Suzanne Shu’s research investigates how individuals form judgments and make decisions in uncertain environments. She is especially interested in judgments and decisions that occur over long timeframes. The types of decisions analyzed in her research include consumer self-control problems and consumption timing issues, with important implications for both negative behaviors (such as procrastination) and positive behaviors (such as saving). A central application of her research is in explaining how consumers make decisions about financial products such as mortgages, annuities, personal savings, and investments. Her expertise in this area has led to presentations at industry and public policy conferences (Behavioral Finance Forum, Tobin Project), membership in working groups on consumer finance at the Sage and Sloan Foundations and the Federal Reserve Board, and financial support by the Sloan Foundation to pursue research on annuity choice.
Professor Shu received a PhD from the University of Chicago in 2004, where her studies included behavioral economics, decision sciences, and marketing. Her dissertation research on consumers’ propensity to delay certain types of consumption won awards from the Marketing Science Institute and the State Farm Companies Foundation. She also holds a degree in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. In addition to her work in academia, Professor Shu has worked as a product line manager, an IT project manager, and as a management consultant in sales force design. She also consults for financial services companies and insurance providers on behavioral influences on consumers’ financial decisions.
She has publications in several top journals as well as a chapter on affect and Prospect Theory published in The Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making. Before arriving at UCLA, Professor Shu taught marketing and decision making courses to MBA students at the University of Chicago, Southern Methodist University, and INSEAD.