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Sheena Iyengar

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Sheena Iyengar

Sheena S. Iyengar
Born (1969-11-29) November 29, 1969
Nationality American
Alma mater Stanford University
University of Pennsylvania
Occupation S.T. Lee Professor of Business and Director of Global Leadership Matrix
Employer Columbia Business School
Known for Academic research on Choice

Sheena S. Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business in the Management Division at Columbia Business School and the Faculty Director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center.[1] She is known for her research on choice, culture, and innovation.[2]

Early Life and Education

Sheena Iyengar was born to Sikh parents in Toronto, Canada in 1969.[3] As a child, she was diagnosed with a rare form of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease of retinal degeneration.[3]

Despite the difficulties posed by her blindness, Iyengar pursued higher education. In 1992, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics from the Wharton School and a B.A. in psychology with a minor in English from the College of Arts and Sciences. She then earned her Ph.D. in social psychology from Stanford University in 1997.[1] The following year, her dissertation “Choice and its Discontents” received the prestigious Best Dissertation Award for 1998 from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.[2][4]

Academic Career

In 1998, Iyengar joined the faculty at the Columbia Business School.[2] Her principal line of research concerns the psychology of choice, and she has been studying how people perceive and respond to choice for over two decades.[5][6][7][8] This work has earned her much recognition (in 2002, she was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Social Scientists for her studies on cultural differences in decision making) and has also attracted attention in popular media. Her research has been cited in such periodicals as Fortune and Time magazines, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as on television programs such as The Today Show and The Daily Show. Her award-winning book, The Art of Choosing, which explores the mysteries of choice in everyday life, was listed in’s top ten books in Business & Investing of 2010 and shortlisted for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.[2]

In 2011, Iyengar was named a member of the Thinkers50, a global ranking of the top 50 management thinkers.[2] She was recently awarded the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Core Teaching from Columbia Business School and chosen as one of the World’s Best B-School Professors by Poets and Quants.[4]

Published works

  • Eternal Quest for the Best: Sequential (vs. Simultaneous) Option Presentation Undermines Choice Commitment (Forthcoming 2012)
  • The Discriminating Consumer: Product Proliferation and Willingness to Pay for Quality (2012)
  • Perceiving Freedom Givers: Effects of Granting Decision Latitude on Personality and Leadership Perceptions (2011)
  • Born to Choose: The Origins and Value of the Need for Control (2010)
  • Choice Proliferation, Simplicity Seeking, and Asset Allocation (2010)
  • Order in Product Customization Decisions: Evidence from Field Experiments (2010)
  • Medium of Exchange Matters: What's Fair for Goods Is Unfair for Money (2010)
  • The Art of Choosing (2010)
  • Tragic Choices: Autonomy and Emotional Response to Medical Decisions (2009)
  • The Mere Categorization Effect: How the Presence of Categories Increases Choosers' Perceptions of Assortment Variety and Outcome Satisfaction (2006)
  • Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence from a Speed Dating Experiment (2006)
  • Doing Better but Feeling Worse: Looking for the "Best" Job Undermines Satisfaction (2006)
  • How Much Choice is Too Much? Contributions to 401(k) Retirement Plans (2004)
  • The Psychological Pleasure and Pain of Choosing: When People Prefer Choosing at the Cost of Subsequent Outcome Satisfaction (2004)
  • When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? (2000)
  • Rethinking the Value of Choice: A Cultural Perspective on Intrinsic Motivation (1999)
  • Optimism and Fundamentalism (1993)

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c d e
  3. ^ a b Iyengar, Sheena (2010). The Art of Choosing. Twelve. ISBN 0-446-50410-6
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Iyengar, S. S., & DeVoe, S.E. (2003). Rethinking the Value of Choice: A Cultural Perspective on Intrinsic Motivation. In Murphy-Berman, V. & Berman, J. (Eds.). Cross-Cultural Differences in Perspectives on the Self, 49, 129-174. London: University of Nebraska Press.
  6. ^ Iyengar, S. S., & Lepper, M. (2000). When Choice is Demotivating: Can One Desire Too Much of a Good Thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, 995-1006.
  7. ^ Botti, S., Orfali, K., & Iyengar, S.S. (2009). Tragic Choices: Autonomy and Emotional Response to Medical Decisions. Journal of Consumer Research, 36 (3), 337-352.
  8. ^ Iyengar, S.S., Wells, R.E., & Schwartz, B. (2006). Doing Better but Feeling Worse: Looking for the "Best" Job Undermines Satisfaction. Psychological Science, 17 (2), 143-150.

External links

  • Sheena Iyengar's Personal Website
  • Sheena Iyengar's Columbia Homepage
  • The Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business at Columbia Business School
  • Sheena Iyengar on "The Multiple Choice Problem" Youtube Playlist
  • Sheena Iyengar discusses her book, The Art of Choosing Youtube Video
  • Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing, TED Talk
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