Doctoral Student

Kate Barasz

Kate is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Marketing Unit at Harvard Business School.

Her broad research interests are in judgment and decision-making, and she is currently focusing on the mistaken inferences we make while observing other people’s choices.  In one working paper, Kate and her coauthors look at the incorrect conclusions we draw after seeing someone choose between two dissimilar goods.  Their results show that observers erroneously assume that the unchosen, dissimilar item was disliked and actively rejected; in contrast, these same observers readily acknowledge their own ability to simultaneously like dissimilar things, and do not systematically reject dissimilar things for themselves.  This mistaken belief—that dissimilarity equals dislike—leads to a distinct self-other gap in preference predictions.

Kate is also interested in presentation and framing effects that alter choices and behavior.  More generally, she hopes to apply some of her research to a medical decision-making context.

Kate received her A.B. in Economics and Public Policy Studies from Duke University in 2006.  After graduating, she worked at Bain & Company as a management consultant.