Michael I. Norton


About Michael I. Norton - Harvard Business School Professor and Speaker on Behavioural Economics:

Michael I. Norton is the Harold M. Brierley Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, and a member of Harvard’s Behavioural Insights Group. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and English from Williams College - and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton University. Prior to joining HBS, Professor Norton was a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab and MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

Michael is the co-author of the book Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. His work has been published in academic journals including Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Psychological Science, and the Quarterly Journal of Economics, has been covered in media outlets such as the Economist, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, and has been parodied by the Onion. He has appeared on National Public Radio, CBS, Fox, and MSNBC - and written op-eds for the New York Times, Forbes, and the Los Angeles Times.

His research has twice been featured in the New York Times Magazine 'Year in Ideas' issue, in 2007 (Ambiguity Promotes Liking) - and 2009 (The Counterfeit Self). His "The IKEA Effect: When Labour Leads to Love" was featured in Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Ideas for 2009. In 2010, he won the Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology; in 2011, he won the SAGE Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Social and Personality Psychology - and in 2012, was selected for Wired Magazine’s Smart List as one of “50 People Who Will Change the World.” His TEDx talk, How to Buy Happiness, has been viewed more than 3 million times.

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What Michael I. Norton Talks About:

Professor Norton explores the effects of social norms on people’s attitudes and behaviour, addressing the key role that social factors play in shaping the preferences of individuals. His work has a particular focus on the norm of political correctness – demonstrating the impact of this norm in domains ranging from social interaction to personnel selection to the effectiveness of marketing appeals.

In the domain of behavioural economics, Professor Norton’s research investigates the psychology of investment: How investing time, labour, and money impacts how people come to value things – from products to people. One project, for example, demonstrates that people value products far beyond their market price when they assemble those products themselves – the “IKEA effect.”

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 Recent Publications

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