From doctors to politicians to your boss, people often ask us to put our confidence in them. We’re often urged to build more confidence in ourselves. But one of the most consistent findings in psychology is that there is very little overlap between confidence and competence; how good people think they are, and how good they really are. In this edition of the Why Factor, Michael Blastland asks: why do admire confidence?
Ed O’Brien - Associate Professor of Behaviour Science, University of Chicago Booth School of Business
Maria Konnikova, Psychologist and Author: The Confidence Game
Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Psychologist and Author: Confidence, The Surprising Truth About How Much You Need and How To Get It.
Glen Fukushima -Senior Fellow, Center For American Progress
Dr Anne McGuinness – Emergency Medicine Consultant, University College Hospital Trust
Photo Credit: Multiple exposure of businesswoman arms crossed / Getty Images
Film Credit: The Great Imposter Trailer 1960 / Universal Studios Home Entertainment / Director Robert Mulligan
Why do we find it hard to cut our losses?
At some point in our lives, we’re all likely to make an investment, in time or money or effort, which goes wrong. But, when we know we’re in a hole, why do we find it so hard to stop digging? Realising when we should cut our losses is a decision making skill that’s important in all areas of our lives. In this Why Factor Sandra Kanthal examines why we should all learn how to avoid the 'sunk cost' fallacy.
Spencer Christian - author, You Bet Your Life
Wandi Bruine de Bruin - professor of behavioural decision making, Leeds University Business School
Dean Yeong - Malaysian writer and entrepreneur
Lior Sheffer – post-doctoral fellow, Department of Political Science, University of Toronto
Christopher Olivola - assistant professor of marketing, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University
Claire Gregory – co-founder, The Female Fitness Academy
Presented and produced by Sandra Kanthal
Editor: Richard Knight
Many jobs require workers to manage their emotional expressions with others. Flight attendants are expected to smile and be friendly even in stressful situations, carers are expected to show empathy and warmth, whereas bouncers and prison guards might need to be stern or aggressive. This management of emotions as part of a job is called ‘emotional labour’. It is something many people perform on top of the physical and mental labour involved in their work. Psychologists have shown that faking emotions at work, and suppressing real feelings, can cause stress, exhaustion and burnout. These efforts can be invisible, and that sometimes allows employers to exploit them. Nastaran Tavakoli-Far speaks to sociologists, psychologist, economists and bartenders and asks why we should value emotional labour.
Why is climate change so politicised?
People on the left are more likely to accept climate change than those on the right in the USA, Australia and much of Western Europe. But it’s a question that starts with little more than a thermometer, a measurement of the temperature at the earth’s surface. Why does a science question divide people along party lines? Was it the oil industry, fuelling doubt about the science? Or something deep in our psychology, that causes us to push the science aside in favour of belonging to a tribe, a feeling that who our friends are and what they believe, matters more?
Presenter: Michael Blastland
Producer: Phoebe Keane
Editor: Richard Vadon
Separating the art from the artist
Why can’t we judge art at face value? How does the identity, behaviour and cultural context of the artist play a part in how we approach their artwork? Edwina Pitman explores why we can’t seem to separate the art from the artist.
John Myatt, artist
Paul Bloom, Professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University
Michelle Hartney, artist
Lionel Shriver, novelist
Ananya Mishra, PhD researcher in English, University of Cambridge
Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs, National Coalition Against Censorship, New York
Bob Sturm, Associate Professor in Speech, Music and Hearing at Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
Presented and Produced by Edwina Pitman
Editor: Richard Knight
Photo: Woman looking at the Pablo Picasso painting 'The Dream'
Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images