Nina Mazar

Professor, Marketing

Currently on Sabbatical: 1/2022 – 7/2022

I’m a behavioral scientist, named one of “The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 In The World” (Poets&Quants, 2014). With my focus on behavioral economics, I investigate how expectations, emotions, peers, and random cues in the environment affect how we think about products, money, investments, and morality, and their implications for welfare, development, and policy. My research topics range from the dishonesty of honest people to irrational attraction to free products, the paradoxes of green behavior, tax compliance, organ and blood donation, and nudges to reduce credit card delinquency. I was nominated for the SSHRC Aurora Prize for “Outstanding New Researcher” in Canada, and am the recipient of several teaching and research awards, including the William F. O’Dell Award of AMA’s Journal of Marketing Research (for having made the most significant, long-term contribution to marketing theory, methodology, and/or practice with my 2008 JMR paper on Dishonesty).

I have published my research in leading academic journals like the Journal of Marketing Research, Psychological Sciences, Review of Economic Studies, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Popular accounts of my work have appeared among others on NPR, BBC, in the New York Times, Financial Times, Wired, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Harvard Business Review’s Breakthrough Ideas. Other popular accounts of my work have been featured in the New York Times bestsellers Drive by Daniel Pink as well as Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty, and Money and Sense by Dan Ariely, and in the 2015 documentary movie (Dis)Honesty—The Truth About Lies by Yael Melamede.

Aside from my research, I have given public talks on topics involving various aspects of consumer behavior, behavioral economics, ethics, and policy. Engagements include the Canada Revenue Agency, European Commission, OECD, Toyota, Google Ventures, and TEDxToronto.

Most recently, I acted as the senior behavioral scientist of the World Bank’s behavioral insights team (eMBeD) in Washington DC, with which I am still affiliated. Additionally, I serve as advisor on boards of various government and non-for-profit organizations (past and current engagements include the Privy Council Office Innovation Hub for Behavioral Economics in Canada, the Austrian Minister for Family and Youth, and Irrational Labs in San Francisco, CA).

Before joining academia I worked with a spin-off of KPMG as a management consultant in Europe. Before becoming a professor, I was a post-doctoral associate and lecturer in marketing at MIT Sloan School of Management and the MIT Media Lab (Dan Ariely’s eRationality Group).

