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David Rand Named a Top Business School Professor

By Sara Brown, MIT Sloan

Two MIT Sloan professors named to top 40-under-40 list: These young professors research how to improve workplace life — including
rethinking imposter syndrome — and how to fight online misinformation.

MIT Sloan professors David Rand and Basima Tewfik have been named two of the top business school
professors under 40 years old.

The professors appeared on the annual Best 40 under 40 list by Poets&Quants, which honors young
professors teaching in MBA programs. The professors were chosen based on their teaching and research.
Here’s a closer look at the two MIT Sloan honorees and their work.

David Rand: Tackling the spread of misinformation online
Rand, who joined MIT Sloan in 2018, is an associate professor of management science and brain and cognitive sciences and a leaders of the IDE. His recent research focuses on curtailing the spread of misinformation on social media.

Insights related to the coronavirus pandemic include how using an ““accuracy nudge” can stop the spread of misinformation about COVID-19, and how to create effective COVID-19 public health messaging.

Further reading: While many people believe political bias drives people to share inaccurate information online, Rand’s research shows that this behavior is  largely driven by cognitive laziness, or a lack of analytic thinking.

Basima Tewfik: Examining psychology of the social self at work

Tewfik, an assistant professor of work and organization studies, joined the MIT Sloan faculty in 2020. Her
recent research includes exploring so-called “imposter syndrome,” which Tewfik says should be called
“workplace imposter thoughts” and can actually make people better at their jobs. Another area of focus is
effective employee and workgroup functioning in the modern workplace, including conflict management in
work groups.

Further reading: Taking on too many extra tasks at work results in overload and decreased well-being.
Tewfik offers strategies for how to decline requests for help at work without hurting one’s image.