Professor O'Connor is an organizational psychologist who studies negotiation, teamwork, and decision making. Much of her recent research focuses on how negotiations link together over time. One stream of work shows that past negotiation experiences direct negotiators' choice of tactics and their performance in successive negotiations. A second stream investigates how negotiators' reputations affect them and their potential for success at the bargaining table. As part of this research, she has explored how negotiators' confidence in their skills (i.e., their self-efficacy) changes as a function of their negotiation successes or failures, and how it affects their tactical decision making and the quality of their deals.
O'Connor's recent projects investigate the development of individual social capital. She applies theories of individual cognition and interpersonal behavior to study the conditions under which people recognize and exploit opportunities for building social capital. She is a member of a team of networks experts from Cornell University whose work is sponsored by the Institute for the Social Sciences.
Her research has been published in such journals as the Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Making, and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
O'Connor joined the faculty at Cornell University in 1997. She has been a member of the faculty at Rice University, and has been a visiting faculty member at Northwestern University, and at the London Business School. She earned a BS from Cornell University and an AM and PhD in social and organizational psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.