PhD Students - Center for Decision Research | Chicago Booth

PhD Students

Chicago Booth, through the Center for Decision Research, was the first business school to emphasize behavioral decision-making in its MBA and PhD curricula. The following PhD students are affiliated with the CDR. Their dissertations deal with managerial and organizational behavior as well as marketing.

Prospective graduate students who have research interests in topics under investigation by our faculty members, including topics in social psychology and judgment and decision-making, are encouraged to apply to the Chicago Booth PhD Program.

Akshina Banerjee

Email

Research Interests

Consumer behavior, language and decision-making, temporality of past costs

Rafael BatistaRafael Batista

Email

Education

M.S. in Behavioral & Economic Science (Distinction) at the University of Warwick
B.S. in Psychology (Honors) at Florida State University
B.A. in International Relations at Florida State University

Background

Prior to his graduate studies, Rafael co-founded the Behavioral Economics team within the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and served as Head of Behavioral Research. He has also worked at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, a research and advisory firm headquartered in East Africa, helping set up the advisory practice and expanding operations into Ethiopia. Through his work, he has advised and collaborated with large, international corporations as well as small tech startups on a variety of topics including health and sanitation, financial services, social policy, agriculture, information technology, and human resources.

Research Interests

Rafael studies behavioral science, economics, and computation.

He uses tools from psychology, empirical sciences, and machine learning to explore everyday decisions, social behaviors, and complex systems.

Rafael’s research can be grouped into two broad areas. The first examines issues at the intersection of human psychology and algorithms, using statistical learning techniques to drive basic research in psychology.

The second is aimed at uncovering effective (and cost-effective) ways to address societal challenges. By taking a deep level of understanding of behavioral science and experience running field experiments, Rafael produces field studies that illustrate novel behavioral mechanisms.

Melissa BeswickMelissa Beswick

Email

Research Interests

Prosocial behavior, intuitive thinking, perceptions of food technology 

Diag Davenport

Diag Davenport

Email | Website

Education

MS, Mathematics & Statistics, Georgetown University
BS, Economics, Penn State University

 

Background

Diag is a Behavioral Science PhD student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Much of his research has been informed by his industry experience as an economic consultant for corporate litigation and as a data analyst at a variety of organizations, ranging from a small DC startup to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Before matriculating to UChicago, he earned a master's degree in Mathematics & Statistics at Georgetown University while conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Kimberly Sellers in the Mathematics department. Prior to that, he earned bachelor's degrees in Economics and Management at Penn State under the keen tutelage of Jamie Campbell.

Research Interests

Diag studies various topics at the intersection of big data and behavioral economics. His research blends a mix of theoretical, experimental, and field methods to describe and predict how people act on information. Topics of interest include crime, housing policy, legal decision making, and the interpretability of ML algorithms.

Selected Publications & Presentations 

Zhu L, Sellers K, Morris D, Shmueli G, Davenport D (2017) cmpprocess: Flexible Modeling of Count Process, https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/cmpprocess/index.html

Sellers KF, Morris D, Balakrishnan N, Davenport D (2017) multicmp: Flexible Modeling of Multivariate Count Data via the Multivariate Conway-Maxwell-Poisson Distribution, https://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/multicmp/index.html

Shweta Desiraju

Email

Research Interests

Judgment and decision-making

Lin FeiLin Fei

Email

Education

BA, Mathematics and Psychology, Vanderbilt University

Background

Lin worked as a research assistant in for Jennifer Trueblood's JDM lab at Vanderbilt University, where she learned about the domain of judgment and decision-making. She worked on topics involving moral psychology and gained familiarity with modeling.

Research Interests

Lin is interested in general topics related to judgment and decision-making and cognitive psychology. In specific, she is currently interested areas about uncertainty, errors, and cognitive models.

Nicholas HerzogNicholas Herzog

Email

Education

BA, Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MA, Social Sciences, University of Chicago

Background

Nick is a doctoral student in behavioral marketing. He received his BA in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015 and his MA in social sciences from the University of Chicago in 2017.

Research Interests

He is broadly interested in judgment and decision-making, ethics, and consumer behavior. 

Selected Publications & Presentations 

Herzog, N. R., Landy, J. F., & Bartels, D. M. (2018, July). Moral thoughtfulness: Thinking carefully about complex moral problems is a virtue. Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology. Ann Arbor, MI.

Herzog, N. R., Landy, J. F., & Bartels, D. M. (2017, November). Moral thoughtfulness: Thinking carefully about complex moral problems is a virtue. Paper presented to the Annual Meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making. Vancouver, BC.

