Neal Roese
Neal Roese

John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing
Professor of Psychology, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences (Courtesy)

Print Overview

Neal Roese is a globally recognized theorist and expert in the psychology of judgment and decision-making. His research examines basic cognitive processes underlying choice, focusing on how people think about decision options, make predictions about the future, and revise understandings of the past. He is the John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and is jointly appointed as Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University. He teaches MBA, PhD, and executive education audiences about the psychology of decision making, consumer behavior, and brand strategy.

Trained as a social psychologist, Professor Roese has published over 80 scholarly articles on research exploring biases in memory and judgment, emotion, consumer behavior, and legal decision making. His research has appeared in the leading scholarly journals of social psychology and marketing, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Psychological Bulletin, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Journal of Consumer Research, and Journal of Consumer Psychology.

He is widely recognized as a leading expert on hindsight bias, counterfactual thinking, and the emotion of regret, and his 2005 book If Only summarized research and insights from the scholarly study of emotion and decision bias. Earlier, his 1995 book, What Might Have Been: The Social Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking, co-edited with James Olson, set the agenda for years of research on counterfactual thinking. Over two decades, his research has been supported by federal grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada).

A former Associate Editor of the journal, Social Cognition, Professor Roese regularly performs panel and external assessments for the National Science Foundation, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), and the Israel Science Foundation. Professor Roese currently serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Management, Psychology and Marketing, Psychological Inquiry, and Social Cognition. Professor Roese is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and was an Associate of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In addition to his scholarly research, Professor Roese has served as a consultant and expert witness on legal cases involving intellectual property rights and hindsight bias. His insights have received wide media coverage; recent appearances include CBS News, NPRNew York Times, Guardian, Chicago Tribune, and the Harvard Business Review.

Professor Roese received his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Western Ontario (Canada).

Areas of Expertise
Consumer Decision-Making
Group Decision-Making
Intergroup Behavior

Print Vita
PhD, 1993, University of Western Ontario, Canada
MA, 1990, University of Manitoba, Canada
BSc, 1987, University of British Columbia, Canada

Academic Positions
John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Marketing, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2013-present
Professor, Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2009-2013
Professor, Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, 2009-present
Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005-2009
Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2002-2005
Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Canada, 2000-2002
Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, 1994-2000
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1993-1994

Honors and Awards
Fellow, Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Editorial Positions
Editorial Board, Social Cognition, 2016
Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2012-2016
Editorial Board, Journal of Management, 2011-Present
Guest Editor, Psychology and Marketing, 2000-2001
Editorial Board, Psychology and Marketing, 2005-Present
Editorial Board, Psychological Inquiry, 2002-Present
Editorial Board, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2000-2016
Associate Editor, Social Cognition, 2008-2010
Editorial Board, Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2007-2010
Editorial Board, Social Cognition, 2005-2008
Editorial Board, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 1998-2001
Editorial Board, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition, 1996-2012

Print Research
Research Interests
Judgment and Decision-Making; Counterfactual Reasoning; Regret; Hindsight Bias; Causal Inference

