Craig Fox

Profile photo of Craig Fox
“Most decisions — from which investment to choose to how to treat a disease to whether or not to go to war — must be made without knowing in advance how they will turn out. Successful decisions under uncertainty depend on our minimizing our ignorance, accepting inherent randomness and knowing the difference between the two.”
 

Harold Williams Chair and Professor of Management

(310) 206-3403

About

 

Biography

Craig Fox is the Harold Williams Chair and Professor of Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, with joint appointments as professor of psychology at the UCLA College of Letters and Sciences and professor of medicine in the UCLA Geffen School. Fox co-founded the Behavioral Science & Policy Association and is co-editor of its flagship journal, Behavioral Science & Policy (BSP). He is also the co-director of the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Behavioral Decision Making at UCLA.

Fox’s research focuses on decision behavior, especially under conditions of risk and uncertainty. He uses a variety of research methods, including surveys and lab experiments, field studies and analysis of archival data, and neuroimaging. His research has been published in top journals of management, psychology, economics, law, neuroscience and general science.

Much of Fox’s work entails application of behavioral economics and social psychology to public and private sector policymaking. “The success of nearly all public and private sector policies hinges on the behavior of individuals, groups and organizations,” says Fox. This is where scientific research comes in, he says: “Policymakers often are unaware of insights from behavioral science that may help them craft and execute more effective and efficient policies.” For instance, in a recent set of projects Fox and his colleagues applied behavioral techniques to “nudge” physicians to reduce their tendency to over-prescribe antibiotics, which contributes to the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs”. “Our research team has developed several new approaches to reducing unnecessary antibiotic prescribing, drawing on insights from behavioral economics and social psychology,” Fox wrote in the New York Times. “These disciplines acknowledge that people do not always behave rationally and are strongly motivated by social incentives to seek approval from others and compare favorably to their peers.” Techniques used in his most recent study almost completely eliminated inappropriate prescribing.

Fox joined the UCLA faculty in 2003 after six years at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He teaches MBA and executive courses in managerial decision-making, negotiation, leadership, strategy and dynamic management, as well as Ph.D. courses in decision-making.

 

Education

Ph.D., M.A. Psychology, 1990–94 Stanford University

B.A. Economics and Psychology, 1989, University of California at Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude

 

Publications

Tannenbaum, D., Fox, C.R., & Ülkümen, G. (in press). Judgment extremity and accuracy under epistemic versus aleatory uncertainty. Management Science, forthcoming.

Ülkümen, G., Fox, C.R., & Malle, B.F. (in press). On the dual nature of uncertainty: Cues from natural language. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, forthcoming.

Fox, C., Erner, C., & Walters, D. (2016). Decision under risk: From the field to the lab and back. In G. Keren & G. Wu (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making,Blackwell.

Meeker, D., Linder, J.A., Fox, C.R., Friedberg, M.W., Persell, S.D., Goldstein, N.J., Knight, T.K., Hay, J.W. & Doctor, J.N. (2016). Effect of behavioral interventions on inappropriate antibiotic prescribing among primary care practices:A randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 315, 562-570.

Fox, C.R. & Sitkin, S. (2015). Bridging the divide between behavioral science and policy. Behavioral Science & Policy, 1, 1-12.

Tannenbaum, D., Doctor, J.N., Persell, S.D., Friedberg, M.W., Meeker, D., Friesema, B.A., Goldstein, N.J., Linder, J.A. & Fox, C.R. (2015). Nudging physician decisions by partitioning the order set: Results of a vignette-based study. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 30, 298-304. doi:10.1007/s11606-014-3051-2.

Linder, J.A., Doctor, J.N., Friedberg, M.W., Reyes, N.H., Birks, C., Meeker, D. & Fox, C.R. (2014). Time of day and the decision to prescribe antibiotics. JAMA Internal Medicine. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5225.

Fox, C., Erner, C., & Walters, D. (forthcoming). Decision under risk: From the field to the lab and back. In G. Keren & G. Wu (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making,Blackwell.

Meeker, D., et al. (2014) Nudging guideline-concordant antibiotic prescribing: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Intern Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.14191

De Palma, A., et al. (2014). Beware of black swans and do not ignore white ones? [Under publication review].

Fox, C.R., & Poldrack, R.A. (2014). Prospect theory and the brain. In P. Glimcher & E. Fehr (Eds.), Handbook of neuroeconomics (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Elsevier.

Barkley-Levenson, E., & Fox, C. R. (2013). The surprising relationship between indecisiveness and impulsivity. Working paper.

Fernbach, P.,M., Rogers, T., Fox, C.R., & Sloman, S.A. (2013). Political extremism is supported by an illusion of understanding. Psychological Science, 24, 939-946.

Hadar, L., Sood, S., & Fox, C.R. (2013). Subjective knowledge in consumer financial decision making. Journal of Marketing Research, 50, 303-316.

