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Uma Karmarkar

Associate Professor of Marketing and Innovation, Technology and Operations

Karmarkar’s research examines the factors that consciously and unconsciously influence how people make decisions, and the ensuing implications for marketplace practices. In particular, she looks at how people use their (incomplete) information when they are faced with uncertain decisions or unfamiliar options, and the biases that can emerge from these situations. Her work also explores the ways in which companies’ decisions about how and when to offer information can frame consumers’ expectations and influence their purchase behavior. This research takes an interdisciplinary approach, combining marketing, behavioral economics, neuroscience and psychology. Her work aims to enable firms to communicate better with their customers, and improving consumer confidence and satisfaction with the decision process.

Before joining the Rady School, Karmarkar was an Assistant Professor in the Marketing Unit of the Harvard Business School, and spent a year as a visiting professor at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley.

Karmarkar was named a Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar in 2017. She has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, and from the Department of Defense.

Karmarkar earned a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2004, and a second Ph.D. in Consumer Behavior from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University in 2011. Prior to her doctoral work, she received a B.S. in Symbolic Systems (Neural Systems) from Stanford in 1998.

Research Areas

  • Consumer Behavior
  • Uncertainty
  • Judgment and Decision-Making
  • Neuroeconomics

Industry Areas

  • E-commerce
  • Cybersecurity
  • Retail
  • New Product Innovation Technology