PhD Program

Behavioral Science

Behavioral Science involves research on how people make judgments and decisions, and how they interact with one another. Research in this area draws on theory and methods from cognitive and social psychology, economics, and other related fields. Behavioral Science applies these disciplines to study human behavior in a wide range of managerial and organizational contexts. Examples include:

  • cognitive processes of judgment and decision making
  • motivation and self-control
  • psychological aspects of economic behavior
  • learning, reasoning, and problem solving by individuals, teams, groups, and organizations
  • processes of negotiation
  • power and influence
  • organizational and cultural influences on decision making

Students focus their studies on the subset of research topics that best fit their interests and career goals. Studies in Behavioral Science can be paired with studies in Marketing for a focus on consumer behavior, with Economics or Finance for a focus on economic behavior, and with many other scholarly fields. In addition to courses offered at Chicago Booth, students take courses in Psychology, Economics, Sociology, Public Policy, and other university departments.

The Behavioral Science program also offers the Joint Program in Psychology and Business, which is run jointly by the behavioral science dissertation area at Chicago Booth and the Department of Psychology in the Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

For more details about the PhD Program in behavioral science at Chicago Booth, see General Examination Requirements - By Area in the PhD Program Guidebook (PDF).

To learn more about the research being done by current PhD students, please view a listing of proposals and defenses across dissertation areas.

Meet the Faculty
Explore research interests, publications, and course offerings of Behavioral Science Dissertation Area faculty.

Christopher Bryan
Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science and FMC Faculty Scholar

Research Interests: Psychological influence, behavioral decision-making, and political psychology with a particular interest in psychology as it relates to social and public policy
Faculty Profile

Eugene Caruso
Associate Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Social judgment, group decision making and negotiation, egocentrism, perspective taking, and ethics
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Nicholas Epley
John Templeton Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow

Research Interests: The experimental study of social cognition, perspective-taking, and intuitive human judgment
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Ayelet Fishbach
Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing

Research Interests: Social psychology, with specific emphasis on motivation, emotion, and decision making
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Reid Hastie
Ralph and Dorothy Keller Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Judgment and decision making (managerial, legal, medical, engineering, and personal), memory and cognition, and social psychology
Faculty Profile

Christopher Hsee
Theodore O. Yntema Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing

Research Interests: The interplay among psychology and economics, happiness, marketing, and cross-cultural psychology
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Emma Levine
Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Interpersonal trust and ethical decision-making; the tension between honesty and benevolence.
Faculty Profile

Ann McGill
Sears Roebuck Professor of General Management, Marketing, and Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Consumer and manager decision making, with special emphasis on causal explanations, differences in judgments in public and private, and the use of imagery in product choice
Faculty Profile

Ed O'Brien
Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Social cognition and hedonic processes
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Devin Pope
Professor of Behavioral Science and Robert King Steel Faculty Fellow

Research Interests: Behavioral economics, with special interest in empirically testing the impact of psychological biases in economic markets
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Jane Risen
Associate Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Judgment and decision making, belief formation, magical thinking, stereotyping and prejudice, and managing emotion
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Anuj Shah
Associate Professor of Behavioral Science and Neubauer Family Faculty Fellow

Research Interests: How decision makers deal with limited resources
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Thomas Talhelm
Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: How culture affects the way we behave
Faculty Profile

Richard Thaler
Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics
Economics Faculty Director, Center for Decision Research

Research Interests: Behavioral economics and finance; the psychology of decision making
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

Bernd Wittenbrink
Robert S. Hamada Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: Experimental social psychology, specifically the influence of stereotypes on social judgments
Faculty Profile | Personal Website

George Wu
John P. and Lillian A. Gould Professor of Behavioral Science

Research Interests: The psychology of individual, managerial, and organizational decision making; decision analysis; and cognitive biases in bargaining and negotiation
Faculty Profile | Personal Website