Cintia HinojosaCintia Hinojosa

Email | Website

Education

BA, Psychology, University of Texas at Austin

Background & Education

Cintia P. Hinojosa is a doctoral student in Behavioral Science program working with Dr. Christopher J. Bryan at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

She earned her BA in Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin as a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and Dean’s Distinguished Graduate. During this time, she trained under the mentorship of Drs. David S. Yeager at the Adolescent Development Research Group, Cristine H. Legare and Jennifer Clegg at the Evolution, Variation, and Ontongeny of Learning Lab, and Robert Crosnoe at the Population Research Center. After graduating, she worked with Dr. Yeager as a project manager for the National Study of Learning Mindsets and then joined Dr. Bryan at Chicago Booth as a lab manager at the Center for Decision Research. She has experience designing and implementing school-based intervention programs to study adolescent healthy behavior change, social belonging, and academic mindsets. Cintia is also a member of Grads on the Ground, a cohort of UC graduate students focused on local justice and neighborhood immersion, where she is partnering with Coppin Community Center and the Boy Scouts of America to carry out the “Restoring the Village” program in Washington Park.

Research Interests

Cintia’s research focuses on positive youth development, civic engagement, and a psychological understanding of the structural forces that perpetuate socioeconomic inequity and racial disparities. She is interested in designing and evaluating intervention programs that incorporate the lived experiences of groups at the center of current social problems by using participatory action research methods and inter-disciplinary perspectives. Through this approach, she aims to provide evidence-based public policy solutions that are accessible to underserved communities and promote collaborative open-science research. She is also interested in how causal attributions of social problems influences public policy opinion and political attitudes.

Publications and Presentations

Bryan, C. J., Yeager, D. S., Hinojosa, C. P (forthcoming). A values-alignment intervention protects adolescents from the effects of food marketing. Nature Human Behaviour.

Bryan, C.J., Yeager, D. S., Hinojosa, C. P., Chabot, A., Bergen, H., Kawamura, M., & Steubing, F. (2016). Harnessing adolescent values to motivate healthier eating. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(39), 10830-10835. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1604586113

Ripley, A. Can Teenage Defiance Be Manipulated for Good? Sept 12, 2016. The New York Times. Available at http://nyti.ms/2c6eCga

Hinojosa, C. P., Yeager, D. S., & Bryan, C.J. (2016, November 28). The new evidence-based way to teach healthy eating. Scholastic Choices Ideabook. Available at
http://choicesideabook.scholastic.com/2016/11/new-evidence-based-way-teach-healthy-eating

Yeager, D. S., Hinojosa, C. P., & Bryan, C. J. (2016, September 21). Our traditional approach to nutrition education does nothing for teens. The Dallas Morning News. Available at http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2016/09/21/traditional-approach-nutrition-education-nothing-teens

Yeager, D.S., Romero, C., Paunesku, D., Hulleman, C.S., Schneider, B., Hinojosa, C., Lee, H.Y., O’Brien, J., Flint, K., Roberts, A., Trott, J., Greene, D., Walton, G.M., & Dweck, C.S. (2016). Using design thinking to improve psychological interventions: The case of the growth mindset during the transition to high school. Journal of Educational Psychology, 108(3), 374-391. doi: 10.1037/edu0000098

Hinojosa, C. P. (2014). The association of neighborhood safety with delinquency and academic achievement. The University of Texas Ronald E. McNair Research Journal, Spring 2014 Cohort, Vol 6. Available at https://osf.io/fcvnj.

Samuel HirshmanSamuel Hirshman

Email | Website

Education

BA, Swarthmore College

Background

Sam is a PhD student in Behavioral Science at Booth. Prior to joining Booth, he worked as a research assistant at the RAND corporation doing health services research. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 2013 with a self-designed major in “Theories of Decision Making” which combined Judgment and Decision Making Psychology, Micro Economics, and Moral Philosophy, and a minor in Mathematics and Statistics.

Research Interests

Sam’s research interests lie at the intersection of Marketing and Behavioral Economics. He focuses on consumer financial decision making and dynamic decision making. In addition, he is interested in the estimation of Prospect Theory and discount functions. For further detail, consult his website samhirshman.com.

Selected Presentations & Publications

Hirshman, Samuel, and Abigail B. Sussman. "Paying More than the Minimum: Minimum Payments Lead to Suboptimal Debt Repayment Strategies across Multiple Cards". Presented at SJDM, BDRM, SCP, and FCAC conference on Financial Literacy.

