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Rady Professor Ayelet Gneezy Receives Robert B. Cialdini Award

The UC San Diego Rady School of Management today announced that Professor Ayelet Gneezy is the recipient of this year’s Robert B. Cialdini Award for excellence in a published field study. Eponymously named for the seminal expert in the fields of persuasion, compliance and negotiation, the award was granted by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology to an individual who has made a unique and significant contribution to understanding the individual and social factors shaping people’s personalities, interactions and behaviors.

The prize specifically recognizes Gneezy’s paper, “Shared Social Responsibility: A Field Experiment in Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Charitable Giving,” for excellence in a published field study. “I am especially honored to receive this award because it recognizes the important role that field experiments have in behavioral research,” said Gneezy. “More often than not, it is important that researchers also test their predictions in the field in order to verify that results obtained by laboratory experiments survive reality.” The paper, published with coauthors Uri Gneezy, Leif Nelson and Amber Brown in the July 2010 issue of Science, reports the results of a large field experiment in a U.S. amusement park in which some park guests were told they could choose how much to pay for a souvenir photo and half of their payment of choice would go to charity. Payments were five times higher compared to other conditions, showing how corporate and charitable interests can be aligned to benefit society. The study has received significant media attention in recent months, including coverage by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Scientific American.

Gneezy joined the Rady School in 2007 as assistant professor of marketing. Her research focuses on individuals’ judgment, decision-making and behavior. Gneezy received her Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Prior to graduate school, she worked as a consultant in marketing services to companies in various industry areas including consumer goods, banking services and the nonprofit sector.

Gneezy’s research will receive additional attention at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s annual conference, held in San Diego January 26-28, 2012. A ceremony will honor Gneezy and each of this year’s award recipients.