USIA Fellow Prof. Elke U. Weber

Professor Elke U. Weber is the Honorary/Advisory Psychologist of the United Sigma Intelligence Association. She is a Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University where she holds the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professorship in Energy & the Environment.

Research Philosophy

I believe that psychological theory needs to interface with social problems in a two-way dialogue, proving itself with constructive solutions in real-world settings and being enriched and constrained by those settings.

While much of my work draws distinctions between homo economicus and homo sapiens, I also examine individual, group, and cultural differences in time discounting or risk taking and how best to assess and model them. Every research method has strengths and weaknesses, so I approach my questions with a mosaic of answers that draw on lab and field experiments that collect process data, behavioral outcomes, associated brain activation, and more.

I then put all of these insights to use by helping individuals or social planners design decision environments that capitalize on the full range of human capabilities and goals to make wise decisions.

Honors and Awards

2020Election to US National Academy of Sciences
2018Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2018Princeton Engineering Commendation List for Outstanding Teaching
2016Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
2016Distinguished Achievement Award, Society for Risk Analysis
2015Fellow, Society for Experimental Psychology
2014“In Honor of” citation, Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences (FABBS): Recognition of “eminent, senior scientists who have made important and lasting contributions to the sciences of mind, brain, and behavior”
2012Member, German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)
2012Honorary Professorship, Economic Science, Technical University Munich, Germany
2011Fellow, Society for Risk Analysis
2010Chazen Senior Scholar, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
2009Honorary Doctorate in Psychology, University of Basel, Switzerland
2003Academy of Management, Organizational Behavior Division, Best Paper Award
2000Chazen International Research Prize, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
1999INFORMS Decision Analysis Society Publication Award
1998Fellow, Association for Psychological Science
1996Fellow, Division 3 (Experimental Psychology, American Psychological Association
1994Outstanding Young Investigator Award, Society for Medical Decision Making
1990James S. Kemper Foundation Research Scholar, Graduate School of Business,
University of Chicago
1988Young Psychologist Award, American Psychological Association,
XXIV International Congress, Sydney, Australia
1986University of Illinois Instructional Award: “List of Faculty Rated Excellent”
1985Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada: Postdoctoral Fellowship
1980-1984Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada: Postgraduate Scholarship
1980Vanier Award for Academic Excellence, York University

Past Academic Positions and Visiting Professorships

2009 – 2016Earth Institute Professor, Columbia University
2009Visiting Professor, Copenhagen Business School
2006Visiting Professor, London Business School
2003 – 2016Jerome A. Chazen Professor of International Business, Columbia Business School
2004Guest Professor, Department of Quantitative Economic Research, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
1999 – 2016Professor of Management, Graduate School of Business, and Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Columbia University
1995 – 1999Professor, Department of Psychology and Department of Management & Human Resources, Ohio State University
1994Professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership, Guest Chair, Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Corporate Management (WHU), Koblenz, Germany

Other Professional Positions

2013Inaugural Linde Visiting Fellow, Ronald and Maxine Linde Institute for Economic and Management Sciences, California Institute of Technology
2012 – 2014Visiting Research Collaborator, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University
2007 – 2008Fellow, Russell Sage Foundation
2004 – 2005Chair, Management Division, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
2002Fellow, Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study), Berlin, Germany
1992 – 1993Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, CA
1988 – 1995Assistant and Associate Professor of Behavioral Science, Center for Decision Research, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago
1985 – 1988Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana‑Champaign
1984 – 1985Natural Science and Engineering Research Council Post‑Doctoral Fellow,
Department of Psychology, University of Toronto

Representative Publications

The selection of publications below contains basic research papers on the questions addressed by my research (“How do finite-capacity information processors judge, decide, act, and live in a world that is only partially predictable and that provides feedback on very variable time scales?”) as well as papers that take those insights into applied settings, mostly in the environmental domain but also for financial (investment or pension savings) decisions.

Weber, E. U. & Johnson, E. J. (2009). Mindful judgment and decision making. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 53-86.
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Weber, E. U. (2015). Climate change demands behavioral change: What are the challenges? Social Research: An International Quarterly, 82, 561-581.
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Weber, E. U. (2013). Doing the right thing willingly: Behavioral decision theory adn environmental policy. In E. Shafir (Ed), The Behavioral Foundations of Policy, (pp. 380-397). Princeton University Press.
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Weber, E. U., Blais, A.-R.,* & Betz, N. (2002). A domain-specific risk-attitude scale: Measuring risk perceptions and risk behaviors. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 15, 263-290.
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Li, Y.,* Johnson, E. J., & Weber, E.U., Enkavi, A.Z., Gao, J., & Zaval, L. (2014). Cognitive ability and knowledge predict real-world financial outcomes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112(1), 65-69.
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Profile Source: Professor Elke U. Weber’s official website