BB&T Colloquium at University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
One of the best parts about my job at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is that I’m always learning something new. I get to go to dozens of business-related events each year and hear about cutting-edge research and all of the latest trends in business.
I’ve been to so many thought-provoking events that I could hardly pick just one to say it was the best. Earlier this week, an event at UMD-Smith put my mind into overdrive and I couldn’t stop thinking. Thinking of what, you ask? Well, I really just couldn’t stop thinking, in general. My mind was busy contemplating the possibilities.
I was mentally writing the highlights story as I spent time in the car on my commute home and back the next morning. But how could I possibly write a concise web story and even come close to giving all of the extraordinary details that I had written down in my 12 pages of notes!?
It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t even get to write about half of the interesting points I had planned… Writing is like cooking – you can’t throw all of your favorite things into the pot and have it come out right. You need to have just the right mix. Fortunately, for me, I can write the official highlights story and then expand in this blog about all of my personal thoughts on the matter.
The event was the BB&T Colloquium on Capitalism, Ethics and Leadership, which featured a fascinating discussion with NYU-Stern Professor Jonathan Haidt about the moral psychology of economic life and strife, held Sept. 30, 2014. My official story is online here.
Let me preface the following thoughts by saying that this kind of lecture is right up my alley. I’m a journalism undergrad with a minor in psychology and I have an MBA. Could it get any better than writing about the psychology of economics?
I suggest you read the official story first, and then my personal key takeaways, that are not in the official story:
- Matching up morals to “left” and “right” really helps you better understand the psychology behind liberals, conservatives and libertarians.
- Most people are governed by their emotions, but some people are much less emotional than others. If you know something is influencing you, you can discount it. But sometimes you just can’t do the reasoning. We all know to count to 10 when we are mad or to sleep on it, but do we actually follow through?
- The rising tides used to lift all boats. Recessions generate wealth, but with each recession the bottom 90% are getting less and less and the top 10% more… in fact the top 1% is getting almost all of the wealth nowadays. See last weekend’s NYT for the details on this particular note.
- Football is like ritualized warfare… this was my favorite quote from the event. But it was too hard to work into my story! This is regarding loyalty/betrayal – we can cooperate in large groups that are not correlated. We can form
- Libertarians and conservatives both resent bleeding-heart liberals.
- Your morals reflect the roles that you play in society. For example, once you become a parent, you have a better appreciation for authority.
- Gilovich 1991 on motivated reasoning… Whenever we want to believe something, we ask can I believe it? If we don’t want to believe it we ask, must I believe it? For example, if research says that caffeine causes breast cancer, women who drink coffee will reject it in higher numbers than men or women who don’t drink coffee.
For more, check out Professor Haidt’s TED talks… here’s one.