Mogler, B.K., Shu, S.B., Fox, C.R., Goldstein, N.J., Victor, R.G., Escarce, Jose J. & Shapiro, M.F. (2013). Can new tools from behavioral economics and social psychology help control chronic disease? Journal of General Internal Medicine, 28. 711-718.

Persell, S.D., Friedberg, M.W., Meeker, D., Linder, J.A., Fox, C.R., Goldstein, N.J., Shah, P.D., Knight, T.K., & Doctor, J.N. (2013). Use of behavioral economics and social psychology to improve treatment of acute respiratory infections (BEARI): rationale and design of a cluster randomized control trial [1RC4AG039115-01] – study protocol and baseline practice and provider characteristics. BMC Infectious Diseases, 13:290, doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-290

Rogers, T., Fox, C.R., & Gerber, A.S. (2013). Rethinking why people vote: Voting as dynamic social expression. In Shafir, E. (Ed.), The behavioral foundations of policy. New York, NY: Russell Sage.

Sonnemann, U., Camerer, C.F., Fox, C.R., and Langer, T. (2013)./, Psychological biases affect economic market prices. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 11779-11784.

Fox, C.R., and Levav, J. The Construction of absolute versus relative belief. Working Paper, UCLA Anderson School, Revise & Resubmit, Psychological Review.

Johnson, E.J., Shu, S., Dellaert, B.G.C., Fox, C., Goldstein, D.G., Hauble, G., Larrick, R.P., Payne, J., Peters, E., Schkade, D., Wansink, B., and Weber, E.U. (2012). Beyond Nudges: Tools of a Choice Architecture. Marketing Letters, 23, 487-504.

Schonberg, T., Fox, C.R., Mumford, J.A., Congdon, E., Trepel, C. and Poldrack, R.A. (2012). Decreasing ventromedial prefrontal cortex activity during sequential risk-taking: An fMRI investigation of the Balloon Analogue Risk Task. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 6:80, doi: 10.3389/fnins.2012.00080.

Staats, B.R., Milkman, K.L., and Fox, C.R. (2012). The team scaling fallacy: Underestimating the declining efficiency of larger teams. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 118, 132-142.

Bardolet, D., Fox, C.R. and Lovallo, D. (2011). Corporate capital allocation: A behavioral perspective. Strategic Management Journal, 32, 1465-1483.

Fox, C.R., and Tannenbaum, D. (2011). The elusive search for stable risk preferences. Frontiers in Psychology, 2:298. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00298

Fox, C.R. and Ülkümen, G. (2011). Distinguishing Two Dimensions of Uncertainty. Chapter 1 in Brun, W., Keren, G., Kirkebøen, G. & Montgomery, H. (Eds.). Perspectives on Thinking, Judging, and Decision Making. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Powell, T.C., Lovallo, D., and Fox, C.R. (2011). Behavioral strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 32, 1369-1386.

Schonberg, T., Fox, C.R., and Poldrack, R.A. (2011). Mind the gap: Bridging economic and naturalistic risk-taking with cognitive neuroscience. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 15, 11-19.

Bardolet, D., Lovallo, D., Rumelt, R., and Fox, C.R. The relative size effect on internal capital markets. Working paper, Bocconi University.

Hadar, L. and Fox, C.R. (2009). Information asymmetries in decisions from description versus decisions from experience. Judgment and Decision Making, 4, 317-325.

Fox, C.R., and Poldrack, R.A. (2008). Prospect theory and the brain. Chapter in Glimcher, P., Camerer, C., Fehr, E. & Poldrack, R. (Eds). Handbook of Neuroeconomics. New York: Elsevier.

Morris, M.W., Carranza, E., and Fox, C.R. (2008). Mistaken identity: Activating conservative political identities induces “conservative” financial decisions. Psychological Science, 19, 1154-1160.

Bearden, J.N, Wallsten, T.S., and Fox, C.R. (2007). Contrasting stochastic and support theory explanations for subadditivity. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 51, 229-241.

Tom, S., Fox, C.R., Trepel, C. and Poldrack, R.A. (2007). The neural basis of loss aversion in decision making under risk. Science, 315, 515-518.

Fox, C.R. (2006). The availability heuristic in the classroom: How soliciting more criticism can boost your course ratings. Judgment and Decision Making, 1, 86-90.

Fox, C.R. and Hadar, L. (2006). Decisions from experience = sampling error + prospect theory: Reconsidering Hertwig, Barron, Weber & Erev (2004). Judgment and Decision Making, 1, 159-161.

See, K.E., Fox, C.R., and Rottenstreich, Y. (2006). Between ignorance and truth: Partition dependence and learning in judgment under uncertainty. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, 32, 1385-1402.

Fox, C.R. and Clemen, R.T. (2005). Subjective probability assessment in decision analysis: Partition dependence and bias toward the ignorance prior. Management Science, 51, 1417-1432. (Named Best Paper in Decision Analysis 2005, INFORMS).

Fox, C.R., Bardolet, D., and Lieb, D. (2005). Partition dependence in decision analysis, managerial decision making, and consumer choice. Chapter in R. Zwick, R. & A. Rapoport (Eds.), Experimental Business Research. Volume III (Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer).

