Gaël Le Mens
Professor of Behavioral Science,
Full Professor, Department of Economics and Business
Affiliated Professor, Barcelona GSE
Affiliated Professor, Barcelona School of Management
Part-Time Full Professor, SOD Unit, Southern Denmark University
PhD Stanford GSB


Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Department of Economics and Business
Ramon Trias Fargas, 25-27
08005 Barcelona
Spain
E: gael.le-mens @ upf.edu
T: +34 93 542 27 17

My research focuses on learning by individuals and organizations. Several of my papers explain how individuals might develop and maintain inaccurate beliefs because they rely on the biased samples of information they obtain from their experiences. The information used for learning may be biased because more information is available about alternatives that decision makers believe to be good and thus sample again, whereas less information is available about alternatives that decision makers believe to be poor and thus avoid. In addition, the information to which individuals have access also depends on the opportunities the social context provides them with for learning about alternatives they might otherwise avoid.

In related projects on the dynamics of social processes, I have examined the development of technological trajectories, the evolution of cultural tastes and their consequences for organizational viability, and dynamics of organizational failure.

My research has been published in top scientific journals such as Psychological Review, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA (PNAS), Cognition, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Organization Science, Management Science and Administrative Science Quarterly. Popular accounts have appeared in the New York Times, the Times (London), WSJ.com, FT.com, USA Today, ABCNews.com, Focus and other in-print and online periodicals. I have taught graduate courses at INSEAD, London Business School, the University of Lugano, the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and the Barcelona School of Management and have given guest lectures in doctoral courses at Stanford GSB and MIT Sloan School of Management.

Electronic copies of most of my papers are provided below. I am sharing these for personal and teaching uses only. In no way should these electronic copies be made available on an electronic repository.


Current PhD students
Thomas Woiczyk

Josep Gisbert

Former PhD students
Elizaveta Konovalova: Liza is a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Adaptive Rationality (ARC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Check out her personal webpage here.
New & Forthcoming
Learning Variability from Experience, (with Elizaveta Konovalova), in Kalish, C., Rau, M., Zhu, J., & Rogers, T. T. (Eds), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1942-1947), August 2018. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]

Information Sampling, Judgment and the Environment: Application to the Effect of Popularity on Evaluations (with Jerker Denrell, Balázs Kovács, & Hülya Karaman), Topics in Cognitive Science, June 2018, forthcoming. [PDF]

How endogenous crowd formation undermines the wisdom-of-the-crowd in online ratings (with Balázs Kovács, Judith Avrahami, & Yaakov Kareev), Psychological Science, Published online on July 25, 2018, DOI: 10.1177/0956797618775080. [pre-print PDF] [Publisher's web] [Open Data]



I got awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for my project The Implications of Selective Information Sampling for Individual and Collective Judgments!
Press releases: [UPF] [ERC] [BSM] [GSE]
Feature Inference with Uncertain Categorization: Re-assessing Anderson’s Rational Model (with Elizaveta Konovalova), Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Published Online September 2017. DOI: 10.3758/s13423-017-1372-y. [Pre-Print PDF] [Published PDF] [Open Data]


Representative Publications

Interdependent Sampling and Social Influence (with Jerker Denrell), Psychological Review, April 2007, 114(2): 398-422. DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.114.2.398. [PDF]

Rational Learning and Information Sampling: On the ‘Naivety’ Assumption in Sampling Explanations of Judgment Biases (with Jerker Denrell). Psychological Review , April 2011, 118(2), 379-392. DOI: 10.1037/a0023010. Supplemental Material DOI: 10.1037/a0023010.supp [PDF]

Founding Conditions, Learning, and Organizational Life Chances: Age Dependence Revisited (with Michael T. Hannan and László Pólos). Administrative Science Quarterly, March 2011, 56: 95-126. DOI: 10.2189/asqu.2011.56.1.095. [PDF]

Information Sampling, Belief Synchronization and Collective Illusions (with Jerker Denrell), Management Science, March 2017, 63(2), 528-547. DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2015.2354. [PDF]

How endogenous crowd formation undermines the wisdom-of-the-crowd in online ratings (with Balázs Kovács, Judith Avrahami, & Yaakov Kareev), Psychological Science, Published online on July 25, 2018, DOI: 10.1177/0956797618775080. [pre-print PDF] [Publisher's web] [Open Data]


All Publications

1. Interdependent Sampling and Social Influence (with Jerker Denrell), Psychological Review, April 2007, 114(2): 398-422. DOI: 10.1037/0033-295X.114.2.398. [PDF]

2. Illusory Correlation as the Outcome of Experience Sampling (with Jerker Denrell), in B. C. Love, K. McRae, V. M. Sloutsky (Eds.), Proceedings of the 30th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 421-426), August 2008. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]

