My Background

Before joining the Tepper School of Business and Carnegie Mellon University, I was a Newton International Fellow in the Behavioural Science Group at the Warwick Business School (WBS), in the UK.  My research continues to be funded by the Royal Society and The British Academy.  Before moving to England, I received a joint-PhD in psychology and policy from Princeton University.  Before Princeton, I received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Chicago.  Before that, I spent my pre-adult life growing up on 4 different continents (mostly in developing countries).

Research Interests

Broadly speaking, my research interests are in the psychology of human decision making and behavioral economics (applying psychological principles to models of economic behavior).  In my own research, I have explored a variety of topics, such as the accuracy and impact of first impressions, human conceptions of randomness, the factors that influence charitable giving, and the psychology of martyrdom.  My most recent line of research focuses on Decision by Sampling (DbS), a cognitive process-based theory of decision making.

My Email address:   olivola [at.] cmu <dot.> edu


To go to the Chi-Lab that I co-run with Jeff Galak and Alex Imas, Click here

To view my Google Scholar footprint, Click here



To view my Google Scholar author page, Click here 


To see my APS "Rising Stars" profile, Click here 


For an artistic rendition of my PhD dissertation (thanks to Wordle)Click here