Hirshman, Samuel, Devin Pope, and Jihong Song. "Mental Budgeting versus Relative Thinking." In AEA Papers and Proceedings, vol. 108, pp. 148-52. 2018.

Minkwang JangMinkwang Jang

Email

Education

BA, Psychology and BA, Economics, Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

Background

Minkwang is a doctoral student in the Marketing program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Research Interests

Minkwang is broadly interested in judgment and decision making and the interface of cognition and motivation.

Michael KardasMichael Kardas

Email | Website

Education

BA, Psychology and Applied Mathematics, Brown University

Background

Michael works primarily with Nick Epley and has also collaborated with Ed O’Brien, Eugene Caruso, and Alex Shaw, as well as alumni Juliana Schroeder and Amit Kumar.

Research Interests 

He studies how people connect in everyday social situations as well as barriers that keep people from connecting as effectively as would be optimal for their own and others’ well-being.

Selected Publications & Presentation 

Kardas, M., Shaw, A., & Caruso, E. M. (2018). How to give away your cake and eat it too: Relinquishing control prompts reciprocal generosity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Advance online publication.

Kardas, M., & O’Brien, E. (2018). Easier seen than done: Merely watching others perform can foster an illusion of skill acquisition. Psychological Science, 29, 521-536.

Schroeder, J., Kardas, M., & Epley, N. (2017). The humanizing voice: Speech reveals a more thoughtful mind in the midst of disagreement. Psychological Science, 28, 1745-1762.

O’Brien, E., & Kardas, M. (2016). The implicit meaning of (my) change. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 111, 882-894.

Daniel KatzDaniel Katz

Email

Education

BS, Economics, Northeastern University
MA, Boston University, Economics

Background

Daniel grew up in a New York City suburb before spending five years in Boston for school. In his spare time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, exercising, and exploring new parts of Chicago.

Research Interests 

Daniel transitioned from studying economics to behavioral marketing due to his interest in consumer psychology and behavior. He is mainly interesting in consumer financial decision making, as well as broader judgement and decision making research. He works primarily with Dr. Abigail Sussman.

Becky Lau

Email

Research Interests

Language, communication, social cognition

Xilin LiXilin Li

Email

Research Interests

Judgment and decision making, consumer behavior, happiness

Jessica LopezJessica Lopez

Email

Research Interests

Consumer behavior, identity, and dehumanization

Dan Medvedev

Email

Research Interests

Social cognition, self-regulation, moral psychology

Alex MooreAlexander Moore

Email

Research Interests

Judgment and decision making

David GomezDavid Munguia Gomez

Email | Website

Research Interests

Morality, social cognition, judgment, and decision making

Kariyushi RaoKariyushi Rao

Email | Website

Education

MS, Computer Science, The University of Chicago
MBA, Organizational Behavior, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
SCPM, Stanford Advanced Project Management Program
BA, Government and Romance Languages, Bowdoin College

Background

Kariyushi Rao is a PhD candidate in behavioral science at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her research interests are related to pathologies that arise under suboptimal performance management systems, and include: performance appraisal elicitation and accuracy, collective responses to scarcity, and the behavioral consequences of common incentive structures. Kariyushi also applies her experience in social network analysis as a consultant to global firms on the development and management of intra- and inter-firm social capital. Kariyushi's academic career was preceded by nearly a decade of professional experience in high tech, during which time she also completed masters degrees in computer science (University of Chicago, 2016) and business administration (University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 2012), as well as her SCPM credential (Stanford Advanced Project Management Program, 2009).

Research Interests

Kariyushi investigates judgment and decision-making in the organizational context. She studies the effects of prior beliefs on predictions about processes, and people, and on responsibility attribution in both individual and team contexts. She also studies the behavioral consequences of exogenous and endogenous resource shocks in both individual and organizational contexts.

Selected Publications & Presentations 

An updated list of current projects is available at: www.kariyushirao.com.

Annabelle Roberts

ANNABELLE ROBERTS

Email

Background & Education

Annabelle is a doctoral student in the Behavioral Science program at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where she is working with Dr. Ayelet Fishbach and Dr. Emma Levine. She graduated in 2016 from Tufts University where she studied psychology and political science and worked in the Emotion, Brain, and Behavior Lab. After graduation, she worked as an analyst at a market research firm in Boston.

Research Interests

Annabelle is broadly interested in judgment and decision-making and social cognition. Her specific research projects explore self-control, patience, deception, and trust.

