KU News: ‘Amplification’ of other people’s ideas bolsters one’s own status, KU research finds

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‘Amplification’ of other people’s ideas bolsters one’s own status, KU research finds
LAWRENCE — A new article co-written by a University of Kansas researcher reveals how employees can help peers get a status boost (while also raising their own status) by publicly endorsing another person’s contribution. The article appears in the latest issue of Academy of Management Journal. “These limited moments that people have to talk in a group, they don’t have to be so concerned about, ‘If I shine a light on somebody else, is that going to come at a cost to me?’ We found you could help somebody else and help yourself. It’s not necessarily a zero-sum status competition,” said Nate Meikle, assistant professor of business.

KU Medical Center launches online concentration in Master of Public Health
OVERLAND PARK — The University of Kansas Medical Center has partnered with KU Edwards Campus to launch an online generalist concentration for the Master of Public Health degree along with related online certificates in essentials of public health, epidemiology, and public health practice, policy and management. The new concentration and related certificates were developed by the KU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health and will be delivered online through the KU Edwards Campus, leveraging its expertise in providing workforce development in the Kansas City metropolitan region, the state of Kansas and nationwide.

Feel the noise! Play about air guitar opens KU Theatre season
LAWRENCE — In-person performances return to University Theatre this fall with a lively production of “Airness,” an air guitar comedy performed by University of Kansas students Oct. 1-7 at the William Inge Memorial Theatre. Directed by doctoral student Jonah Greene, the production features Kansas cast members from Basehor, Chanute, Hiawatha, Lawrence, Olathe and Topeka.

Full stories below.

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Contact: Jon Niccum, KU News Service, 785-864-7633, [email protected]
‘Amplification’ of other people’s ideas bolsters one’s own status, KU research finds
LAWRENCE — After receiver Nate Meikle caught a dozen passes in the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl as a member of the BYU Cougars, he couldn’t help but notice how good it felt to be acknowledged for his contributions.

“In football, when somebody makes a great play or scores a touchdown, it’s usually 10 other teammates who celebrate and acknowledge that person’s contribution. That’s a fun culture to be a part of when your talents are appreciated,” said Meikle, now an assistant professor of business at the University of Kansas.

“Athletics has a strong culture of ‘amplification.’”

Now his research into this concept is captured in a new article titled “Amplifying Voice in Organizations.” It reveals how employees can help peers get a status boost (while also raising their own status) by publicly endorsing another person’s contribution. It appears in the latest issue of Academy of Management Journal.

Co-written by Kristin Bain, Rochester Institute of Technology; Tamar Kreps, University of Hawaii; and Elizabeth Tenney, University of Utah; the article explains amplification “could be explicit, such as praising the voicer’s idea, or implicit, such as clarifying the idea or calling for it to be considered.”

“In group meetings or organizational meetings, opportunities to speak up are frequently limited,” said Meikle (pronounced Mick-uhl). “So people have a decision to make on whether they should use that time to shine a light on themselves, shine a light on somebody else or stay quiet. If people are feeling like they’re not having the influence they deserve, they may only try to shine a light on themselves. But that can be a risky strategy because self-promotion is not always received well.”

However, his research unexpectedly discovered that not only does amplification help the recipient, it benefits the amplifier.

“These limited moments that people have to talk in a group, they don’t have to be so concerned about, ‘If I shine a light on somebody else, is that going to come at a cost to me?’ We found you could help somebody else and help yourself. It’s not necessarily a zero-sum status competition,” he said.

“Amplifying Voice in Organizations” was the result of three studies: two online experiments and a field study in an organization.

“What was really surprising to us about this research was how unobtrusive amplifying is,” Meikle said.

“We worked on this project for roughly five years, and as group members, we would frequently amplify one another for several reasons. One, just because we’ve learned the value of the technique and it feels good to be amplified. But two, we would do it as a joke to see if other people recognized they’d been amplified. By and large, we didn’t realize it. Even though we’re studying amplification, even though we’re in a meeting about amplification, we’d amplify one another and then have to point out that just happened.”

The impetus for the study actually came from a 2016 Washington Post article titled “White House women want to be in the room where it happens.” It discussed female Obama staffers who weren’t having the influence they thought they deserved, so the members started amplifying one another.

According to the Post, “When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.”

Does this technique apply to men and women evenly in a business environment?

“In one of our studies, we varied the gender of the person amplifying and the person receiving the amplification in every possible combination,” Meikle said. “We found essentially no gender difference, meaning it worked well regardless of who was receiving the amplification or providing it.”

Meikle’s team first designed a role-playing experiment featuring graduate students to test this overall concept.

“The person who we assigned to be the amplifier was pretty shy,” he said. “Typically, shyness is not as strongly correlated with leadership in the way extraversion is. But the shy person started amplifying others, and it was amazing how quickly this amplifier assumed a leadership role just by acknowledging the contributions of others.”

A native of Idaho, Meikle started at KU in July. He is the author of the 2014 memoir “Little Miss: A Father, His Daughter & Rocket Science,” which chronicles the experience of teaching his 2-year-old daughter to read. He is also the creator of the podcast “Meikles & Dimes,” where every episode is dedicated to the “simple, the practical and the underappreciated.” He teaches courses in leadership and ethics at KU.

Meikle said, “What’s cool about this finding is it can be used in the workplace. It can be used in your family. It can be used with your friends. Any time somebody says something that you think is worthwhile, it’s just so easy to draw attention to that person by saying, ‘Hey, I like that idea. I think we should consider it.’”
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The official university Twitter account has changed to @UnivOfKansas.
Refollow @KUNews for KU News Service stories, discoveries and experts.


