I'm from a small town in Wisconsin, USA called Burlington, where we have a Nestlé factory. It is hot and humid in the summer and cold and snowy in the winter, but people are very friendly anyway.

When the time came to leave Burlington, I attended Northwestern University, near Chicago. I studied cognitive science and philosophy (and also, inexplicably, film-making) and worked in the lab of Lance Rips, looking at intuitions about causal responsibility.

For my Ph.D. work in cognitive psychology, I came to Yale University, where I was advised by Frank Keil. At Yale, my work focused on heuristics and strategies people use to evaluate causal explanations and on intuitive theories we use for making sense of the world. In my dissertation, I argued that humans face steep constraints in assessing hypotheses, that we use a variety of fallible short-cuts to circumvent these limits, and that these same short-cuts are used by many different psychological processes. I showed how these short-cuts lead us to make mistakes in a variety of different areas.

My British journey began with a post-doc at University College London, where I work with David Tuckett on behavioral finance. We argue that people use narratives to make sense of past information, to make projections about the future, and to guide our choices, financial and otherwise.

In September 2017, I joined the faculty of the University of Bath School of Management as a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Marketing. Bath reminds me a bit of Burlington, if Burlington had Roman ruins punctuating the landscape.



Consumer Psychology

Judgment, Choice, Intuitive Theories

Cognitive Science

Explanation, Reasoning, Social Cognition

Behavioral Economics

Behavioral Finance, Public Choice


University College London

Post-doc in Behavioral Finance

2011 - 2017

Yale University

Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology

2007 - 2011

Northwestern University

B.S. in Cognitive Science & Philosophy

University of Bath School of Management

Claverton Down

Bath BA2 7AY

United Kingdom

© 2018 by Sam Johnson