Selected Publication & Presentations

Roberts, A., Shaddy, F., & Fishbach, A. (2019). Love is patient: People are more patient for things they like. Talk to be presented at the Society for the Science of Motivation, Washington, DC.

Roberts, A., Levine, E. E., & Sezer, O. (2018-2019). Hiding success. Talk presented at the Society for Judgment and Decision Making Conference, New Orleans, LA and the Society for Consumer Psychology Conference, Savannah, GA.

Russell RobertsRussell Roberts

Email

Background 

Profile coming soon!

 

Donovan RowseyDonovan Rowsey

Email

Education

BA, Political Science, Indiana University - Bloomington

Background

Donovan started his research career studying Political Science at Indiana University - Bloomington. After independently reading seminal judgment and decision-making articles, he starting to apply heuristic, biases, and prospect theory to political and wartime decision scenarios. Specifically, he was interested in the acceptance of civilian casualties and how terrorist attacks shifts our risk attitudes in policy preferences.

After years of applying these heuristics to a specific subset of decision scenarios, his interests broadened to further understanding JDM, psychology, and behavioral economics. Thus, he came to the Booth School of Business and joined the Behavioral Science group as a PhD student.

Now, Donovan mainly studies motivation, strategic management, multi-attribute utility theory, and behavioral economics. With broad research questions of, "how do you increase the effort provision of charitable volunteers without any incentives", "how do people concurrently pursue two separate goals", "do goal and status quo reference points produce different risk attitudes", and "how can we endow study participants while maintaining their neutral reference point?" Donovan aims to contribute to the JDM, psychology, and behavioral economics literature by commenting on charitable volunteer work habits, multiple goal pursuit, reference dependence, and psychological experimental design.

Research Interests

Judgment and decision-making, reference dependence, effort provision, strategic management, and goal pursuit.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Working Papers:

  • "Multi-attribute Loss Aversion Across Separate Goals" (w/ George Wu)
  • "Effectively Eliciting Empathy From Strangers: First versus Third Person Appeals" (w/ Justin Landy)
  • "Civilian Causalities, West Point Cadets, and the In-Group Bias" (w/ Lissa Young)
  • "The Zero Change Effect: Composition of Gambles and Risk Attitudes" (w/ George Wu)
  • "The Proper Scale and Endowment Procedures: A Guide for Psychological Research" (w/ Reid Hastie & George Wu)

Anirudh Tiwathia

Email

Research Interests

Judgment and decision making, consumer behavior, happiness

Kristina WaldKristina Wald

Email

Education

BA, Psychology and Economics, Columbia University

Background

Kristina Wald is a PhD student in the Behavioral Science department. She grew up three blocks from Booth and went to the University of Chicago Laboratory School, before attending Columbia University. After graduating in 2016, she worked for two years as a research assistant for professors in the Management departments at Columbia Business School and NYU Stern. Outside of school, she enjoys taking walks (especially along Lake Michigan), keeping up with politics and current events, reading, writing, and traveling.

Research Interests

Broadly, Kristina's main research interests include interpersonal judgment, impression formation, and social interaction. She is particularly interested in how people form first impressions, and update these impressions based on subsequent interactions.

Selected Presentations & Publications

Coming soon!

Shannon WhiteShannon White

Email

Education

BA, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Philosophy, Boston University
MPP, The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy

Background

Prior to graduate education, Shannon was a Senior Associate at the ideas42, where she developed behavioral interventions for social impact. Previous projects include developing a postsecondary education preparation program in New York City, diagnosing causes of low savings rates in the Philippines, and conducting experiments to understand advisor-client dynamics in the market for financial advice.

Research Interests

Shannon's research uses principles of marketing and management science to understand and improve real-world policies, from consumer financial decision making to diversity initiatives. Recent work has focused on how consumers navigate marketplaces with increasingly complex fees.

Selected Presentations & Publications

White, S.M., Sussman, A., & Beckett, D. When shrouded prices seem transparent: A preference for error-inducing complexity. (Under review for special issue of Journal of Marketing)

  • Accepted for presentation by White, S.M., at the annual AMA Marketing + Public Policy conference, Washington, D.C. (June 2019).
  • Accepted for presentation by White, S.M., at the annual Boulder Summer Conference on Consumer Financial Decision Making, Boulder, CO (May 2019).
  • Presented by White, S.M., at the annual meeting of the Society for Consumer Psychology, Savannah, GA (February 2018). One of four finalists for Best Competitive Paper Award.
  • Presented by White, S.M., at the annual meeting of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, New Orleans, LA (November 2018).

