Oleg Urminsky studies consumer and managerial decision making and its implications for marketing management. He is particularly interested in goals and motivations, intertemporal decision making, consumer beliefs and inference, statistical reasoning and customer relationship management (e.g., reward/loyalty programs and incentive systems). He teaches experimental research methods for MBA students.
Urminsky's research has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Journal of Marketing Research, and Psychological Science as well as other journals. His paper, "The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention" was a finalist for the 2007 Paul Green award and 2011 O'Dell award. His recent research investigates the role that a belief in a stable self-identity (e.g. 'connectedness' to the future self) plays in making farsighted choices, how optimism and pessimism affect preferences for change, how suggested default amounts affect donation behavior and how ending an incentive affects people’s motivation.
Urminsky's past experience includes serving as a research director and corporate vice president at Young & Rubicam Advertising, where he worked on the largest worldwide study of brands, the Brand Asset Valuator, investigating the links between consumer perceptions and subsequent financial performance. Urminsky had previously worked in political polling and custom marketing research.
Urminsky earned a bachelor's degree in analytic philosophy and mathematics from Princeton University, holds a master's degree in statistics from the Stern School of Business and earned his PhD in applied statistics and psychological measurement from Columbia University.
2016 - 2017 Course Schedule
Decision making; goals and motivation; intertemporal choice.
With Ran Kivetz and Yuhuang Zheng,"The Goal-Gradient Hypothesis Resurrected: Purchase Acceleration, Illusionary Goal Progress, and Customer Retention," Journal of Marketing Research (2006).
With Ran Kivetz, "Scope Insensitivity and The ‘Mere Token’ Effect," Journal of Marketing Research (2011).
With Daniel Bartels, "On Intertemporal Selfishness: The Perceived Instability of Identity Underlies Impatient Consumption," Journal of Consumer Research (2011).
With Luxi Shen, " Making sense of nonsense: The visual salience of units determines sensitivity to magnitude," Psychological Science (forthcoming).
For a listing of research publications please visit
’s university library listing