Taya R. Cohen

Taya R. Cohen
Carnegie Mellon University | CMU · Tepper School of Business

PhD

About

97
Publications
147,253
Reads
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2,588
Citations
Introduction
TAYA R. COHEN is a tenured Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Business Ethics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, and is currently serving as President of the International Association for Conflict Management (2020-2022). She conducts research on honesty, moral behavior, negotiation, and conflict, and is known in particular for her research on moral character in the workplace.
Additional affiliations
July 2020 - July 2022
International Association for Conflict Management
Position
  • CEO
August 2010 - August 2020
Carnegie Mellon University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2008 - July 2010
Northwestern University
Position
  • Research Assistant
Education
August 2003 - May 2008
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Field of study
  • Social Psychology
August 1999 - December 2002
Pennsylvania State University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (97)
Article
Full-text available
We surveyed well-acquainted dyads about two key moral character traits (Honesty–Humility, Guilt Proneness), as well as several other individual differences. We examined self-other agreement, similarity, assumed similarity, and similarity-free agreement (i.e., self-other agreement controlling for similarity and assumed similarity). Participants proj...
Article
Full-text available
Moral character can be conceptualized as an individual’s disposition to think, feel, and behave in an ethical versus unethical manner, or as the subset of individual differences relevant to morality. This essay provides an organizing framework for understanding moral character and its relationship to ethical and unethical work behaviors. We present...
Article
Full-text available
People highly value the moral principle of honesty, and yet, they frequently avoid being honest with others. In the present research, we explore the actual and predicted consequences of honesty in everyday life. We use field and laboratory experiments that feature 2 types of honesty interventions: (1) instructing individuals to focus on complete ho...
Article
Full-text available
Difficult conversations are a necessary part of everyday life. To help children, employees, and partners learn and improve, parents, managers, and significant others are frequently tasked with the unpleasant job of delivering negative news and critical feedback. Despite the long-term benefits of these conversations, communicators approach them with...
Article
Full-text available
In two three-month diary studies and a large cross-sectional survey, we identified distinguishing features of adults with low versus high levels of moral character. Adults with high levels of moral character tend to consider the needs and interests of others and how their actions affect other people (e.g., they have high levels of Honesty-Humility,...
Article
Full-text available
Feedback is information provided to recipients about their behavior, performance, or understanding, the goal of which is to foster recipients’ self-awareness, and behavioral reinforcement or change. Yet, feedback often fails to achieve this goal. For feedback to be effective, recipients must be receptive and accurately understand the meaning and ve...
Article
Full-text available
Lawyers have broad discretion in deciding how honestly to behave when negotiating. We propose that lawyers’ choices about whether to disclose information to correct misimpressions by opposing counsel are guided by their moral character and their cognitive framing of negotiation. To investigate this possibility, we surveyed 215 lawyers from across t...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce the character lens perspective to account for stable patterns in the way that individuals make sense of and construct the ethical choices and situations they face. We propose that the way that individuals make sense of their present experience is an enduring feature of their broader moral character, and that differences between people...
Preprint
Lawyers have broad discretion in deciding how honestly to behave when negotiating. We propose that lawyers’ choices about whether to disclose information to correct misimpressions by opposing counsel are guided by their moral character and their cognitive framing of negotiation. To investigate this possibility, we surveyed 215 lawyers from across t...
Preprint
Full-text available
We introduce the character lens perspective to account for stable patterns in the way that individuals make sense of and construct the ethical choices and situations they face. We propose that the way that individuals make sense of their present experience is an enduring feature of their broader moral character, and that differences between people...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: Psychological safety is the condition by which members of an organization feel safe to voice concerns and take risks. Although psychological safety is an important determinant of team performance, little is known about its role in the intensive care unit (ICU). Objective: To identify the factors associated with psychological safety an...
Conference Paper
Symposium organized by Sudeep Sharma and Ruchi Sinha: The session includes four research presentations that address the role of personality, gender, and other individual differences in negotiation and conflict contexts. The papers adopt different yet related theoretical perspectives while focusing on a variety of behaviours and outcomes relevant to...
