People systematically overlook subtractive changes Apr 07, 2021 By Gabrielle AdamsBenjamin Converse People systematically overlook subtractive changes Gabrielle Adams and Benjamin Converse A series of problem-solving experiments reveal that people are more likely to consider solutions that add features than solutions that remove them, even when removing features is more efficient. Read The Article Gabrielle Adams Gabrielle Adams is an assistant professor of public policy and business administration at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and in the Darden School of Business’s Leadership and Organizational Behavior area. Adams studies the processes and dynamics that give rise to ‘good’ decisions, policies and conditions in organizations. Read full bio Benjamin Converse Benjamin Converse is an associate professor of public policy and psychology at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Department of Psychology. His research focuses on motivation, social judgment, problem solving and decision making. He teaches courses related to leadership and negotiations. Read full bio Related Content Gabrielle Adams New Research Finds Angry Denials of Wrongdoing Leave Strong Impressions of Guilt News The next time you are accused of doing something you did not do, you may want to check your anger at the door. New research from Batten's Gabrielle Adams has found that such strong reactions lead others to assume the worst: that you did exactly what you have been accused of doing. Batten Student to Pursue Master of Global Affairs Degree as a Schwarzman Scholar in Beijing News Batten student Lisette Dubow (BA '22) has been selected to pursue a one-year Master of Global Affairs degree as a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing next year. Benjamin Converse Next Week, Next Month, Next Year: How Perceived Temporal Boundaries Affect Initiation Expectations Research To move from commitment to action, planners must think about the future and decide when to initiate. We demonstrate that planners prefer to initiate on upcoming days that immediately follow a temporal boundary. Slow Motion Increased Perceived Intent Research To determine the appropriate punishment for a harmful action, people must often make inferences about the transgressor’s intent. In courtrooms and popular media, such inferences increasingly rely on video evidence, which is often played in “slow motion.” We instinctively add on new features and fixes. Why don’t we subtract instead? News Across a series of studies published this month in the journal Nature, Batten’s Gabrielle Adams, Benjamin Converse and co-authors demonstrated that people tend to overlook the option to subtract parts when asked to change or improve something. In an op-ed for The Washington Post, they explore why ‘less is more’ is a hard insight to act on. Why People Forget that Less is Often More News Why, when solving problems, do people prefer adding things to getting rid of them? In an article for The Economist, Batten’s Gabrielle Adams and Benjamin Converse explain their research on subtractive improvements.