  • PhD equivalent (Dr. rer. pol.), Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, 2003
  • Mazar, N., Soman, D. (In Press). "Behavioral Science in the Wild", Rotman-Utp Publishing
  • Milkman, K., Gandhi, L., Patel, M., Graci, H., Gromet, D., Ho, H., Kay, J., Lee, T., Rothschild, J., Bogard, J., Brody, I., Chabris, C., Chang, E., Chapman, G., Dannals, J., Goldstein, N., Goren, A., Hershfield, H., Hirsch, A., Hmurovic, J., Horn, S., Karlan, D., Kristal, A., Lamberton, C., Meyer, M., Oakes, A., Schweitzer, M., Shermohammed, M., Talloen, J., Warren, C., Whillans, A., Yadav, K., Zlatev, J., Berman, R., Evans, C., Ladhania, R., Ludwig, J., Mazar, N., Mullainathan, S., Snider, C., Spiess, J., Tsukayama, E., Ungar, L., Van den Bulte, C., Volpp, K., Duckworth, A. (2022). "A 680,000-person megastudy of nudges to encourage vaccination in pharmacies", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119 (6), e2115126119-e2115126119
  • Mazar, N., Robitaille, N., House, J. (2021). "Are Repeat Nudges Effective? For Tardy Tax Filers, It Seems So", Behavioral Scientist
  • Gauri, V., Jamison, J., Mazar, N., Ozier, O. (2021). "Motivating bureaucrats through social recognition: External validity—A tale of two states", Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
  • Mazar, N., Robitaille, N., House, J. (2021). "Do Behavioral Nudges Work on Organizations?", Harvard Business Review
  • Mazar, N. (2021). "How Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives can Benefit from Behavioral Science", BEworks Choice Architecture Report 2021
  • Robitaille, N., Mazar, N., Tsai, C., Haviv, A., Hardy, E. (2021). "Increasing Organ Donor Registrations with Behavioral Interventions: A Field Experiment", Journal of Marketing
  • House, J., Robitaille, N., Mazar, N. (2020). "Effectiveness of Planning Prompts on Organizations’ Likelihood to File their Overdue Taxes: A Multi-wave Field Experiment", Management Science
  • Jamison, J., Mazar, N., Sen, I. (2020). "Applying behavioral insights to tax compliance: Experimental evidence from Latvia", Journal of Tax Administration, 6 (2)
  • Kristal, A., Whillans, A., Bazerman, M., Gino, F., Shu, L., Mazar, N., Ariely, D. (2020). "Signing at the beginning versus at the end does not decrease dishonesty", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117 (13), 7103-7107
  • Kristal, A., Whillans,, A., Bazerman, M., Gino, F., Shu, L., Mazar, N., Ariely, D. (2020). "When We’re Wrong, It’s Our Responsibility as Scientists to Say So", Scientific American
  • Mazar, N. (2020). "The Future of Behavioral Economics", BEworks Choice Architecture Report 2020
  • Lotz, L., Pickering, J., Weber, E., Contestabile, M., Pearson, A., Voinov, A., Townsend, A., Ebers, A., Zeeuw van der Laan, A., Fischhoff, B., Gordon, B., Wylie, C., Owsik, C., Andrews, C., Rench-McCauley, D., Miniard, D., Farr, D., Ulrich, E., Fischer, E., Johnson, E., MacDonald, E., Sherman, E., Meggers, F., Madhavan, G., Tsoulou, I., Geppner, J., Domanski, J., Torre, J., Chon, J., Kantenbacher, J., Gero, J., Thomas, J., Castilla-Rho, J., Akerlof, K., Stenger, K., Fedirko, L., Steg, L., Aurisicchio, M., Henry, M., Fischhoff, M., Barnett, M., Strahilevitz, M., Zong, M., Hernandez, M., Zeiske, N., Cohen, N., Chen, N., Mazar, N., Hancock, P., Ferraro, P., Shyamsundar, P., Vuppuluri, R., Gonzalez, R., Malak, R., Schmidt, R., Constantino, S., Welch, S., Attari, S., Weber, S., Preston, S., Wilcoxen, S., Bansal, T., Caroll, T., Shealy, T. (2019). "Twenty Questions About Design Behavior for Sustainability, Report of the International Expert Panel on Behavioral Science for Design", Nature Sustainability
  • Chen, S., Feinberg, M., Schminke, M., Dungan, J., Kristal, A., Ok, E., Ong, W., Aquino, K., Ariely, D., Bazerman, M., Gino, F., Mazar, N., Qian, Y., Reynolds, S., Shu, L., Strejcek, B., Waytz, A., Young, L. (2019). "Current Direction in Understanding the Antecedents and Prevention Of Unethicality at Work", Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019 (1), 13253-13253
  • Mazar, N. (2019). Behavioral Economics: Ethics and Integrative Thinking. In Alain, Samson. (Eds.), "The Behavioral Economics Guide 2019 (with an Introduction by Uri Gneezy)", Behavioral Science Solutions 2-15
  • Leipnitz, S., de Vries, M., Clement, M., Mazar, N. (2018). "Providing health checks as incentives to retain blood donors — Evidence from two field experiments", International Journal of Research in Marketing, 35 (4), 628-640
  • Amir, O., Mazar, N., Ariely, D. (2018). "Replicating the Effect of the Accessibility of Moral Standards on Dishonesty: Authors’ Response to the Replication Attempt", Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1 (3), 318-320