Article
Full-text available
Guilt and shame proneness are commonly thought to be associated with culture, yet research on this relationship is fragmented and often inconsistent. In a review of the existing social scientific literature, we demonstrate that no consistent relationship between guilt and shame, on the one hand, and individualism and collectivism, on the other, has...
Preprint
Full-text available
Guilt and shame proneness are commonly thought to be associated with culture, yet research on this relationship is fragmented and often inconsistent. In a comprehensive review of the existing social scientific literature, we demonstrate that no consistent relationship between guilt and shame, on the one hand, and individualism and collectivism, on...
Article
Individuals often influence others' relationships, for better or worse. We conceptualize social influence processes that impact others' social networks as brokering, and advance a multifaceted model that explains how brokering behaviors can create, terminate, reinforce, and modify others' network ties. To empirically study brokering, we introduce a...
Preprint
Full-text available
Difficult conversations are a necessary part of everyday life. To help children, employees, and partners learn and improve, parents, managers, and significant others are frequently tasked with the unpleasant job of delivering negative news and critical feedback. Despite the long-term benefits of these conversations, communicators approach them with...
Preprint
Individuals often influence others’ relationships, for better or worse. We conceptualize social influence processes that impact others’ social networks as brokering, and advance a multifaceted model that explains how brokering behaviors can create, terminate, reinforce, and modify others’ network ties. To empirically study brokering, we introduce a...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals often influence others' relationships, for better or worse. We conceptualize social influence processes that impact others' social networks as brokering, and advance a multifaceted model that explains how brokering behaviors can create, terminate, reinforce, and modify others' network ties. To empirically study brokering, we introduce a...
Article
Full-text available
The pervasiveness, persistence, and petrifying scope of intergroup conflict have fueled substantial scholarly interest in intergroup conflict across the social and biological sciences. Here we outline five questions that we hope students of intergroup conflict will undertake to research in years to come: (a) When and why do people engage in, and pu...
Preprint
In two three-month diary studies and a large cross-sectional survey, we identified distinguishing features of adults with low versus high levels of moral character. Adults with high levels of moral character tend to consider the needs and interests of others and how their actions affect other people (e.g., they have high levels of Honesty-Humility,...
Preprint
Five studies demonstrated that highly guilt-prone people may avoid forming interdependent partnerships with others whom they perceive to be more competent than themselves, as benefitting a partner less than the partner benefits one’s self could trigger feelings of guilt. Highly guilt-prone people who lacked expertise in a domain were less willing t...
Preprint
Existing trust research has disproportionately focused on what makes people more or less trusting, and has largely ignored the question of what makes people more or less trustworthy. In this investigation, we deepen our understanding of trustworthiness. Across six studies using economic games that measure trustworthy behavior and survey items that...
Preprint
In this article, we discuss the role of moral character in negotiation and identify open questions and promising directions for future scholars to explore. We advance research in this area by introducing a dyadic model of moral character in negotiation, which highlights the joint influence of each party’s moral character on negotiation attitudes, m...
Preprint
People highly value the moral principle of honesty, and yet, they frequently avoid being honest with others. In the present research, we explore the actual and predicted consequences of honesty in everyday life. We utilize field and laboratory experiments that feature two types of honesty interventions: 1) instructing individuals to focus on comple...
Preprint
We surveyed well-acquainted dyads about two key moral character traits (Honesty-Humility, Guilt Proneness), as well as several other individual differences. We examined self-other agreement, similarity, assumed similarity, and similarity-free agreement (i.e., self-other agreement controlling for similarity and assumed similarity). Participants proj...
Preprint
Moral character can be conceptualized as an individual’s disposition to think, feel, and behave in an ethical versus unethical manner, or as the subset of individual differences relevant to morality. This essay provides an organizing framework for understanding moral character and its relationship to ethical and unethical work behaviors. We present...
