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Ayelet Gneezy

The Carol Lazier and Family Endowed Chair in Social Innovation and Impact, Professor of Behavioral Sciences and Marketing, Director of CSII, Director of USIC

Dr. Gneezy’s research has been published in leading academic journals, including Science, PNAS, the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and the Journal of Consumer Research, and was featured by top media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Scientific American, The Huffington Post, and The Atlantic.

Her research explores individuals’ prosocial choices and behaviors within the domains of charitable giving and environmental sustainability, end-of-life decisions, and health-related decision-making.

Dr. Gneezy continues to collaborate with companies and nonprofits, allowing her to conduct field experiments and test her predictions in “the wild.”

Ayelet is the co-founder and faculty director of two of the Rady School’s Centers of Excellence: the US-Israel on Innovation & Economic Sustainability and the Center for Social Innovation & Impact.

Dr. Gneezy received her PhD from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. Prior to her doctoral studies, she managed the strategic planning department at DataPro Proximity (a subsidiary of BBDO Worldwide).




Shuval, K., Leonard, D., DeFina, L. F., Barlow, C. E., Drope, J., Amir, O., ... & Qadan, M. (2022). Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Depression Symptoms among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, Preventive Medicine Reports, 102065

Fridman, A., Gershon, R. & Gneezy, A. (2022). Increased generosity under COVID-19 threat. Scientific Reports, 12, 4886

Lieberman, Alicea, Ayelet Gneezy, Emily Berry, Stacie Miller, Mark Koch, Keith Argenbright, and Samir Gupta (2021). The Effect of Deadlines on Cancer Screening Completion, Scientific Reports, 11, 13876

Fridman, A., Gershon, R., & Gneezy, A. (2021). COVID-19 and Vaccine Hesitancy: A Longitudinal Study. Plos One, 16(4), e0250123

Saccardo, S., Samek, A., Lee, C., & Gneezy, A. (2021). Nudging Generosity in Consumer Elective Pricing. Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Processes, 163, 91-104

Gneezy, A., Imas, A., & Jaroszewicz, A. (2020). The Impact of Agency on Time and Risk Preferences. Nature Communications, 11(1), 1-9

Lieberman, A., Gneezy, A., Berry, E., Miller, S., Koch, M., Bharti, B., Argenbright, K., & Gupta, S. (2019). Financial Incentives to Promote Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Longitudinal Randomized Control Trial. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 28(11), 1902-08

Schwartz, D., Keenan E., Imas, A., & Gneezy, A. (2019). Opting-in to Prosocial Incentives. Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Processes, 163, 133-41

Ward, A., Duke, K., Gneezy, A., & Bos, M. (2017). Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One's Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity. Journal of the Association of Consumer Research, 2(2), 140-54. Lead Article

Jung, M., Nelson, L.D., Gneezy, U., & Gneezy, A. (2017). Signaling Virtue: Charitable Behavior under Consumer Elective Pricing. Marketing Science, 36(2), 187-94

Gneezy, A. (2017). Field Experimentation in Marketing Research. Journal of Marketing Research, 45(1), 40-43

Nosal, A., Keenan, E., Hastings, P., & Gneezy, A (2016). The Effect of Background Music in Shark Documentaries on Viewers' Perceptions of Sharks. Plos One, 11(8), e0159279

Gupta, S., Miller, S., Koch, M., Berry, E., Anderson, P., Pruitt, S., Borton, E., Hughes, A., Carter, E., Hernandez, S., Cruz, H., Halm, E., Gneezy, A., Lieberman, A., Sugg-Skinner, S., Argenbright, K., Balasubramanian, B. (2016). Financial Incentives for Promoting Colorectal Cancer Screening: A Randomized, Comparative Effectiveness Trial. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 111(11), 1630

Reddy, S., Montambault, J., Masuda, Y., Butler, W., Fisher, J., Keenan, E., & Gneezy, A. (2016). Advancing Conservation by Understanding and Influencing Human Behavior. Conservation Letters, 10(2), 248-56

Gneezy, U., Keenan, E., & Gneezy, A. (2014). Avoiding Overhead Aversion in Charity. Science, 346(6209), 632-35

Jung, M., Nelson, L.D., Gneezy, A., & Gneezy U. (2014). Paying More When Paying for Others: Consumer Elective Pricing with Pay-It-Forward Framing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(3), 414-43

Gneezy A. & Epley N. (2014). Worth Keeping but Not Exceeding: Asymmetric Consequences of Breaking Versus Exceeding Promises. Social Psychological and Personality Sciences, 5(17), 491-99

Gneezy, A., Gneezy, U., & Lauga, D. (2014). A Reference-Dependent Model of the Price-Quality Heuristic. Journal of Marketing Research, 51(2), 153-64

Baca-Motes, K., Brown, A., Gneezy, A. Keenan, E., & Nelson, L. D. (2013). Commitment and Behavior Change: Evidence from the Field. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(5), 1070-84

Gneezy, A., Gneezy, U., Riener, G., & Nelson, L. D. (2012). Pay-What-You-Want, Identity, and Self-Signaling in Markets. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(19), 7236-40

Gneezy, A., Imas, A., Nelson, L. D., Brown, A., & Norton, M. I. (2012). Paying to be Nice: Costly Prosocial Behavior and Consistency. Management Science, 58(1), 179-87

Gneezy, A. & Fessler, D. T. (2012). Conflicts, Sticks and Carrots: War Increases Prosocial Punishments and Rewards. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 279, 219-23

Gneezy, A., Gneezy, U., Nelson, L. D., & Brown, A. (2010). Shared Social Responsibility: A Field Experiment in Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Charitable Giving. Science, 329(5989), 325-327

