Bradley Turnwald, PhD
Welcome! I’m a Behavioral Scientist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. At the Center for Decision Research, I study the psychosocial forces that shape people’s beliefs, motivation, and behaviors. Specifically, I use insights from social psychology to design environments that motivate consumers to make healthier choices.
I explore these questions in the context of healthy eating and health risk communication. For example, why do many people believe that healthy foods are unappealing, and can we counteract such beliefs to increase healthy choices? Does receiving personalized genetic information actually motivate healthy behaviors, and what are the consequences of learning one’s risk?
I use creative methods to answer these questions, including analysis of descriptive food language from restaurant menus and popular movie characters, re-labeling vegetables to emphasize flavor and enjoyment in real-world settings, and creating an experimental genetic testing service to measure psychological, behavioral, and physiological consequences of receiving health risk information.
Take a look at my research and publications pages to learn more about the work that my colleagues and I are doing.
My research has won awards such as the NIH Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator Award and the Social Personality Health Network Outstanding Research Award. My findings are published in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Nature Human Behaviour, Psychological Science, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Health Psychology, and featured in popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR. You can access my data sets, preregistrations, toolkits, and other resources on my Resources page.
I earned my PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford University in 2019, where I was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and a Regina Casper Stanford Graduate Fellow. Prior to that, I earned my MS in Biology from Stanford University in 2015 and my BA in Zoology from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2013, where I was a Goldwater Scholar.