068: What makes a person authentic? and Can you change a person’s mind?

Sheena Iyengar is a PhD in social psychology, a Professor at the Columbia Business School (since 1998), a former MIT School of Management faculty member, an author (The Art of Choosing), a TED speaker and more. She researches choice and decision-making and looks into three main ideas choosing, connecting and creating. Sheena is interested in who we are and how we construct ourselves – what choices we make and how we create an authentic being. Her experiments on social network analyses explores the way people build their social circle and how do we make choices about who will be our friends. Dr. Iyengar is fascinated by the power of choice, the power of connections, and the power of creativity and these are the three things she cares most about.

In this episode we talk about:
• How we present ourselves and how do we choose the people in our circles?
• Structure (who you are lumped with at school, work etc.) plays a big role in how we build our social circles. Structures that we are forced into aren’t the best places to meet new friends.
• At networking events people prefer to hang out with people they already know which is kind of contra productive.
• People need to feel an authentic connection to bond. These kinds of scenarios can be reproduced but they feel artificial.
• Can you change people’s choices?
• What makes a person authentic? What does this even mean?
• The correlation between self-disclosure and authenticity and how to getting the balance correct.
• How the present electoral race in the USA reflects decision making and what people base their choices on.
• Why her blindness is not an issue in her research or life and how she figures ways to end her limitations.
• Her present research interests on the connection between authenticity and innovation.

Resources mentioned on the podcast:
Sheena’s book: The Art of Choosing
TED The Art of Choosing
• Dr. Sheena Iyengar’s website: https://sheenaiyengar.com