Shu, S. & Gneezy, A. (2010). Procrastination of Enjoyable Experiences. Journal of Marketing Research, 47(5), 933-44

Epley, N. & Gneezy, A. (2007). The Framing of Financial Windfalls and Implications for Public Policy. Journal of Socioeconomics, 36(1), 36-47


Research in Progress

Maimone, Giulia, Joachim Vosgerau, and Ayelet Gneezy. Not All Attributions Are Self-Serving: A Preference for Agency Over Negative Outcomes, Invited for second-round review at Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Maimone, Giulia, Gil Appel, Craig R. M. McKenzie, and Ayelet Gneezy. Citation Penalties Following Sexual Misconduct versus Scientific Fraud Allegations

Maimone, G., Appel, G., McKenzie, C. R. M., and Gneezy, A. (2022). A New Perspective on the Role of Citations in Academic Research

Fridman, A., Gershon, R., and Gneezy, A. (2022). Increased Generosity under COVID-19 Threat

Rey-Biel, P., Gneezy, A., Gneezy, U., Lauga, D., & Llull, J. (2022). Expectations, Satisfaction, and Utility from Experience Goods: A Field Experiment in Theaters 


In the Media

Brian Drain: The Mere Presence of One's Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity

Hide Your Phone When You're Trying to Work. Seriously. (The New York Times, December 2018)

How Smartphones Hijack Our Minds (The Wall Street JournalOctober 2017)

Your Smartphone Reduces Your Brainpower, Even If It's Just Sitting There (The AtlanticAugust 2017)

Your Smartphone is Literally Making you Worse at Thinking (Even When You're Not Touching It) (The Muse, 2018)

Are Smartphones Making Us Stupid? (Psychology Today, June 2017)


Avoiding Overhead Aversion in Charity

How Charities Can Get More Out of Donors (Wall Street Journal, December 2014) 

Simple Tweak Could nearly Double How Much You Give to Charity (Science Magazine, October 2014)

Nonprofit Overhead Doesn't Matter. Except for When it Does (Huffington Post, March 2015)

Will Major Donors Pay Overhead to Leverage Engagement and Giving from New Donors? (CFRE, May 2015)


Worth Keeping But Not Exceeding: Asymmetric Consequences of Breaking Versus Exceeding Promises

Why You Really Don't Need to Go Above and Beyond (The MuseMay 2014)

Working Harder Not Really Worth It, Researchers Find (Time, June 2014)

Always Make Promises (The Atlantic, August 2014)

Nobody cares How Awesome You Are at Your Work (Bloomberg Magazine, May 2014)

Don't Bother Working hard! Bosses Don't care If You Put In Extra Effort, Study Claims (The Daily Mail, September 2014)


Pay-What-You-Want (PWYW) & Consumer Elective Pricing (CEP)

Why didn't the Panera Cares social experiment pay off? (Boston Globe, February 2019)

The case for free Admission (The New Yorker, February 2014)

How To Maximize Pay-What-You-Wish Pricing (Freakonomics, July 2010)

Pay-What-You-Want Pricing: Playing Tag with Price Tags (Financial Times, August 2013)

Caring with Cash, or How Radiohead Could Have made More Money (Discover, July 2010)

Pay-What-You-Want Study Suggests Pride Keeps People From Going Cheap (Huffington Post, April 2012)

Pay-What-You-Want May Deter Consumers (Scientific American, April 2012)

Panera care, Nonprofit Outpost of Chain, to Open Soon (The Boston Globe, December 2012)

Panera's Pay-As-You-Go Pricing Experiment failed. here's How They Could Fix It (Washington Post, July 2013)

Girl, 9, Sells Lemonade to End Slavery, Customers "Pay What You Want (NBC, August 2013)

What would Jesus think about TipsForJesus? (USA Today, April 2014)

What Would You Pay for This Meal? (The New York Times, August 2015)

Everlane's Pay-What-You-Want Promotion Baffled Me Into Buying Nothing (New York Magazine, December 2015)


Paying to Be Nice: Costly Prosocial Behavior and Consistency

Good Deeds Gone Bad (The New York Times, August 2013)


Procrastination of Enjoyable Experiences

9 Ways Behavioral Economics Can Help Increase Conversion, Retention, and ROI (The Medium, November 2015)

Carpe Diem? Maybe Tomorrow (The New York Times, December 2009)

The Gift Card Economy (The Atlantic, May 2009)

The Best Vacation Ever (Boston Globe, June 2010)

How can We Outwit Our Lazier Selves? (Financial Times, January 2014)

5 More Minutes (Calcalist, November 2010)


The Framing of Financial Windfalls and Implications for Public Policy

A Smarter Stimulus (The New Yorker, January 2009)

What Behavioral Economics Teaches Us About the Great Recession (Forbes, April 2015)


Under Review & Working Papers

Rey-Biel, P., Gneezy, A., Gneezy, U., Lauga, D., & Llull, J. "Expectations, Satisfaction, and Utility from Experience Goods: A Field Experiment in Theaters." Under review.

Williams E. & Gneezy, A. "Between a Rock and Another Rock: Ironic Persistence at Choices Between Similar Options."

Chernyak, N., Samek, A., & Gneezy, A. "Prompting Attention to Warm Glow Increases Children’s Generosity." 


Other Work

Intuition Can’t Be Beat (Rady Business Journal, Summer 2011)

Milken Innovation Center Blog

Research Areas

  • Behavioral Change
  • Environmental Behavior
  • Prosocial Behavior
  • Behavioral Pricing
  • Pay-What-You-Want Pricing
  • Consumer Behavior and Decision-Making