Faculty Positions


Research Interests

Dr. Barbara Mellers is interested in how people make judgments and decisions, with a special interest in the role of emotions. Dr. Mellers has examined the effects of anticipated, experienced, and ancillary feelings in risky choices and economic games. A second interest is the process by which people make forecasts about a wide variety of events and how those forecasts can be improved. A third research area is the psychology of fairness.  Dr. Mellers studies the relative and contextual nature of equitable and just outcomes and the costs and benefits of different errors.  Finally, she is interested in nudges, choice environments, and behavioral interventions that result in better decisions.

Selected Publications

Mellers BA,  Ritov I: How beliefs influence the relative magnitude of pleasure and pain, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making. 2010; 23: 369-382.

Mellers BA, Haselhuhn M, Tetlock P, Silva J, Isen A: Predicting behavior in economic games by looking through the eyes of the players. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2010; 139: 743-755.

Valenzuela A, Mellers BA,  Strebel J: Pleasurable surprises: A cross-cultural study of consumer responses to unexpected incentives.  Journal of Consumer Research. 2010; 36: 792-805. 


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