  • Mazar, N. (2018). "How Behavioral Economics Could Help Reduce Credit Card Delinquency, Harvard Business Review, July 26", Harvard Business Review
  • Mazar, N., Mochon, D., Ariely, D. (2018). "If You Are Going to Pay Within the Next 24 Hours, Press 1: Automatic Planning Prompt Reduces Credit Card Delinquency", Journal of Consumer Psychology, 28 (3), 466-476
  • Bryan, C., Mazar, N., Jamison, J., Braithwaite, J., Dechausay, N., Fishbane, A., Fox, E., Gauri, V., Glennerster, R., Haushofer, J., Karlan, D., Vakis, R. (2017). "Overcoming behavioral obstacles to escaping poverty", Behavioral Science & Policy (5), 81-93
  • Mazar, N., Shampanier, K., Ariely, D. (2017). "When Retailing and Las Vegas Meet: Probabilistic Free Price Promotions", Management Science, 63 (1), 250-266
  • Müller, S., Mazar, N., Fries, A. (2016). "The Cause Matters! How Cause Marketing Campaigns Can Increase the Demand for Conventional over Green Products", Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 1 (4), 540-554
  • Sachdeva, S., Jordan, J., Mazar, N. (2015). "Green consumerism: moral motivations to a sustainable future", Current Opinion in Psychology, 6 60-65
  • Mazar, N., Ariely, D. (2015). "Dishonesty in scientific research", Journal of Clinical Investigation, 125 (11), 3993-3996
  • Schulz, F., Schlereth, C., Mazar, N., Skiera, B. (2015). "Advance payment systems: Paying too much today and being satisfied tomorrow", International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32 (3), 238-250
  • Mazar, N., Hawkins, S. (2015). "Choice architecture in conflicts of interest: Defaults as physical and psychological barriers to (dis)honesty", Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 59 113-117
  • Castelo, N., Hardy, E., House, J., Mazar, N., Tsai, C., Zhao, M. (2015). "Moving citizens online: Using salience & message framing to motivate behavior change", Behavioral Science & Policy, 1 (2), 57-68
  • Ly, K., Mazar, N., Zhao, M., Soman, D. (2013). "A Practitioner's Guide to Nudging", SSRN Electronic Journal
    Research Presentations
  • Alp Boz, H. , Bahrami, M. , Balcisoy, S. , Bozkaya, B. , Mazar, N. , Nichols, A. , Pentland, S. Neighborhood Resilience and Fragility to the COVID-19 Pandemic from a Mobility Network Perspective: The Case of New York City, IC2S2-22, Chicago, IL, 2022
  • Ladhania, R. , Mazar, N. , Ungar, L. Health Equity: Increasing Vaccine Uptake During the COVID-19 Pandemic With a Focus on Under-Represented Minorities in the USA, American Causal Inference Conference, Berkeley, 2022
  • Mazar, N. Organ Donor Registrations, Marketing Seminar Speaker Series, IESE, Barcelona, Spain, 2022
  • Mazar, N. People do not seem to generally object to experiments, but to “just” be sensitive to contexts, Marketing Seminar Speaker Series, ESADE, Barcelona, Spain, 2022
  • Mazar, N. Organ Donor Registrations, INSEAD Marketing Department Seminar Speaker Series, Fontainebleau, France, 2022
  • Mazar, N. Behavioral Insights for Public Good, Behavioral Insights Career Expo 2022, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, 2022
  • Mazar, N. Behavioral Science in the Wild: Getting individuals and organizations to pay their overdue taxes - what works and what doesn’t, UBC Decision Insights for Business & Society, Canada, 2022
  • House, J. , Lacetera, N. , Macis, M. , Mazar, N. Engaging the Middle Person: The Effect of Providing Performance Feedback to Customer Representatives on Organ Donor Registrations, SJDM 2021, Zoom, 2022
  • Cadario, R. , Mazar, N. , Nichols, A. The Impact of Ethical Company Ratings on Consumer Behavior, SJDM 2021, 2022
  • Lee, C. , Mazar, N. , Morewedge, C. Are Preference Reversals due to Decision Contexts or Elicitation Procedures?, SJDM 2021, Zoom, 2022
  • Ariely, D. , Feldman, Y. , Mazar, N. , Pe'er, E. Honesty Pledges Reduce Cheating Through Involvement and Identification, SJDM 2021, Zoom, 2022
  • Mazar, N. Engaging the middle person: The effect of providing performance feedback to customer representatives on organ donor registrations, Data Colada Seminar Series, Zoom, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Engaging the middle person: The effect of providing performance feedback to customer representatives on organ donor registrations, Center for Behavioral and Decision Research Seminar Series, Carnegie Mellon University, 2021
  • Mazar, N. The Dishonesty of Honest People, Emotional Intelligence Conference 2021 (ei21), Online, 2021
