Michael Slepian is an Assistant Professor in the
Management Division of Columbia Business
School. His program of research examines the intersection of secrecy, trust and motivation. He investigates how the social, organizational and psychological dynamics around keeping versus revealing secrets influence the two important variables that govern social and organizational life: trust and motivation. He has found that keeping and revealing secrets have profound effects on people. For example, secrecy influences the secret-holder and affects a number of organizationally-relevant behaviors. Keeping workplace secrets can deplete employees, hurt workplace motivation, and diminish productivity (Slepian, Halevy, Goldenberg, Rosner, & Galinsky, under review). He also has examined how concealing information during an interview fundamentally alters one's behavior and their interactions with others (Slepian et al., 2012, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General). Correspondnigly, one of the most important skills people need to develop is the capacity to know who is keeping a secret, that is, who telling the truth, and who is concealing the truth or even lying. He thus also explored how trust is formed and how and when people can identify when others are holding secrets (Slepian & Ames, 2016, Psychological Science). He has also investigated how people judge others' strategic behaviors in high-stakes contexts: demonstrating that even poker novices can detect deception in professional poker players, if directed toward the right nonverbal cues (Slepian et al., 2013, Psychological Science).
For more information see his publications.
His work has been
covered in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times,
Business Insider, NPR, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher
Education, Scientific American, The Antlantic, The Huffington Post, and
TIME. For more media
coverage see media.
He teaches the Managerial Negotiations course in the MBA program at Columbia Business School.