Preprint
Cohen, T. R., & Panter, A. T. (2015). Character traits in the workplace: A three-month diary study of moral and immoral organizational behaviors. In C. B. Miller, R. M. Furr, A. Knobel, & W. Fleeson. (Eds.), Character: New Directions from Philosophy, Psychology, and Theology (pp. 150-163). Oxford University Press: New York. Abstract: The Work Exper...
Article
It is important to reduce the stress of clinicians working in the intensive care unit (ICU). For instance, an estimated 39% of ICU nurses exhibit symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, the prevalence of clinical depression among nurses is twice the national average, and many report symptoms consistent with burnout.¹,2 This problem is not limite...
Article
Full-text available
Existing trust research has disproportionately focused on what makes people more or less trusting, and has largely ignored the question of what makes people more or less trustworthy. In this investigation, we deepen our understanding of trustworthiness. Across six studies using economic games that measure trustworthy behavior and survey items that...
Article
Bankruptcy stigma is commonly thought to influence debtors’ bankruptcy filing decisions. Despite its importance, researchers have not collected direct quantitative measures of bankruptcy stigma, either in terms of attitudes toward bankruptcy or evaluations of filers. Across two empirical studies, we find that (1) attitudes toward bankruptcy and ban...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we discuss the role of moral character in negotiation and identify open questions and promising directions for future scholars to explore. We advance research in this area by introducing a dyadic model of moral character in negotiation that highlights the joint influence of each party’s moral character on negotiation attitudes, mot...
Article
Full-text available
Intensive care units (ICUs) provide care to the most severely ill hospitalized patients. Although ICUs increasingly rely on interprofessional teams to provide critical care, little about actual teamwork in this context is well understood. The ICU team is typically comprised of physicians or intensivists, clinical pharmacists, respiratory therapists...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this article, we discuss the role of moral character in negotiation and identify open questions and promising directions for future scholars to explore. We advance research in this area by introducing a dyadic model of moral character in negotiation, which highlights the joint influence of each party’s moral character on negotiation attitudes, m...
Chapter
Full-text available
Which moral character traits are influential in predicting moral and immoral workplace behaviors? We focus our investigation on two workplace behaviors relevant to morality, organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) and counterproductive work behaviors (CWB), and review research on key personality traits associated with these behaviors. We discuss...
Article
Full-text available
Overlooked in previous models of personality, moral character turns out to be key in predicting job performance and leadership potential
Article
Full-text available
We report three studies addressing the relevance of organizational nostalgia for the meaning that employees ascribe to their work (work meaning). We hypothesized, and found, that organizational nostalgia enhances work meaning and thereby reduces turnover intentions. In Study 1, an employee survey, spontaneously experienced organizational nostalgia...
Article
Full-text available
Guilt-proneness (GP) is an individual difference characterized by a tendency to feel bad about committing transgressions. We investigated how law enforcement job candidates' guilt-proneness relates to their employment suitability, history of employment and legal problems, and counterproductive tendencies. By demonstrating relationships between GP a...
Article
Full-text available
Guilt-proneness (GP) is an individual difference characterized by a tendency to feel bad about committing transgressions. We investigated how law enforcement job candidates’ guilt-proneness relates to their employment suitability, history of employment and legal problems, and counterproductive tendencies. By demonstrating relationships between GP a...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Work Experiences and Character Traits (WECT) project investigated how moral character, personality, emotions, and treatment by managers and coworkers affected how frequently workers engaged in ethical and unethical behavior at their jobs. Over three months, we administered 14 surveys to more than 1,500 adults living in the United States, who wo...
Research
Full-text available
Cohen, T. R., Kim, Y., & Panter, A. T. (2014). The five-item guilt proneness scale (GP-5). Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA.
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses contemporary research on moral character and workplace deviance. We take a personality perspective, meaning we view moral character as composed of characteristic patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior that are associated with morality. Whereas most research uses the Big Five model as an organizing framework for understand...
Article
Full-text available
Across four studies, guilt led to forgiveness of others’ transgressions. In Study 1, people prone to experience guilt (but not shame) were also prone to forgive others for past misdeeds. In Study 2, we manipulated harm- and inequity-based guilt; both increased forgiveness of others’ transgressions. Further, the effect of guilt on forgiveness was me...
