Two Chicago Booth behavioral scientists receive award for influential research

For the first time, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology names two Chicago Booth scholars recipients of prestigious award

University of Chicago Booth School of Business Behavioral Science Professors, Nicholas Epley and Ayelet Fishbach, have been named co-recipients of the Career Trajectory Award by the Society for Experimental Social Psychology (SESP).

Career Trajectory Award recipients are recognized as top researchers in social psychology who are at the peak of their careers, and who demonstrate “uniquely creative and influential scholarly productivity,” typically during the ten-year period following tenure.


We are delighted that Professors Epley and Fishbach are being recognized for their path-breaking scholarship in behavioral science, an area they have built into one of great strength at Chicago Booth.

— Dean Madhav Rajan


Epley’s and Fishbach’s award is one of firsts: it is the first time SESP has ever awarded the prize to two scholars simultaneously; Chicago Booth’s behavioral science group is the first and only department to have two award winners; and the University of Chicago is the first university to have two winners of this award on its faculty.

“We are delighted that Professors Epley and Fishbach are being recognized for their path-breaking scholarship in behavioral science, an area they have built into one of great strength at Chicago Booth,” said Madhav Rajan, Booth Dean and George Pratt Shultz Professor of Accounting. “At Booth, we aspire to use our expertise in analysis and decision-making to have an impact in the real world. This dual award is a wonderful endorsement of our faculty’s work.”

Nicholas Epley

Author of the book “Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Want” (Vintage Press, 2014), Epley researches social cognition, perspective taking, and intuitive human judgment. His studies on solitude v. connecting with others, what the sound of one’s voice can conceal and reveal, and how self-righteousness can affect social judgment, are among his vast body of research.

Epley’s research has appeared in more than two dozen journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Psychological Review, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation.

In 2008, he received the Theoretical Innovation Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology; in 2011, he received the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contributions from the American Psychological Association.

Ayelet Fishbach

Fishbach studies social psychology, management and consumer behavior. Her research topics include how we motivate others to do what we like; how to stay focused to reach our goals; and how we manage goals and temptations. Her studies have appeared in top journals including Psychological Review, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science and the Journal of Consumer Research.

Fishbach is the President Elect of the Society for the Science of Motivation and the Past President of the International Social Cognition Network. She served as an Action Editor at the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Psychological Science.  

The University of Chicago awarded Fishbach the Provost’s Teaching Award in 2006, and she also is the recipient of several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology's Best Dissertation Award and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award.