Adam Mastroianni is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar the Management Division at Columbia Business School. He studies how people perceive and misperceive their social worlds, from the person sitting across the table to the whole country buzzing around them.
One stream of his work focuses on the misperceptions that arise when people talk face-to-face. For instance, every conversation has to end sometime––do people know when it should? Not really, it seems. Most conversations end when nobody wants them to, both because people want to talk for different amounts of time and because they have no idea when the other person wants to go.
He is also interested in people’s theories and misperception of change in the world around them. People think that morality has declined––are they right, and if they aren’t, why do they think that? People think they’re pretty different from their grandparents––do they attribute that to being different ages or to being members of different generations? When people pick sides on an issue, they care not only about what other people think, but also how those opinions are changing––so do they know how opinions have actually changed?