Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour
Mind-body Dissonance; Conspiracy; Superstition; Illusory Pattern Perception; Compensatory Control; Trusting Behavior; Decision-making;
Maintaining physical expressions that contradict one’s internal states creates stress and burnout. Surprisingly, little is known about whether such incongruence affects organizationally relevant cognitive consequences. The authors propose that mind-body dissonance (MBD), a control-diminishing experience wherein the mind and body undergo contradictory states, increases compensatory illusory pattern perception (IPP) and jeopardizes decisions and trusting behavior.Experiments 1 and 2 found that being induced to display bodily expressions that contradict one’s emotions in a mental-physical coordination or customer service context, increased IPP in the form of conspiratorial and superstitious thinking. Experiment 3 found that MBD reduced trusting behavior through feelings of lacking control and conspiratorial thinking in serial. Finally, examining the mechanism through a moderation design, Experiment 4 found that misattributing feelings of lacking control to an external stimulus eliminated MBD’s effect on a superstition-related managerial decision. The authors discuss the value of this motivational approach in understanding MBD’s organizational implications.