Prof. Leif Nelson Honored for Pay-What-You-Want Pricing Research

Associate Professor Leif Nelson has been awarded this year’s Robert B. Cialdini Award for the Cialdinin Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology for field research whose relevance extends beyond academic social psychology.

Nelson's study, “Shared Social Responsibility: A Field Experiment in Pay-What-You-Want Pricing and Charitable Giving,” was published in Science magazine in July 2010. He co-authored the article with Assistant Professor Ayelet Gneezy and Professor Uri Gneezy, both at the University of California, San Diego’s Rady School of Management, in collaboration with Amber Brown, research scientist, Disney Research.

The award-winning paper found that when customers are allowed to pay what they want for a purchase, knowing a portion of the payment will go to charity, they become rather generous. Nelson, a member of the Haas Marketing Group, says the concept of “shared social responsibility," a term coined by the study’s authors, may provide the sustainability component often lacking in current corporate social responsibility strategies.

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Associate Professor Leif Nelson