Principal Investigators(The list is arranged in an alphabetical order of surnames.)

Jeff Galak ( (Website)

Jeff Galak is Associate Professor of Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

Jeff received his Bachelors of Science in Marketing and Economic Theory (2005), Master of Philosophy in Marketing (2008), and Ph.D. in Marketing (2009) all from New York University’s Stern School of Business. He is currently involved with a variety of research projects in the domain of consumer behavior. Though his primary interest is understanding what types of experiences lead to consumer enjoyment, he also does work in the areas of, among other things, hedonic adaptation, variety seeking, affective forecasting, expectation updating, and fluency effects.

Aside from his academic career Jeff is an avid woodworker, fitness enthusiast, and computer geek. Jeff lives with his brilliant wife and precocious daughter in Pittsburgh, PA.

Alex Imas ( (Website) 

Alex Imas is an Assistant Professor in Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University.

His research interests include behavioral and experimental economics, particularly how social concerns and emotions influence decision making and preferences. His current research examines the effectiveness of prosocial incentive schemes across a variety of domains and how subtle changes in social norms can have large effects on behavior. His work also explores the relationship between self-imposed mental accounts and risk attitudes. 

Alex received his B.A. in Economics from Northwestern University and his PhD in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Christopher Olivola ( (Website)

Christopher Olivola is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.

Before joining Tepper and Carnegie Mellon, he was a Newton International Fellow at the Warwick Business School and University College, London. He received a B.A. in psychology from the University of Chicago and a joint-PhD in psychology and policy from Princeton University. Before that, he spent his pre-adult life growing up on 4 different continents (mostly in developing countries). His research interests span several related areas, including decision making, cognitive science, behavioral economics, consumer behavior, social cognition, and experimental philosophy.

His research has 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 consumer responses to taxes.

PhD Students(The list is arranged in the order of seniority)

Eric VanEpps ( 

Eric VanEpps is a fifth year doctoral student in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on improving individual decision making in health contexts, including his dissertation which tests multiple interventions to promote healthier eating decisions. Eric will begin a postdoctoral position at the University of Pennsylvania in July 2015, where he will continue to work on projects related to health and behavioral economics. Eric received his BA in Psychology and Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond in 2010, and will receive his PhD in Behavioral Decision Research from Carnegie Mellon University in May 2015.

Shereen Chaudry


Richard Truncellito ( (Website) 

I am fourth-year PhD student in Social and Decision Sciences. (Please, see my website for info. on my interests and current projects.)

David Hagmann ( (Website)

David is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, where he is advised by George Loewenstein. David's areas of interest include information avoidance, decisions under risk and uncertainty, intertemporal choice, pro-social behavior, and behavioral interventions (nudges). More broadly, he studies and conducts research in behavioral, experimental, and computational economics. David is particularly interested in how these fields can enrich one another and contribute to public policy.

Talya Lazerus ( 

Talya is a third year doctoral student in the Department of Social and Decision Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests include the role of emotions in decision making and information processing. Talya received her BS in Psychology and a minor in Neuroscience from Texas A&M University in 2012.

Erin McCormick


Julian Givi (

I am a first year marketing PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business. I am primarily interested in hedonic experiences. My current research looks at the behavior of gift givers and gift recipients. I completed my bachelor's degree in Finance with minors in Mathematics and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh.

John Han ( (Website)

John is a Marketing (Consumer Psychology -- Judgment and Decision Making) PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business. John investigates whether people's confidence with their daily judgments and decisions justifies the extent to which their knowledge warrants. More specifically, he studies psychological mechanisms underlying over/under placement of oneself (w/ Dr. Christopher Olivola). He is also studying how uncertainties influence the consumption utility (w/ Dr. Jeff Galak). In another stream of his research, John investigates the nature of counterfactual reasoning (w/ Dr. Steve Sloman, Brown University).

Ania Jaroszewicz (

Ania is a first year doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University's Social & Decision Sciences department. She completed her bachelor's degrees in Economics and Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, then spent several years working with the federal government on environmental policy and consumer protection. Her research primarily revolves around decision-making in poverty. She also explores topics in information seeking and avoidance, especially as they relate to financial stress.

CBDR Interns
2015 Andres Montealgre, Phoebe Wong, Fergal McGovern, Gissell Garcia, Steven Schwering, Sara Wingrove
Link: Photos