Vanessa Bohns is a professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University and author of the book You Have More Influence Than You Think (2021, Norton). She holds a PhD in psychology from Columbia University and an AB from Brown University. Her research has been published in top academic journals in psychology, management, and law, and has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Economist, and on NPR’s Hidden Brain, among other media outlets. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Business Insider, and elsewhere. Professor Bohns is an expert on help-seeking, social influence, compliance, consent, and why it’s so hard to say no.
By Vanessa Bohns
Most people chronically underestimate their influence. When researchers ask people how much they think others pay attention to them, think about them, and would agree to do things for them and then compare these estimates to objective indicators, they find that people are consistently underconfident in their perceived ability to win friends and influence people.