Feasel, S., White, S.M., & Risen, J.L. Mixed-identity individuals in intergroup contact: The case of Palestinian Citizens of Israel. (Revise and Resubmit for special issue of Self & Identity)

White, S.M., Risen, J.L, & Schroeder, J. When enemies become close: Predicting outgroup friendship formation at a summer youth camp for Israelis and Palestinians. (Analysis completed, draft in progress)

Yuji WinetYuji Winet

Email

Education

BA, Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz
Post-baccalaureate certificate in Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

Background

Yuji is a graduate student in the Behavioral Science Department working with Dr. Jane Risen and Dr. Ayelet Fishbach. He earned a degree in sociology in 2012 from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and he graduated from the post-baccalaureate program in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016. At UC Berkeley, he worked with Dr. Clayton Critcher on research about how features of change in task contexts affect performance.

Research Interests

Yuji is broadly interested in how people respond to changes in circumstances, how social contexts affect goal pursuit, and how abstract beliefs affect the self-concept.

Jiaqi YuJiaqi Yu

Email

Education

BA, Psychology with Honors, Northwestern University
MA, Social Sciences, University of Chicago

Background

Jiaqi Yu is a doctoral student in the Behavioral Marketing program at the Booth School of Business. She received her B.A. with Honors in Psychology from Northwestern University in 2017 where she primarily worked on brand identity with Dr. Wendi Gardner. She graduated in 2018 from the Social Sciences M.A. program at the University of Chicago where she completed a thesis on identity, time discounting, and decision-making under the guidance of Dr. Oleg Urminsky.

Research Interests

Jiaqi is broadly interested in identity and decision-making. Specifically, Jiaqi has a strong interest in how identity and social influence interact to shape consumer decisions, especially decisions related to brands and products.

Selected Publications & Presentations 

Yu, J., & Urminsky, O. (2019, Nov.). Ethnicity and Time Discounting. Poster to be presented at the Society of Judgment and Decision Making’s Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

Yu, J., Urminsky, O., & Chen, S.Y. (2019, Feb). Causal Centrality of Identity and Environmental Decision-Making. Poster presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Conference, Portland, OR.

Yu, J., Chen, S.Y. & Urminsky, O. (2018, Nov). Causal Centrality of Identity and Environmental Decision-Making. Poster presented at the Society of Judgment and Decision Making’s Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Yu, J. (2017, Jun). Cultural Influences on Brand Identification and Brand Defense. Poster presented at Undergraduate Research & Arts Annual Exposition, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Shirley ZhangShirley Zhang

Email | Website

Background

Yiwen (Shirley) Zhang is a PhD candidate in Behavior Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  

She is interested in judgment and decision making, choice architecture, and motivation in consumer research. Her research focuses on understanding how consumers respond to numeric cues in their environment and how these cues can lead to counter-intuitive behaviors. The primary behaviors she examines include consumer purchasing and debt repayment decisions. In her dissertation, she explores how non-linear increases in costs lead consumers to make inconsistent decisions. Drawing on insights from this research, she is currently exploring consumer perceptions of promotions and the effect of implausible numeric cues. 

Research Interests

Consumer behavior, choice architecture

CDR alumni include:

Pankaj Aggarwal
Simona Botti
Jessica Bregant
Zach Burns
Katherine Burson
Colin Camerer
Arjun Chakravarti
Andrew Chiu
Jinhee Choi
Ben Converse
David Faro
Stacey Finkelstein
Rachel Fisher
Brian Gibbs
Ayelet Gneezy
Indranil Goswami
John Gourville
Christine Hosey
Greg Janicik
Scott Jeffrey
Hye-young Kim
Sara Kim
Nadav Klein
Don Kleinmuntz
Jay Koehler
Minjung Koo
Hiro Kotabe
Soraya Lambotte
Ye Li
Alex Markle
Cade Massey
Craig McKenzie
Elizabeth Moliski
Sarah Molouki
Kristian Myrseth
Joe Nunes
Juliana Schroeder
Franklin Shaddy
Luxi Shen
Dilip Soman
Suzanne Shu
Jack Soll
Maferima Tillery
Claire Tsai
Yanping Tu
Daniel Walco
Klaus Wertenbroch
Pat West
Natalie Wheeler
Kaitlin Woolley
Adelle Yang
Mike Yeomans
Fang (Frank) Yu
Jiao (Joe) Zhang
Yan Zhang
Ying Zhang

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