People at ILR

Vanessa Bohns
people / faculty

Vanessa Bohns

Associate Professor
Department of Organizational Behavior
Organizational Behavior

Overview

Professor Bohns studies help-seeking, social influence, compliance, consent, and why it’s so hard to say no. She is author of the book You Have More Influence Than You Think (2021, Norton). She received her PhD in social psychology from Columbia University and her AB in psychology from Brown University. Prior to joining Cornell, she taught at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo in Canada. Her research has been published in top academic journals in psychology (Psychological Science, Current Directions in Psychological Science), social psychology (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology), management (Organization Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes), and law (Yale Law Journal) and has been covered by media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Atlantic, Economist, and NPR. Her popular press and practitioner writing has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. She has served as an associate editor at the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology and Social and Personality Psychology Compass and currently sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Social Cognition. Professor Bohns teaches Introduction to Organizational Behavior (ILROB 1220), Morality at Work (ILROB 4760), and Writing Persuasively about the Science of Persuasion (ILROB 2240).

Publications

Journal Articles

Books

  • Vanessa K. Bohns. 2021. You Have More Influence Than You Think: How we underestimate our power of persuasion and why it matters. W. W. Norton, 2021.

Book Chapters

  • Vanessa K. Bohns, F.J. Flynn. 2015. Empathy gaps between helpers and help-seekers: Implications for cooperation. in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Hoboken, New Jersey, United States: Wiley, 2015. Robert A. Scott, Stephen M. Kosslyn.
  • G. Leonardelli, Vanessa K. Bohns, J. Gu. 2015. Security seeking in a regulatory focus whodunit: The case of the relative orientation in behavioral economics. in The Handbook of Personal Security. New York, United States: Taylor & Francis, 2015. P.J. Carroll, R.M. Arkin, A. Wichman.
  • F.J. Flynn, Vanessa K. Bohns. 2012. Underestimating one’s influence in help-seeking. in Six Degrees of Social Influence: Science, application, and the psychology of Robert Cialdini. New York, New York, United States: Oxford University Press, 2012. D.T. Kenrick, N. Goldstein, S.L. Braver. (14-26)

Professional Activities

  • You knew what you were getting into: Honesty increases perceptions, but not feelings, of consent. Presented to Academy of Management. Seattle, WA. 2022.
  • You knew what you were getting into: Honesty increases perceptions, but not feelings, of consent. Presented to International Association for Conflict Management (IACM) annual conference. Ottawa, Canada. 2022.
  • Consent and the psychology of compliance. . Presented to Society for Personality and Social Psychology . San Francisco, CA. 2022.
  • Don’t press send: Senders underestimate receivers’ felt compliance to respond to non-urgent off-hours work emails. Presented to Academy of Management. Vancouver, BC. 2020.
  • Underestimating the positive impact of our compliments on others. Presented to Academy of Management. Vancouver, BC. 2020.
  • Underestimating the value of face-to-face influence. Presented to Association for Psychological Science. Chicago, IL. 2020.
  • Acquiescing to romantic advances at work : It’s harder to say “no” than suitors realize. Presented to Academy of Management. Boston, MA. 2019.
  • The farce of consent: Psychological factors that challenge the notion of voluntary consent (chaired symposium) *Selected as an OB Showcase Symposium. Presented to Academy of Management . Boston, MA. 2019.
  • Underestimating the difficulty of denying someone access to sensitive data. Presented to Academy of Management. Boston, MA. 2019.
  • When do we feel responsible for other people’s behavior and attitudes?. Presented to Academy of Management. Chicago, IL. 2018.
  • The voluntariness of voluntary consent: Consent searches and the psychology of compliance. Presented to American Law and Economics Association Annual Meeting. Boston, MA. 2018.
  • Judging consent for self, other, and the reasonable person: Behavioral and psychological responses to digital privacy violations. Presented to Society for Judgment and Decision Making. Vancouver, BC. 2017.
  • Judging the voluntariness of consent: A psychological critique of the Fourth Amendment standard. Presented to Conference on Empirical Legal Studies. Ithaca, NY. 2017.
  • Empathy gaps in social influence: Underestimating the awkwardness of saying “no”. Presented to Association for Psychological Science Annual Conference. Boston, MA. 2017.
  • The value of a helping hand: Do help-seekers accurately predict help quality?. Presented to Academy of Management. Anaheim, CA. 2016.
  • For a dollar, would you..? How (we think) money influences compliance with our requests. Presented to Academy of Management. Vancouver, BC. 2015.
  • I can't believe you agreed to that! Underestimating our influence over others’ unethical behavior. Presented to Academy of Management. Philadelphia, PA. 2014.
  • The “Asking Tax”: Different expectations for requested versus volunteered favors and concessions. Presented to Academy of Management. Philadelphia, PA. 2014.
  • Under- and over-estimating our influence over others at work (chaired symposium). Presented to Academy of Management. Philadelphia, PA. 2014.
  • Guilt by design: Structuring organizations to promote guilt as an affective reaction to failure. Presented to Academy of Management. Boston, MA. 2012.
  • Embodied power and complementarity in interpersonal interactions. Presented to Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Diego, CA. 2012.

Honors and Awards

  • Radar list of 30 management thinkers to watch (2022), Thinkers 50.
  • You Have More Influence Than You Think named a Best Book for Ethical Leaders (2021), Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership.
  • Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities (2021), SUNY.
  • Elected Fellow (2019), Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
  • Provost Research Innovation Award in Social Sciences (2018), Cornell University.
  • Elected Fellow (2013), Society of Experimental Social Psychology.