Roese, Neal, Rachel Smallman and Kai Epstude. 2017. Do episodic counterfactual thoughts focus on personally controllable action?: The role of self-initiation.. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 73: 14-23.
Roese, Neal and Kai Epstude. 2017. The functional theory of counterfactual thinking: New evidence, new controversies, new insights.. Advances in experimental social psychology. 56: 1-79.
Epstude, Kai, Anika Scholl and Neal Roese. 2016. Prefactual thoughts: Mental simulations about what might happen. Review of General Psychology. 20(1): 48-56.
Hershfield, Hal and Neal Roese. 2015. Dual payoff scenario warnings on credit card statements elicit suboptimal payment decisions.. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 25(1): 15-27.
Shteynberg, Garriy, J. B. Hirsch, Evan Apfelbaum, J.T. Larsen, Adam D. Galinsky and Neal Roese. 2014. Feeling more together: Group attention intensifies emotion. Emotion. 14(6): 1102-1114.
Hamilton, Rebecca, Zachary G. Arens and Neal Roese. 2014. Consumer substitution decisions: An integrative framework. Marketing Letters. 25(3): 305-317.
Ma, Jingjing and Neal Roese. 2014. The maximizing mindset. Journal of Consumer Research. 41(1): 71-92.
Smallman, Rachel, Brittney Becker and Neal Roese. 2014. Preferences for expressing preferences: People prefer finer evaluative distinctions for liked than disliked objects. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 52(1): 25-31.
Blair, Sean and Neal Roese. 2013. Balancing the basket: The role of shopping basket composition in embarrassment. Journal of Consumer Research. 40(4): 676-691.
Ma, Jingjing and Neal Roese. 2013. The countability effect: Comparative versus experiential reactions to reward distributions. Journal of Consumer Research. 39: 1219-1233.
Morrison, Mike, Kai Epstude and Neal Roese. 2012. Life regrets and the need to belong. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 3(6): 675-681.
Roese, Neal and Kathleen Vohs. 2012. Hindsight bias. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 7(5): 411-426.
Epstude, Kai and Neal Roese. 2011. When goal pursuit fails: The functions of counterfactual thought in goal in intention formation. Social Psychology. 42: 19-27.
Fessel, Florian and Neal Roese. 2011. Hindsight bias, visual aids, and legal decision making: Timing is everything. Social Psychology and Personality Compass. 5/4: 180-193.
Morrison, Mike and Neal Roese. 2011. Regrets of the typical American: Findings from a nationally representative sample. Social Psychological and Personality Science. 2(6): 576-583.
Epstude, Kai and Neal Roese. 2010. Functional aspects of global versus local processing: Relations among the structure and content of goals, counterfactuals, and regrets. Psychological Inquiry. 21: 209-212.
Kray, Laura J., Linda H. George, Katie A. Liljenquist, Adam Galinsky, Philip Tetlock and Neal Roese. 2010. From what might have been to what must have been: Counterfactual thinking creates meaning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 98(1): 106-118.
Fessel, Florian, Kai Epstude and Neal Roese. 2009. Hindsight bias redefined: It's about time. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. 110: 56-64.
Hur, Taekyun, Neal Roese and Jae-Eun Namkoong. 2009. Regrets in the East and West: Role of intrapersonal versus interpersonal norms. Asian Journal of Social Psychology. 12: 151-156.
Roese, Neal. 2009. (Not so) positive illusions. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 32: 526.
Roese, Neal and Eyal Amir. 2009. Speculations on human-android interaction in the near and distant future. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 4: 429-434.
Roese, Neal, Kai Epstude, Florian Fessel, Mike Morrison, Rachel Smallman, Amy Summerville, Adam Galinsky and Suzanne C. Segerstrom. 2009. Repetitive regret, depression, and anxiety: Findings from a nationally representative survey. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. 28: 671-688.
Roese, Neal and Mike Morrison. 2009. The psychology of counterfactual thinking. Historical Social Research. 34: 16-26.
Smallman, Rachel and Neal Roese. 2009. Counterfactual thinking facilitates behavioral intentions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 45: 845-852.
Smallman, Rachel and Neal Roese. 2009. Valence-dependent self-scruitiny in judgments of event impact. Social Cognition. 27: 834-846.
Epstude, Kai and Neal Roese. 2008. The functional theory of counterfactual thinking. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 12: 168-192.
Roese, Neal, Sohee Park, Rachel Smallman and Crystal Gibson. 2008. Schizophrenia involves impairment in the activation of intentions by counterfactual thinking. Schizophrenia Research. 103: 343-344.
