Donovan Rowsey - Center for Decision Research | Chicago Booth

Donovan Rowsey

Donovan Rowsey



BA, Political Science, Indiana University - Bloomington


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)