Cognitive Openness and Preference for Social Structure When the System is Unstable
Conflict and Polarization Initiative Fellow | 2018 - 2019 Academic Year
When people don’t want to know others who are different, misunderstanding arises, and conflict ensues. It is thus crucial to understand when and why people are cognitively open—what makes they seek to understand those who come from another culture or belong to a different social group? I propose that desire for individuality (a need to be differentiated and unconstrained) makes contact with out-group members especially attractive. I explore this psychological process by experimentally manipulating desire for individuality and measure people’s interest in seeking contact with out-group. The implications of this research for creating social cohesion are also discussed.
Chunchen Xu, Graduate School of Business
Chunchen Xu is a fourth year PhD student in Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Xu is am broadly interested in understanding how people interact with their social group and asks questions such as “can value congruence increase people’s need for individuality?” or “does using decision-making algorithms reduce people’s attachment to their work organizations?”