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Bradley Turnwald

Bradley Turnwald

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PhD, Social Psychology, Stanford University
MS, Biology, Stanford University
BA, Zoology, Ohio Wesleyan University


Brad is a principal researcher at the Center for Decision Research working with Ayelet Fishbach. Before joining Chicago Booth, Brad completed his PhD and post-doctoral work in social psychology at Stanford University, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. He additionally holds an M.S. in Biology from Stanford University and a B.A. in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was a National Goldwater Scholar.

Brad's research has received prestigious awards, including the 2020 National Institutes of Health Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Award and the 2020 Social Personality Health Network Outstanding Research Award. His findings are published in leading journals, including Nature Human Behaviour, Psychological Science, and JAMA Internal Medicine, and his work is featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR. His intervention designs have been implemented in university dining halls across the United States to encourage healthier, plant-based food choices.


Brad is interested in how to motivate health behavior change. His past research examines how the language used by institutions, on social media, and at the point-of-purchase influences healthy food choices and how the consumption patterns depicted in popular culture (e.g., movies, celebrity Instagram posts) compare with Americans' actual consumption. He is also interested in how people respond to learning personalized health risk information and how to intervene with communication strategies that motivate preventive behaviors.

Ongoing work with Professor Fishbach at Chicago Booth investigates how categorical thinking about healthy foods may lead to downstream consequences for consumption and perceived goal progress, as well as the role that purity plays in biasing consumer assessments of food healthiness.


Turnwald, B. P., Handley-Miner, I. J., Samuels, N. A., Markus, H. R., & Crum, A. J. (2021). Nutritional analysis of foods and beverages in top-grossing US movies, 1994-2018. JAMA Internal Medicine, 181, 1-10.

Turnwald, B. P., Anderson, K. G., Jurafsky, D., & Crum, A. J. (2020). Five-star prices, appealing healthy item descriptions? Expensive restaurants’ descriptive menu language. Health Psychology, 39, 975-985.

Turnwald, B. P., Bertoldo, J. D., Perry, M. A., Policastro, P., Timmons, M., Bosso, C., ... Crum, A. J. (2019). Increasing vegetable intake by emphasizing tasty and enjoyable attributes: A randomized controlled multi-site intervention for taste-focused labeling. Psychological Science, 30, 1603-1615.

Turnwald, B. P., Goyer, J. P., Boles, D. Z., Silder, A., Delp, S., & Crum, A. J. (2019). Learning one’s genetic risk changes physiology independent of actual genetic risk. Nature Human Behaviour, 3, 48-56.

Turnwald, B. P. & Crum, A. J. (2019). Smart food policy for healthy food labeling: Leading with taste, not healthiness, to shift consumption and enjoyment of healthy foods. Preventive Medicine, 119, 7-13.

Turnwald, B. P., Boles, D. Z., & Crum, A. J. (2017). Association between indulgent descriptions and vegetable consumption: Twisted carrots and dynamite beets. JAMA Internal Medicine, 177, 1216-1218.

Turnwald, B. P., Jurafsky, D., Conner, A., & Crum, A. J. (2017). Reading between the menu lines: are restaurants’ descriptions of “healthy” foods unappealing? Health Psychology, 36, 1034-1037.