Saffrey, Colleen, Neal Roese and Amy Summerville. 2008. Praise for regret: People value regret above other negative emotions. Motivation and Emotion. 32: 46-54.
Smallman, Rachel and Neal Roese. 2008. Preference invites categorization. Psychological Science. 19: 1228-1232.
Summerville, Amy and Neal Roese. 2008. Dare to compare: Fact-based versus simulation-based comparison in daily life. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 44: 664-671.
Summerville, Amy and Neal Roese. 2008. Self-report measures of individual differences in regulatory focus: A cautionary note. Journal of Research in Personality. 42: 247-254.
Epstude, Kai and Neal Roese. 2007. Beyond rationality: Counterfactual thinking and behavior regulation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. 30: 457-458.
Roese, Neal. 2007. Hätte ich doch...! Warum Reue ein nützliches Gefühl ist [If only...! Why regret is a useful emotion]. Psychologie Heute.: 20-25.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 2007. Better, stronger, faster: Self-serving judgement, affect regulation, and the optimal viligence hypothesis. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2: 124-141.
Roese, Neal, Amy Summerville and Florian Fessel. 2007. Regret and behavior: Comment on Zeelenberg and Pieters. Journal of Consumer Psychology. 17: 25-28.
Burrus, Jeremy and Neal Roese. 2006. Long ago it was meant to be: The interplay between time, construal and fate beliefs. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 32: 1050-1058.
Chen, Jing, Chi-yue Chiu, Neal Roese, Kim-Pong Tam and IvyYee-Man Lau. 2006. Culture and counterfactuals: On the importance of life domains. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. 37: 75-84.
Roese, Neal, Florian Fessel, Amy Summerville, Justin Kruger and Michael A. Dilich. 2006. The propensity effect: When foresight trumps hindsight. Psychological Science. 17: 305-310.
Roese, Neal, Ginger Pennington, Jill Coleman, Maria Janicki, Norman P Li and Douglas T. Kenrick. 2006. Sex differences in regret: All for love or some for lust?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 32: 770-780.
Roese, Neal and Amy Summerville. 2005. What we regret most ... and why. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 31: 1273-1285.
Pennington, Ginger and Neal Roese. 2003. Regulatory focus and temporal perspective. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 39: 563-576.
Roese, Neal. 2000. Counterfactual thinking and marketing. Psychology & Marketing. 17: 277-280.
Hooker, Christine, Neal Roese and Sohee Park. 2000. Impoverished counterfactual thinking is associated with schizophrenia. Psychiatry. 63: 326-335.
Roese, Neal, Taekyun Hur and Ginger Pennington. 1999. Counterfactual thinking and regulatory focus. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 77: 1109-1120.
Roese, Neal. 1999. Counterfactual thinking and decision making. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. 6: 570-578.
Roese, Neal and Michael W. Morris. 1999. Impression valence constrains social explanations: The case of discounting versus conjunction effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 77: 437-448.
Quinn, Kimberly A., Neal Roese, Ginger Pennington and James M. Olson. 1999. The personal/group discrimination discrepancy: The role of informational complexity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 25: 1430-1440.
Roese, Neal, Jeffrey W. Sherman and Taekyun Hur. 1998. Direction of comparison asymmetries in relational judgment: The role of linguistic norms. Social Cognition. 16: 353-362.
Roese, Neal and Taekyun Hur. 1997. Affective determinants of counterfactual thinking. Social Cognition. 15: 274-290.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1997. Counterfactual thinking The intersection of affect and function. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. 29: 1-59.
Roese, Neal and Sameep D. Maniar. 1997. Perceptions of purple: Counterfactual and hindsight judgments at Northwestern Wildcats football games. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 23: 1245-1253.
Roese, Neal. 1997. Counterfactual thinking. Psychological Bulletin. 121: 133-148.
Maio, Gregory R., Neal Roese, Clive Seligman and Albert A. Katz. 1996. Rankings, ratings and the measurement of values: Evidence for the superior validity of ratings. Basic and Applied Social Psychology. 18: 171-181.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1996. Counterfactuals, causal attributions and the hindsight bias: A conceptual integration. Journal of Experimental Psychology. 32: 197-227.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1995. Outcome controllability and counterfactual thinking. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 21: 620-628.
