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The Human Brand: How We Relate to People, Products, and Companies by Susan T. Fiske, Chris Malone

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Chapter One

Warmth and Competence

The two timeless judgments that drive our behavior toward others

During the summer of 2012, Theresa Cook, age eighty-four, was dying of pancreatic cancer in a hospital in Nashua, New Hampshire. Her twenty-one-year-old grandson Brandon was at Theresa’s bedside, feeling helpless because she had lost her appetite, and the hospital food didn’t appeal to her. What she would really like, she told Brandon, was her favorite food: clam chowder in a bread bowl from the local Panera Bread shop.

It was a Tuesday, and when Brandon called over to Panera on Amherst Street, he discovered that during the summer they made clam chowder only on Fridays. Brandon said he didn’t think his grandmother could wait. In three days, she ...

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