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Contact: Kay Hawes, KU Medical Center, 913-617-8698, [email protected], @KUMedCenter; Hannah Lemon, KU Edwards Campus, 913-897-8755, [email protected], @KUEdwardsCampus
KU Medical Center launches online concentration in Master of Public Health

OVERLAND PARK — Making the world a healthier place is a key motivator that brings together all public health organizations and professionals. The University of Kansas Medical Center partnered with the KU Edwards Campus to launch an online generalist concentration for the Master of Public Health degree along with related online certificates in essentials of public health, epidemiology, and public health practice, policy and management. The new concentration and related certificates were developed by the KU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health and will be delivered online through the KU Edwards Campus, leveraging its expertise in providing workforce development in the Kansas City metropolitan region, the state of Kansas and nationwide.

Public health is focused on preventing and mitigating disease outbreaks and addressing systemic health challenges that affect the health of communities and population groups. With a global pandemic still attacking communities, public health professionals are in greater need than ever.

“We are proud to partner with KU Medical Center to offer these important programs,” said Stuart Day, dean of the KU Edwards Campus and School of Professional Studies. “We’re thrilled to educate more students in public health so they can advance their careers and serve their communities, filling a major need.”

These programs provide a background in key aspects of public health, including epidemiology, policy, administration, and environmental health and data management, helping students pursue and advance their careers in areas such as:
1. Community health
2. Public health education
3. Emergency management
4. Epidemiology
5. Global health
6. Public policy
7. Environmental health.

“We wanted to bring our CEPH-accredited MPH degree to our regional community and beyond to help strengthen the public health workforce and show a new generation the importance of public health,” said Won Choi, professor and vice chair for education in KU School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health. “COVID-19 has really shown the importance of public health in addressing the current pandemic.”

For more information about the program’s curriculum, admission information and tuition, visit the public health program page.

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Contact: Lisa Coble-Krings, Department of Theatre & Dance, 785-864-5685, [email protected], @KUTheatre, @KUDanceDept
Feel the noise! Play about air guitar opens KU Theatre season
LAWRENCE — “Airness,” a comedy written by Chelsea Marcantel, will rock the William Inge Memorial Theatre at the University of Kansas. This peek into the lives of air guitar contestants in competition is directed by Jonah Greene, doctoral student in KU’s Department of Theatre & Dance.

Tickets are on sale now for performances Oct. 1-7. Purchase tickets online at the KU Theatre website, where patrons can find more about the KU Theatre & Dance 2021-22 season. Patrons may also call the box office at 785-864-3982. This production will be live and in-person. Per KU guidelines, masks will be required for audience members.

Through air guitar competition, contestants discover their authentic selves in big hair, studded wristbands and ripped T-shirts. “Airness” promises comradery and escapism as the spotlight shines on the lifestyle of the air guitarists and the culture surrounding the competition. KU’s production of “Airness” celebrates performing for the joy of performing and promises glorious ridiculousness, Greene said.

“It’s the return to live theatre that we’ve all been craving. It’s a show about the pure, unbridled joy of live performance, the visceral experience of dancing like you’re alone in your room, but instead you’re on stage in front of a screaming crowd. It’s also about the transcendent nature of creating something out of nothing,” he said. “There’s a simple beauty in these characters’ ability to suspend disbelief and launch themselves into the world they wish to be in. Most of the characters don’t make money or achieve fame through air guitar. They do it to find themselves and their tribe.”

The cast was coached by Beth “CindAIRella” Melin, a Kansas City-based air guitarist and three-time U.S. national finalist who competed in the Air Guitar World Championship in 2015.

“Air guitar is harder than it seems. I’m most proud of how the cast has approached the show with a positive attitude. They are working hard to tell the story truthfully but are also excited to simply entertain our audiences. We’ve all had so much fun working together, and I know our audiences will feel that same joy,” Greene said.

Greene is also a graduate teaching assistant at KU. The Fayetteville, Arkansas, native’s directing credits include “Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play” (3P’s); “Thom Pain (Based on Nothing)” (Independent Production); “Lungs” (Tufts University Capstone); “[title of show]” (Torn Ticket II); and “Godspell” (Torn Ticket II). He has also worked with SpeakEasy Stage Company, TheatreSquared, JELLY Theatre Workshop, New Threshold Theatre, The Hatchery and Arts Live Theatre. Greene was recently honored as the department’s Ambrose Saricks Family Scholarship Recipient.

The creative team is led by KU faculty members Kelly Vogel, resident artist/academic associate, as scenic designer; and Rana Esfandiary, assistant professor of design & technology, as costume designer. KU staff member Alex Weston, the department’s technical director, is the sound designer, with senior Nicole McKinney on as lighting designer. Doctoral student Jenny Sledge Harris is the dramaturg, and recent KU Theatre graduate Bailey Dobbins is the stage manager.

“Airness’” cast members are Lane Barrette, a sophomore in theatre performance and political science from Basehor, as D Vicious; Haley Cogbill, a sophomore in theatre performance and English from Olathe, as announcer/Sprite executive; Elijah Olson, a senior in theatre performance from Hiawatha, as Shreddy Eddy; Diego Rivera-Rodriguez, a junior in theater performance and film & media studies from Lawrence, as Golden Thunder; Lauren K. Smith, a junior in theatre performance and art history from Topeka, as The Nina; Asher Suski, a junior in theatre performance and linguistics from Ames, Iowa, as Facebender; and Jillian Wilson, a senior in theatre performance from Chanute, as Cannibal Queen.

The University Theatre is a production division of KU’s Department of Theatre & Dance, offering six public productions throughout the academic year. The University Theatre is funded in part by KU Student Senate fees, with support from Truity Credit Union.
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KU News Service
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-3256
Fax: 785-864-3339
[email protected]
http://www.news.ku.edu

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

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