Olson, James M., Neal Roese, Jennifer Meen and D.Joyce Robertson. 1995. The preconditions and consequences of relative deprivation: Two field studies. Journal of Applied Psychology. 25(944-964)
Olson, James M. and Neal Roese. 1995. The perceived funniness of humorous stimuli. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 21: 908-913.
Lanca, Margaret, Christine Alksnis, Neal Roese and Robert C. Gardner. 1994. Effects of language choice on acculturation: A study of Portuguese immigrants in a multicultural setting. Journal of Language and Psychology. 13: 315-330.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1994. Attitude importance as a function of repeated attitude expression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 30: 39-51.
Roese, Neal. 1994. The functional basis of counterfactual thinking. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 66: 805-818.
Roese, Neal and Gerald N. Sande. 1993. Backlash effects in attack politics. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. 23: 632-653.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1993. The structure of counterfactual thought. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 19: 312-319.
Roese, Neal and David W. Jamieson. 1993. Twenty years of bogus pipeline research: A critical review and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin. 114: 363-375.
Roese, Neal. 1993. Self-esteem and counterfactual thinking. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 65: 199-206.
Sharpe, Donald, John G Adair and Neal Roese. 1992. Twenty years of deception research: A decline in subjects' trust. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 18: 585-590.
Kim, Kwon C., Neal Roese and John P.J. Pinel. 1992. Bidirectional contingent cross-tolerance between the anticonvulsant effects of pentobarbital and ethanol. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior. 41: 127-132.
Olson, James M., Neal Roese, Marianne N Borenstein, Angela Martin and Alison L. Shores. 1992. Same-sex touching behavior: The moderating role of homophobic attitudes. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. 16: 249-259.
Grabowski, Karen L., Neal Roese and Michael R. Thomas. 1991. The role of expectancy in hypnotic hypermnesia. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis. 39: 193-197.
Book Chapters
Roese, Neal, Thalia Vrantsidis and W Cunningham. 2017. "Reward system." In Consumer Neuroscience, edited by M. Cerf and M. Garcia-Garcia, 207-221. Boston: MIT Press.
Summerville, Amy and Neal Roese. 2009. "Counterfactual and Regret." In Cambridge dictionary of psychology, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Roese, Neal and Rachel Smallman. 2007. "Bogus pipeline." edited by R.F. Baumeister & K.D. Vohs, vol. 1, 123. New York: Sage.
Fessel, Florian and Neal Roese. 2007. "Counterfactual Thinking." In Encyclopedia of social psychology, edited by R.F. Baumeister & K.D. Vohs, vol. 1, 196-198. New York: Sage.
Roese, Neal and Jeffrey W. Sherman. 2007. "Expectancy." In Social psychology: A handbook of basic principles, edited by A.W. Kruglanski & E.T. Higgins, vol. 2, 91-115. New York: Guilford Press.
Roese, Neal, Lawrence J. Sanna and Adam Galinsky. 2005. "The mechanics of imagination: Automaticity and control in counterfactual thinking.." In The New Unconscious, edited by J.A. Bargh, J. Uleman, & R. Hassin, 138-170. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Galinsky, Adam, Katie A. Liljenquist, Laura J. Kray and Neal Roese. 2005. "Finding meaning from mutability: Making sense and deriving significance through counterfactual thinking.." In The Psychology of Counterfactual Thinking, edited by D.R. Mandel, D.J. Hilton, & P. Catellani, 110-126. London, UK: Routledge.
Roese, Neal. 2004. "Twisted pair: Counterfactual thinking and the hindsight bias." In Blackwell handbook of judgement and decision making, edited by D. Koehler & N. Harvey, 258-273. Oxford: Blackwell.
Pennington, Ginger and Neal Roese. 2003. "Counterfactual thinking and regulatory focus." In Motivated social perception: The Ontario Symposium, edited by S.J. Spencer, S. Fein, M.P. Zanna & J.M Olson, vol. 9, 277-298. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 2003. "Counterfactual thinking." In Encyclopedia of cognitive science, edited by L. Nadel, D. Chalmers, P. Culicover, B. French & R. Goldstone, vol. 1, 858-861. New York: Macmillan.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 2002. "Relative deprivation and counterfactual thinking." In Relative deprivation: Specification, development, and integration, edited by I. Walker & H.J. Smith, 265-287. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Roese, Neal. 2002. "Candadians shrinking trust in government: Causes and consequences." In Value change and governance in Canada, edited by N. Nevitte, 149-163. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press.