3. Studying Organizational Populations Over Time (with Glenn R. Carroll, Mi Feng and Dave McKendrick), Handbook of Organizational Research Methods (pp 213-229), D. Buchanan and A. Bryman (Eds.). Sage Publications, London, May 2009. [Request paper]

4. How Adoption Speed Affects the Abandonment of Cultural Tastes (with Jonah Berger). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS), May 2009, 106:8146-8150. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0812647106. [PDF]

5. Key Considerations in Studying Cultural Abandonment Using Baby Names (with Jonah Berger), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS), September 29th, 2009, 106:E110. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0909403106. [PDF]

6. Organizational Evolution with Fuzzy Technological Boundaries: Tape Drive Producers in the World Market, 1951-1998 (with Glenn R. Carroll, Mi Feng and David G. McKendrick), Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 2010, 31:203-233. DOI: 10.1108/S0733-558X(2010)0000031009. [Request paper]

7. Rational Learning and Information Sampling: On the ‘Naivety’ Assumption in Sampling Explanations of Judgment Biases (with Jerker Denrell). Psychological Review , April 2011, 118(2), 379-392. DOI: 10.1037/a0023010. Supplemental Material DOI: 10.1037/a0023010.supp [PDF]

8. Seeking Positive Experiences Can Produce Illusory Correlations (with Jerker Denrell), Cognition, 2011, 119(3), 313-324. DOI: 10.1016/j.cognition.2011.01.007. [PDF]

9. Founding Conditions, Learning, and Organizational Life Chances: Age Dependence Revisited (with Michael T. Hannan and László Pólos). Administrative Science Quarterly, March 2011, 56: 95-126. DOI: 10.2189/asqu.2011.56.1.095. [PDF]

10. Social Judgments from Adaptive Samples (with Jerker Denrell), Social Judgment and Decision Making, (pp 151-169) J. Krueger, (Ed.). Psychology Press, 2011. [PDF]

11. Information Sampling, Conformity and Collective Mistaken Beliefs (with Jerker Denrell), in M. Knauff, M. Pauen, N. Sebanz, I. Wachsmuth (Eds.), Proceedings of the 35th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 2177-2182). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]

12. Keeping conceptual boundaries distinct between decision making and learning is necessary to understand social influence, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, March 2014, 37(01), 87–88, DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X13001775. [Request paper]

13. Organizational Obsolescence, Drifting Tastes, and Age-Dependence in Organizational Life Chances (with Michael T. Hannan and László Pólos). Organization Science, March-April 2015, 26(2):550-570. DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2014.0910. [PDF]

14. Age-Related Structural Inertia: A Distance-Based Approach (with Michael T. Hannan and László Pólos), Organization Science, May-June 2015, 26(3), 756-773. DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2015.0966. [PDF]

15. The Evaluative Advantage of Novel Alternatives: An Information Sampling Account, (with Yaakov Kareev and Judith Avrahami), Psychological Science, 2016, 27(2): 161–168. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615615581. [PDF]
[Open Data]

16. Predictions with Uncertain Categorization: A Rational Model, (with Elizaveta Konovalova), in Papafragou, A., Grodner, D., Mirman, D., and Trueswell, J. (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, August 2016. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]

17. Information Sampling, Belief Synchronization and Collective Illusions (with Jerker Denrell), Management Science, March 2017, 63(2), 528-547. DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.2015.2354. [PDF]

18. When More Selection is Worse (with Jerker Denrell & Chengwei Liu), Strategy Science, March 2017, 2(1), 39-63. DOI: 10.1287/stsc.2017.0025. [PDF]

19. Selective Information Sampling and the In-Group Heterogeneity Effect (with Elizaveta Konovalova), in Gunzelmann, G., Howes, A., Tenbrink, T., Davelaar, E. (Eds), Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, August 2017. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]

20. Feature Inference with Uncertain Categorization: Re-assessing Anderson’s Rational Model (with Elizaveta Konovalova), Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, Published Online September 2017. DOI: 10.3758/s13423-017-1372-y. [Pre-Print PDF] [Published PDF] [Open Data]

21. Information Sampling, Judgment and the Environment: Application to the Effect of Popularity on Evaluations (with Jerker Denrell, Balázs Kovács, & Hülya Karaman), Topics in Cognitive Science, June 2018, forthcoming. [PDF]

22. How endogenous crowd formation undermines the wisdom-of-the-crowd in online ratings (with Balázs Kovács, Judith Avrahami, & Yaakov Kareev), Psychological Science, Published online on July 25, 2018, DOI: 10.1177/0956797618775080. [pre-print PDF] [Publisher's web] [Open Data]

23. Learning Variability from Experience, (with Elizaveta Konovalova), in Kalish, C., Rau, M., Zhu, J., & Rogers, T. T. (Eds), Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 1942-1947), August 2018. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society. [PDF]

Universitat Pompeu Fabra | Dpt of Economics and Business | Barcelona GSE