Who We Are



Lab Manager:
Eric Mercadante

Eric Mercadante

Eric Mercadante is a post-doctoral research scholar in Management and Organizations at NYU Stern. He received his PhD from University of British Columbia in social-personality psychology in 2023. Eric's research examines how people's personality traits (e.g., greed, narcissism) motivate them to navigate social hierarchies in different ways and how these factors lead to different emotional reactions to successful and failed status pursuits. He is also interested in the sociocultural context surrounding status striving, and he studies this topic using big-data methods including natural language studies of social media.

Faculty Coordinator: L. Taylor Phillips

Research Assistants:

Jiarui Liu


Jiarui graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, and is now a graduate student in the Psychology Master program at NYU. She is broadly interested in how human behaviors are influenced by social factors, such as social status and group identity. In her free time, Jiarui enjoys reading novels and trying out new restaurants.

Catherine Zhao







Catherine is a graduate student in the GSAS psychology program, specializing in consumer psychology. Her research interest is mainly in understanding how consumers make decisions in online markets. She hopes to practice her research skills and gain more experience in the lab. In her spare time, she enjoys swimming, making coffee, and traveling.

Yeonju Kim


Yeonju is a sophomore studying Economics at NYU College of Arts & Science. Her research interest revolves around how psychological factors, especially cultural backgrounds and personalities, affect one’s economic decisions. She aims to gain experience in decision science, cognitive psychology, and behavioral economics to that end. In her free time, she enjoys taking a walk, singing, and going to Trader Joe’s.

Saanika Banga


Saanika is a sophomore at CAS, pursuing a double major in Psychology and Economics. She wishes to find synergy between her two majors through research in consumer decision-making or motivation in workplaces. Beyond the lab, she enjoys watching animated films, dancing, and reading!

Gaytri Menon


Gaytri Menon is a senior pursuing a double major in Economics and Psychology. Her research interests are cognitive development, experimental economics, and decision-making. She is interested in bridging the gap between economic theory and real world applications. 


Recent Lab Managers:

Recent Research Assistants:

  • Kritika Venkateswaran
  • Joseph Kim
  • Demetra Nikolopoulos
  • Gabriel Sim
  • Yuliya Borodina
  • Alessandro Malave
  • Zoé Newton
  • Lee-Ann Rushlow
  • Jessica Bu
  • Yash Bulani
  • Anisha Pal
  • Alicia (Qinglan) Zheng
  • Patrick Pamatmat
  • Nikita Maneesh Dane
  • Yanyang Luo
  • Chae Park
  • Dayin Wijaya
  • Mona Yang
  • Victoria Zheng