Article
Individuals prefer economic partners with whom they have a pre- existing social relation, especially when faced with uncertainty and risk. Selecting counterparts one trusts provides a means of mitigating risk, while selecting counterparts one likes provides social utility. We disentangle the roles of liking and trust and examine their distinct infl...
Article
Which moral character traits are influential in predicting moral and immoral workplace behaviors? We focus our investigation on two workplace behaviors relevant to morality, organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) and counterproductive work behaviors (CWB), and review research on key personality traits associated with these behaviors. We discuss...
Article
Full-text available
This research examines how employees’ behaviors shape their work environments and vice-versa. We identify and quantify the reciprocal relationship between three forms of workplace mistreatment (i.e., abusive supervision, ostracism, discrimination) and employees’ counterproductive work behavior (CWB) in a twelve-wave longitudinal study with a cross-...
Article
Full-text available
In two experiments with the PDG we manipulated the Campbell (1958), or Wertheimer (1923), indices of entitativity (common fate, proximity, and similarity) to examine when a set of individuals interacts with another set of individuals in the competitive manner that is characteristic of group-on-group interactions. Experiment 1 found that interaction...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate how attitudes and beliefs about the national debt were related to morality, warmth, and competence judgments of the Obama administration and voting intentions the week before the 2012 presidential election. Even after controlling for political ideology, we found that attitudes toward the debt predicted judgments and voting intentions...
Article
Full-text available
Five studies demonstrated that highly guilt-prone people may avoid forming interdependent partnerships with others whom they perceive to be more competent than themselves, as benefiting a partner less than the partner benefits one’s self could trigger feelings of guilt. Highly guilt-prone people who lacked expertise in a domain were less willing th...
Article
Full-text available
The agreement trap occurs when negotiators reach deals that are inferior to their best alternative agreements. The paper extends prior negotiation research by investigating whether teams display greater wisdom than solos in knowing when to walk away from the negotiating table, and thereby avoid the agreement trap. Two experiments compared teams and...
Article
Full-text available
This research investigated the reciprocal relationship between mental models of conflict and various forms of dysfunctional social relations in organizations, including experiences of task and relationship conflicts, interpersonal hostility, workplace ostracism, and abusive supervision. We conceptualize individual differences in conflict construals...
Article
Full-text available
Guilt proneness is a personality trait indicative of a predisposition to experience negative feelings about personal wrongdoing, even when the wrongdoing is private. It is characterized by the anticipation of feeling bad about committing transgressions rather than by guilty feelings in a particular moment or generalized guilty feelings that occur w...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the relationship between guilt proneness and counterproductive work behavior (CWB) using a diverse sample of employed adults working in a variety of different industries at various levels in their organizations. CWB refers to behaviors that harm or are intended to harm organizations or people in organizations. Guilt proneness is a p...
Article
Full-text available
People who feel continuity with their future selves are more likely to behave in ethically responsible ways as compared to people who lack continuity with their future selves. We find that individual differences in perceived similarity to one's future self predicts tolerance of unethical business decisions (Studies la and 1b), and that the consider...
Article
Full-text available
Bridging the literatures on social dilemmas, intergroup conflict, and social hierarchy, the authors systematically varied the intergroup context in which social dilemmas were embedded to investigate how costly contributions to public goods influence status conferral. They predicted that contribution behavior would have opposite effects on 2 forms o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This research compares how humiliation-inducing versus shame-inducing public condemnation of moral transgressions affects employees’ behavior in the workplace. It is the first study to explore the cognitive mechanisms linking different types of public condemnation to subsequent behavior. Humiliating transgressors through severe and intentional publ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Purpose – We consider the question of when teams are an asset at the negotiating table and when they are a liability. Methodology – We center our review on three key “empirical truths” about teams. First, teams are better than individuals at solving problems. Second, teams are more self-interested than individuals. Third, teams are trusted less and...