Fox, C.R., Ratner, R.K., and Lieb, D. (2005). How subjective grouping of options influences choice and allocation: Diversification bias and the phenomenon of partition dependence. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 134, 538-551.

Langer, T., and Fox, C.R. Bias in allocation among risky and uncertain prospects: Partition-dependence, unit-dependence, and procedure-dependence. Working paper, University of Muenster.

Trepel, C., Fox, C.R., and Poldrack, R.A.. (2005). Prospect theory on the brain? Toward a cognitive neuroscience of decision under risk. Cognitive Brain Research, 23, 34-50.

Fox, C.R. and Levav, J. (2004). Partition-edit-count: Naïve extensional reasoning in conditional probability judgment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 133, 626-642.

Sloman, S., Rottenstreich, Y., Wisniewski, E., Hadjichristidis, C., and Fox, C.R. (2004). Typical versus atypical unpacking and superadditive probability judgment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory & Cognition, 30, 573-582.

See, K.E., C. Heath, and Fox, C.R. (2003) Motivating individual performance with challenging goals: Is it better to stretch a little or a lot? Working Paper, New York University.

Fox, C.R., and Rottenstreich, Y. (2003). Partition priming in judgment under uncertainty. Psychological Science, 14, 195-200.

Fox, C.R. and See, K.E. (2003). Belief and preference in decision under uncertainty. Chapter in D. Hardman and L. Macchi (Eds.), Thinking: Current Perspectives on Reasoning, Judgment, and Decision Making (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley).

Fox, C.R. and Birke, R. (2002). Forecasting trial outcomes: Lawyers assign higher probabilities to scenarios that are described in greater detail. Law and Human Behavior, 26, 159-173.

Fox, C.R., and Weber, M. (2002). Ambiguity aversion, comparative ignorance, and decision context. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 88, 476-498.

Thompson, L.L., and Fox, C.R. (2001). Negotiation within and between organizations: Levels of analysis. Chapter in M.E. Turner (Ed.), Groups at Work: Advances in Theory and Research (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum).

Fox, C.R., and Levav, J. (2000). Familiarity bias and belief reversal in relative likelihood judgment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 82, 268-292.

Birke, R., and Fox, C.R. (1999).Psychological principles in negotiating civil settlements. Harvard Negotiation Law Review, 4, 1-57. (Selected as 1999 Professional Article of the Year, Center for Public Resources Institute for Dispute Resolution).

Fox, C.R. (1999). Strength of evidence, judged probability, and choice under uncertainty. Cognitive Psychology, 38, 167-189.

Moore, D.A., Kurtzberg, T., Fox , C.R. and Bazerman, M. (1999). Positive illusions and forecasting errors in mutual fund investment decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2, 95-114.

Fox, C.R., and Irwin, J.R. (1998). The role of context in the communication of uncertain beliefs. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 20, 57-70.

Fox, C.R., and Tversky, A. (1998). A Belief-based account of decision under uncertainty. Management Science, 44, 879-895. Reprinted in D. Kahneman & A. Tversky, Eds. (2000). Choices, Values, and Frames. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Reprinted in E.Shafir (Ed). (2004). Preference, Belief, and Similarity: Selected Writings of Amos Tversky. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Fox, C.R., B.A. Rogers, and Tversky, A. (1996). Options traders exhibit subadditive decision weights. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 13, 5-17.

Fox, C.R., and Tversky, A. (1995). Ambiguity aversion and comparative ignorance. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110, 585-603. Reprinted in D. Kahneman & A. Tversky, Eds. (2000). Choices, Values, and Frames. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Reprinted in E.Shafir (Ed). (2004). Preference, Belief, and Similarity: Selected Writings of Amos Tversky. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Tversky, A., and Fox, C.R. (1995). Weighing risk and uncertainty. Psychological Review, 102, 269-283. Reprinted in D. Kahneman & A. Tversky, Eds. (2000). Choices, Values, and Frames. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Reprinted in E.Shafir (Ed). (2004). Preference, Belief, and Similarity: Selected Writings of Amos Tversky. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Fox, C.R., and Kahneman, D. (1992). Correlations, causes, and heuristics in surveys of life satisfaction. Social Indicators Research, 28, 221-234.

 

Video

Craig Fox: Why People Do What They Do
Fighting Superbugs By Getting Doctors to Change Their Behavior

Professor Craig Fox and a team of researchers devised an ingenious way to prevent overprescription of aggressive antibiotics.

TED Week 2013: Craig Fox on Whether Knowledge Is Power

UCLA Anderson professor Craig Fox presents research findings at UCLA Anderson's TED Week Campfire. The TED Week Campfire is the capstone event of UCLA Anderson TED Week and features students and faculty presenting TED-style talks to their peers.

Brain Imaging Sheds New Light on Human Risk Responses

Professor Craig Fox looks at findings at UCLA's Laboratory of Neural Imaging.