Anuj Shah

Associate Professor (starting Summer 2024)

Ph.D., Princeton University


My research uses cognitive and social psychology as a lens into social issues, such as poverty, crime, and violence. I try to develop this perspective using different methods. I use lab experiments to examine the mechanisms underlying social phenomena, and I use field experiments to test interventions based on an understanding of those mechanisms.

For example, in one line of work I consider the role that attention plays in shaping decision-making among people facing poverty. And in other research, I study the role that automaticity plays in driving social conflict (whether between youths or between police officers and civilians), with a focus on designing and evaluating programs that mitigate conflict by reducing automaticity. And ultimately, I am interested in how this lens can inform public policy.

Selected Publications

Shah, A. K., & LaForest, M. L. (2022) Knowledge about others reduces one's own sense of anonymity. Nature, 603, 297-301.

Fishbane, A., Ouss, A., & Shah, A. K. (2020). Behavioral nudges reduce failure to appear for court. Science, 370, eabb6591.

Heller, S. B., Shah, A. K., Guryan, J., Ludwig, J., Mullainathan, S., & Pollack, H. (2017). Thinking fast and slow? Some field experiments to reduce crime and dropout in Chicago. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 132, 1-54.

Shah, A. K., Shafir, E., & Mullainathan, S. (2015). Scarcity frames value. Psychological Science, 28, 402-412.

Shah, A. K., Mullainathan, S., & Shafir, E. (2012). Some consequences of having too little. Science, 338, 682-685.