  • Reeck, C. Neural Mechanisms Promoting Selflessness in Potential Conflicts of Interest, Association for Consumer Research, Annual Conference, Zoom, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Better Marketing for a Better World - Knowledge Forum, Association for Consumer Research, Annual Conference, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Gradual Disengagement of Morality: Dishonest Behavior can Transition to Continuous Ethical Transgressions, Association for Consumer Research, Annual Conference, Zoom, 2021
  • Lee, C. , Mazar, N. , Morewedge, C. Are preference reversals due to decision context or elicitation procedure? A theoretical reconciliation, Association for Consumer Research, virtual, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Behavioral Insights in Action, Behavioral Change in the Real World, course taught by Rebecca W. Hamilton, Georgetown University, 2021
  • Mazar, N. , Robitaille, N. Increasing Organ Donor Registrations with Behavioral Interventions: A Field Experiment, Better Marketing for a Better World, Forum on “Health and Well-being", 2021
  • Mazar, N. , Gopal, S. , Pankratz, N. , Murphy, S. Improving Sustainable Investing through Better ESG Measures, Energy of the Future ISE Webinar Series, Boston University, Zoom, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Nudging into Action: Increasing Organ and Tissue Donor Registration, 2021Nudges in Health Care Symposium, Penn Medicine Nudge Unit, 2021
  • Mazar, N. , Spamann, H. , Meijer, E. , Klein Selle, N. In Situ Testing and Tailored Approaches: Behavioral Ethics in the Wild, Behavioral Ethics Meets Corporate Governance: Paradigm Shift? Research Group Conference (5/18/2021), 2021
  • Mazar, N. Keynote: Improving Credit Card Debit Management Among Higher Risk (Subprime) Customers, Southern Ontario Behavioural Decision Research Conference (SOBDR), 2021
  • Mazar, N. Applying Behavioral Insight to Improve Wellbeing, London School of Economics, Executive MSc in Behavioural Science, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Behavioral Insights in Action, Weiss Lecture, Parsons School of Design, NYC, Zoom, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Rigor and Relevance, Society for Consumer Psychology, Doctoral Consortium, Zoom, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Behavioral Insights in Action: From Organ Donation to Tax Compliance, BEARxBIOrg Webinar Series, Zoom, 2021
  • Mazar, N. Choice architecture in conflicts of interest: Defaults as physical and psychological barriers to (dis)honesty, Seminar Speaker Series on the Interaction between Behavioral Ethics and Corporate Governance, Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, 2021
  • Mazar, N. , Sussman, A. Financial Decision Making and Giving, Society for Judgment and Decision Making Conference, 2020
  • Mazar, N. Dynamics of Pro-Social Behavior in Adults and Children: The consequences of giving in to vs resisting a selfish black lie, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, 2020
  • Mazar, N. The effect of payment frequency on consumers' wealth perceptions and discretionary spending, BU/MDSA Marketing Research Symposium, 2020
  • Mazar, N. , Trudel, R. , Sussman, A. , Wong, N. , Feinberg, F. , Blanchard, S. , Ordabayeva, N. , Zhao, M. , Mende, M. , Scott, M. , Hill, R. Shedding Light on the Invisibles: Extending Consumer Theories, Methods, and Insights to Include Financially Vulnerable Consumers, Association of Consumer Research (ACR) Virtual Conference, 2020
  • Mazar, N. (Dis)honesty of Honest People, Economics meets HR (BEHR) Virtual Summit Fco Reyes, 2020
  • Mazar, N. Behavioral Insights in Action - With RCTs in the field, Human Dynamics Lab Speaker Seminar, Media Lab, MIT, Cambridge, MA, 2020
  • Mazar, N. Minimalist planning prompt reduces credit card delinquency, “Industry-enabled Data Science Research”, 5th Annual BU Data Science (BUDS) Day, Boston University, Boston, 2020
    Awards and Honors
  • 2022, Finalist for H. Paul Root Award
  • 2021, McCombe Research Award, Boston University Academy
  • 2021, SSRN Top 10% of Authors by all-time downloads
  • 2020, JCP, 10% Most Downloaded Papers published in 2018-2019
  • 2020, Research mentioned in a lead article at Journal of Marketing as example for Boundary-Breaking, Marketing-Relevant Consumer Research
  • 2020, SSRN Top 10% of Authors by all-time downloads
  • 2019, IJRM Best Article Award 2018
  • 2019, SSRN Top 10% of Authors by all-time downloads
  • 2018, SSRN Top 10% of Authors by all-time downloads
  • 2017, Outstanding Research Impact Award, University of Toronto
  • 2017, SSRN Top 10% of Authors by all-time downloads
  • 2014, Poets & Quants The 40 Most Outstanding B-School Profs Under 40 In The World