I’ve never been pregnant myself, but I know people who have. Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience, but it has its downsides too, like having to feel bad whenever you have beer or wine or sushi or coffee or even a ham sandwich in front of your jealous pregnant wife, for whom all these things have been medically proscribed (for the record, I hear that morning sickness and protracted labor are no picnic either, not to mention not being able to eat most things at said picnic).
Do you ever stay up late and then curse yourself the next morning when your alarm clock wakes you up? Jerry Seinfeld has the same problem. He’s got a pretty good idea of why it happens, too, he just doesn’t have a great solution yet. In the opening monologue to The Glasses in Season 5, Jerry complains:
News of a company behaving unethically has become so common that it hardly raises an eyebrow except, perhaps, in the most egregious cases – and even then the outrage is often muted after the initial flare-up subsides. Take the recent case of HSBC, which agreed to pay $1.9 billion for having enabled billions of dollars to be laundered by drug cartels and for violating U.S. sanctions against numerous countries, including Iran, Libya, and Sudan. Remember that? Barely – it was in the news over two weeks ago.
Dave Nussbaum is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He received his PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford in 2008, working primarily with Claude Steele and Carol Dweck. He recently completed a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Waterloo with Steve Spencer.
His research is primarily focused on how people manage and defend their self-image in the face of threats, and how this affects their beliefs and behavior. He also explores how social contexts and psychological processes can either exacerbate threats to self-image or attenuate them. He writes:
"I have found that defensively managing self-image threats can often lead to negative consequences, including academic disidentification, missed learning opportunities, the avoidance of important medical tests, and persistence in failing investments. I believe that by identifying contexts and processes that attenuate threat, individuals and organizations can employ strategies to prevent these maladaptive outcomes."