The mental strain of poverty increases the risk of making costly mistakes, Booth’s Shah says.
Academic Areas Behavioral Science Faculty and Research
From Nicholas Epley and his cutting-edge research examining social cognition to Richard H. Thaler and his Nobel Prize-winning work, which fills the gap between economics and psychology, the behavioral science faculty at Chicago Booth remain at the vanguard of understanding judgment and decision-making.
To help support pathbreaking research in this area, Booth’s Center for Decision Research provides resources to faculty and students. The center is at the forefront of behavioral science, committed to studying how individuals form judgments and decisions.
Faculty in this area are regularly recognized for their work, including winning prestigious awards such as the Infosys Prize for Social Sciences. In addition to being featured in international media, such as the New York Times, the research of our behavioral science professors also appears in top journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and Psychological Review.
Booth’s Nicholas Epley says the pandemic could hamper social behavior—or remind us of its importance.
A bit of anger can suggest competence. Too much can signal the opposite, find Booth’s Celia Gaertig and Emma Levine.
Awards and Honors
“It is humbling to be referred to as a humanitarian. Of course, I am deeply honored to be recognized. At the same time, I view my involvement with the program as a great privilege.”
Booth’s George Wu, speaking about receiving the 2020 Chicago Urban League’s Humanitarian Award. Professor Wu received the award for his contributions to the Urban League’s IMPACT Leadership Development Program, a partnership between Booth and the Urban League that promotes engagement between up-and-coming professionals and successful senior African American leaders in Chicago.
Research with Impact
“My mantra is: If you want to get people to do something, make it easy. Remove the obstacles.”
Booth’s Richard H. Thaler, speaking in 2017 on the day he won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Professor Thaler won the award for his groundbreaking contributions to behavioral economics, a field that emerged to fill the gap between psychology and economics.
Our MBA Concentrations in this Area
This concentration prepares you to navigate organizational challenges, increase productivity in the workplace, and thrive as a leader.
Explore the complex ways in which people make decisions and interact with one another in the business world and beyond.
Combine the resources of a world-class PhD business program with the flexibility to follow your research interests wherever they lead.
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Behavioral Science Faculty in the News
8 Ways to Vastly Improve Your Communication Skills
September 23, 2020 | World Economic Forum
A study coauthored by Booth’s Nicholas Epley finds that people who know each other well don’t understand one another any better than people who just met. “Our problem in communicating with friends is that we have an illusion of insight,” Epley said.
Q&A: How to Better Cope with the Mental Burden of a Pandemic
July 23, 2020 | Medical Xpress
Booth professor and social psychologist Ayelet Fishbach says policymakers have a responsibility to help guide the public through feelings of uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.
The Law of Supply and Demand Isn’t Fair
May 20, 2020 | The New York Times
It isn’t socially acceptable to raise prices of essential items during an emergency, but Booth’s Richard H. Thaler says this social norm predictably leads to shortages like those seen during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the United States.
Partnering across the University of Chicago and Beyond
Our behavioral science faculty members are active in and outside of the University of Chicago.
Booth’s Anuj Shah works with UChicago’s Crime Lab on issues such as improving criminal justice outcomes. The behavioral science faculty collaborates with the university’s Department of Psychology, providing Booth’s PhD students with the option to earn a Joint PhD in Psychology and Business. And Booth’s Sendhil Mullainathan helped cofound a nonprofit to apply behavioral science called ideas42, which leverages behavioral science to help improve lives, create social change, and build stronger systems and policies.
Discover some of the latest working papers and published papers from our behavioral science faculty.
“Trade-Offs in Choice”
Ayelet Fishbach, with coauthors Franklin Shaddy (Anderson School of Management, University of California at Los Angeles) and Itamar Simonson (Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)
“Dyadic Judgments Based on Conflicting Samples: The Failure to Ignore Invalid Input”
Alex Koch, with coauthors Klaus Fiedler (Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg), Tobias Krüger (Department of Psychology, Neu‐Ulm University of Applied Sciences, Hochschule Neu‐Ulm), and Florian Kutzner (Department of Psychology, University of Heidelberg)
“Arousal Increases Self-Disclosure”
Ann L. McGill, with coauthor Brent Coker (University of Melbourne)
Research Centers in This Area
Research centers across Booth and the University of Chicago are hubs for innovation and world-changing research. The centers provide our faculty with research support, and our faculty members lend their expertise to the centers, enriching the student experience and the broader academic community at Booth.
This center supports researchers from across Booth and UChicago in making revolutionary advances in the applications of A.I. Their work touches fields as diverse as finance, health care, public policy, education, and behavioral science.
Positioned at the forefront of the rapidly developing field of behavioral science, CDR is devoted to building a richer understanding of human behavior and experience.