'The Rock' and Cognitive Bias

Imagine you have a co-worker who keeps stealing your pens. Most of us have had something like that happen – a co-worker who takes the hole punch to her desk every time she needs to use it and doesn’t return it, or one who takes your pen every time she comes by your desk. Most of us would have no problem with asking the pen-stealing co-worker to stop. We would not feel shame in confronting her about it or even in going to her desk and taking the pens back. We mark our pens with tape or tie plastic flowers to them because we expect pen stealing culprits to exist. If an employee came to you as a boss and told you that she wanted you to get the pens back for her, you might think it was a little bit shy that she didn’t want to get the pens herself, but you probably wouldn’t think she was a liar because of it.