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Francesca Gino

Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Website: ; Twitter: @francescagino;  Book: Sidetracked

Dr. Francesca Gino is a professor of business administration in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School,  also formally affiliated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and with the Mind, Brain, Behavior Initiative at Harvard. She teaches Decision Making and Negotiation in the MBA elective curriculum and in Executive Education programs at the School. Her  research focuses on judgment and decision-making, negotiation, ethics, motivation, productivity, and creativity. Prof. Gino’s work has been published in academic journals in both psychology and management including the Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly, Cognition, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Management Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Organization Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Strategic Management Journal, and Psychological Science, as well as in numerous book chapters and practitioner outlets. Media like The Economist, The New York Times, Newsweek, Scientific American, Psychology Today, and The Wall Street Journal, has discussed her work. She has been awarded by the National Science Foundation and the Academy of Management. In addition to teaching, she advises firms and not-for-profit organizations in the areas of negotiation, decision-making, and organizational behavior.

Q) Please discuss the interesting findings from your research.

Dr Gino > In a research project, my collaborators and I conducted a series of studies based on the dual-process theory of thought, which suggests that people think and learn using two distinct types of processes. Type 1 processes are heuristic—automatically learning by doing, such that the more people do something, the better they know how to do it. Type 2 processes, on the other hand, are consciously reflective, and are often associated with decision making. We hypothesized and find that learning by doing is more effective if deliberately coupled with learning by thinking. We also find that sharing information with others improves the learning process.

Q) What do you think are important issues in Cognition and related areas?

Dr. Gino > Right now, I am intrigued by the idea of business. Now more than ever we seem to be living lives where we're busy and overworked, and our research shows that if we'd take some time out for reflection, we might be better off. Understanding how our mind works especially when we are busy seems worthwhile to me.

Q) What would be your message to invite the younger minds ?

Dr. Gino > I would use a quote from Voltaire: “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers."

(As sent to Sumitava Mukherjee in May 2014)