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Adam Alter

Adam Alter

Joined Stern 2009

Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Tisch Hall
40 West Fourth Street, 811
New York, NY 10012

E-mail aalter@stern.nyu.edu
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Biography

Adam Alter is an Associate Professor of Marketing at New York University's Stern School of Business, with an affiliated appointment in the New York University Psychology Department.

Professor Alter's research focuses on judgment and decision-making and social psychology, with a particular interest in the sometimes surprising effects of subtle cues in the environment on human cognition and behavior. His research has been published in, among other journals, Psychological Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.Professor Alter's studies have been featured on CNBC, PBS and BBC Radio, and in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Economist and Newsweek.

Professor Alter is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave, which examines how features of the world shape our thoughts and feelings beyond our control. His second book, Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked, explores why so many people today are addicted to technology-driven behaviors (social media, emailing, work, videogames etc.), and how we might address such behavioral addictions. Irresistible will be published in early 2017. He has also written for the New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic, WIRED, Slate, Huffington Post, and Popular Science, among other publications.

Professor Alter received his B.Sc. (Honors Class 1, University Medal) in Psychology from the University of New South Wales and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University, where he held the Charlotte Elizabeth Procter Honorific Dissertation Fellowship and a Fellowship in the Woodrow Wilson Society of Scholars.

Research Interests

  • Judgment and decision-making
  • Social psychology
  • Consumer behavior
  • Cultural psychology
  • Fluency and metacognition

Courses Taught

  • Behavioral Applications in Marketing (Ph.D. Seminar)

Academic Background

Ph.D., Psychology, 2009
Princeton University

M.A., Psychology, 2006
Princeton University

B.S., Psychology, 2004
University of New South Wales

Awards & Appointments

 
Society of Judgment and Decision Making Runner Up, Hillel Einhorn Young Investigator Award 2010

Selected Publications

Alter, A. L. (2013)
The benefits of cognitive disfluency.
Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 437-442.

Sussman, A. B., & Alter, A. L. (2012)
The exception is the rule: Underestimating and overspending on exceptional expenses.
Journal of Consumer Research, 39, 800-814.

Sharma, E., & Alter, A. L. (2012)
Financial deprivation prompts consumers to seek scarce goods.
Journal of Consumer Research, 39, 545-560.

Alter, A. L., Oppenheimer, D. M., & Zemla, J. C. (2010)
Missing the trees for the forest: A construal level theory account of the Illusion of Explanatory Depth.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 436-451.

Alter, A. L., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2009)
Suppressing secrecy through metacognitive ease: Cognitive fluency encourages self-disclosure.
Psychological Science, 20, 1414-1420.

Alter, A. L., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2009)
Uniting the tribes of fluency to form a metacognitive nation.
Personality and Social Psychology Review, 13, 219-235.

Alter, A. L. & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2008)
Effects of fluency on psychological distance and mental construal (or why New York is a large city, but New York is a civilized jungle).
Psychological Science, 19, 161-167.

Alter, A. L., Oppenheimer, D. M., Epley, N, & Eyre, R. N. (2007)
Overcoming intuition: Metacognitive difficulty activates analytic reasoning.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 136, 569-576.

Alter, A. L., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2006)
Predicting short-term stock fluctuations by using processing fluency.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 9369-9372.

Contact Adam Alter for additional papers:
aalter@stern.nyu.edu

Related News & Research

Stern Faculty Offer Insights on the 2016 Presidential Election

Professor Adam Alter's joint research on ages ending in nine is highlighted

Professor Adam Alter explains how certain packaging of cigarettes can deter smoking

Professor Adam Alter shares his pick for history's most influential feud

Professor Adam Alter discusses the impact of fluent thinking

Professor Adam Alter underscores the importance of tracking irregular purchases when budgeting

Professor Adam Alter addresses what customer reviews mean these days

Professor Adam Alter discusses the influence of viral food dishes on social media

In an op-ed, Professor Adam Alter explains why Donald Trump's detractors won't likely move to Canada if he is elected

Here’s why you won’t really move to Canada if Trump wins in November

Professor Adam Alter explains how the wording of luxury real estate listings can impact sales

In an op-ed, Professor Adam Alter examines the psychology behind ultramarathon running

The Spiritual Life of the Long-Distance Runner

Professor Adam Alter explains the benefits of having a unique name

Professor Adam Alter discusses the calming effect of colors, from his book, "Drunk Tank Pink"

At L2's Sold conference, Professor Adam Alter identified five factors influencing consumer behavior

Professor Adam Alter explains the appeal of customizable merchandise

Professor Adam Alter explains the connection between a movie's title and its success, from his research and book, "Drunk Tank Pink"

Professor Adam Alter's research on pronounceable names as it relates to Donald Trump is discussed

Professor Adam Alter's research on the connection between pronounceable names and status at work is highlighted

Areas of Expertise

Industry

  • Advertising
  • Consulting

Marketing

  • Advertising/Marketing/PR Strategies
  • Consumer Psychology/Behavior
  • Digital Marketing/Advertising
  • Market Research
  • New Product Development
  • Pricing
  • Promotions