Roese, Neal. 2001. "The crossroads of affect and cognition: Counterfactuals as compensatory cognitions." In Cognitive social psychology: The Princeton Symposium on the legacy and future of social cognition, edited by G. Moskowitz, 307-316. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Olson, James M., Oswald Buhrmann and Neal Roese. 2000. "Comparing comparisons: An integrative perspective on social comparison and counterfactual thinking." In Handbook of social comparison: Theory and research, edited by J. Suls & L. Wheeler, 379-398. New York, NY: Plenum.
Olson, James M., Neal Roese and Mark P. Zanna. 1996. "Expectancies." In Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles, edited by E.T. Higgins & A.W. Kruglanski, 211-238. New York, NY: Guilford.
Olson, James M., Neal Roese and Ronald J Deibert. 1996. "Psychological biases in counterfactual thought experiments." In Counterfactual thought experiments in world politics: Logical, methodological and psychological pe, edited by P.E. Tetlock & A. Belkin, 296-300. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1995. "Counterfactual thinking: A critical overview." In What might have been: The social psychology of counterfactual thinking, edited by N.J. Roese & J.M. Olson, 1-55. Mahway, NJ: Erlbaum.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1995. "Functions of counterfactual thinking." In What might have been: The social psychology of counterfactual thinking, edited by N.J. Roese & J.M. Olson, 169-197. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Tett, Robert P., John P. Meyer and Neal Roese. 1994. "Applications of meta-analysis: 1987-1992." In International Review of Industrial and Organization Psychology, edited by C.L. Cooper & I.T. Robertson, vol. 9, 71-112. New York, NY: Wiley.
Roese, Neal. "Being too busy for friends won’t help your career.." Harvard Business Review.
Roese, Neal. "5 Steps to Help Yourself Recover from a Setback." Harvard Business Review, 12-9-16.
Ma, Jingjing and Neal Roese. "The danger of touting a product as "the best"." Harvard Business Review, October.
Ma, Jingjing and Neal Roese. "The surprising power of (a lack of) numbers." European Financial Review, Oct-Nov.
Roese, Neal and Kathleen Vohs. "The visualization trap." Harvard Business Review, May.
Roese, Neal. 2005. If Only: How to Turn Regret Into Opportunity. New York, NY: Broadway Books.
Roese, Neal and James M. Olson. 1995. What might have been: The social psychology of counterfactual thinking. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Roese, Neal and Andrea Meyer. 2017. Zopa: Time for a Brand Redesign?. Case 5-317-503 (KE1040).
Roese, Neal and Evan Meagher. 2014. Xbox One. Case 5-114-006 (KEL794).
Roese, Neal and Mohan Kompella. 2013. Harley-Davidson: Chasing a New Generation of Customers. Case 5-113-010 (KEL742).

Print Teaching
Full-Time / Evening & Weekend MBA
Strategic Brand Management (MKTG-473-0)

**This course was formerly known as MKTG-925-0**

The course will focus on the basic building blocks of growing and managing a brand, as well as on advanced and specialized topics of brand management. We will examine how companies create brands that connect with customers by understanding customer values and lifestyles as well as how companies execute marketing strategies to build strong brands.

Field Study (MKTG-498-0)
Field Studies include those opportunities outside of the regular curriculum in which a student is working with an outside company or non-profit organization to address a real-world business challenge for course credit under the oversight of a faculty member.

Special Topics in Marketing (MKTG-530-2)

Doctoral-level course offered on a one-time basis dealing with a special topic in the marketing field. Addresses a specific need within the program's curriculum and/or a trend in the field.

Executive Education
Customer Insight Tools

Harness the power of customer insight to drive winning strategies and hard-wire the voice of the customer throughout your organization. This interactive program will equip you with the right blend of qualitative and quantitative tools to gain and sustain competitive advantage.

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