Yeli Saca Weiwei Chen James Lum Marc Knapp Patrick O'Donnell Ann Rennie David Earley Roy Shrobe Kim Tran Pauline Nalikka Ruchi Malhotra Megan Hauser Steve Larson Sallie Lemons Simona Hellinger Laura Livingston Phil Collins Kimberly Jessup martha jewett Dr.oec. Myrtle P. Alexander Robert Yurcik Janice Gorin Kristina Yee Jenifer Gager Aishwarya Kasturia Olga Yevtukhova Kimberly Adams Andrew Frey Christina Micek Malek Ben Salem Aviva Sufian Nicolas Kahale Annette Marley Nnamdi Nwaezeapu Rohit Modak Azmat Zuberi Lindsay McMahon

Will you come?