How to Really Know Another Person

So often, we think we know what other people are thinking. But researchers have found that our attempts at reading other people go wrong more often than we realize. This week, we talk with psychologist Tessa West about what we can all do to read people more accurately.

Additional Resources


Jerks at Work: Toxic Coworkers and What to Do About Them, by Tessa West, 2022. 


Status Acuity: The Ability to Accurately Perceive Status Hierarchies Reduces Status Conflict and Benefits Group Performance, by Siyu Yu, Gavin J. Kilduff, and Tessa West, Journal of Applied Psychology, 2022.

Perspective Mistaking: Accurately Understanding the Mind of Another Requires Getting Perspective, Not Taking Perspective, by Tal Eyal, Mary Steffel, and Nicholas Epley, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2018.

Asked For vs. Unasked For Feedback: An Experimental Study, by Tessa V. West e. al., presented at the Performance Management Insight Lab, 2017.

Collective Intelligence and Group Performance, by Anita Williams Woolley, Ishani Aggarwal, and Thomas W. Malone, Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2015.

Anxiety Perseverance in Intergroup Interaction: When Incidental Explanations Backfire, by Tessa V. West, Adam R. Pearson, and Chadly Stern, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2014.

Brittle Smiles: Positive Biases Toward Stigmatized and Outgroup Targets, by Wendy Berry Mendes and Katrina Koslov, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2013.

Aversive Racism and Medical Interactions with Black Patients: A Field Study, by Louis A. Penner et al., Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2011.


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