Better Networking, Worse Judgment?

Shocking, but true.

Vickie Elmer at reports on a new Stanford University study which indicates that highly connected individuals may be less able to make the right ethical choices in the workplace. Apparently their well-connectedness makes them overconfident that they know what their colleagues’ thinking will be when it comes to ethical decisions. The phenomenon is known as false consensus bias, and seems to be worse among people with large personal networks.

Why? People discuss "safe subjects in the workplace — sports, kids, current events," the researchers wrote. So "little of the insights that people gain from social ties may apply" to moral dilemmas.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way. Just be aware that just because you know a lot of people and have good relationships with them doesn’t mean they think like you do. Be aware of this basic human tendency and you can perhaps avoid it.