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"Synergy, Exchange, and Collective Learning"

Past, Present, and Future

Michel Pham founded the RED Lab in the fall of 2007 as a means to foster synergy, exchange, and collective learning across the various research projects that he was pursuing on emotion and decision making with different co-authors. In addition to several doctoral students at Columbia—Andrew Stephen, Jeffrey Parker, Hannah Chang, and Claire Lin—with whom he worked on different projects, Michel invited two faculty members to join the group: Leonard Lee, a graduate of MIT, who had recently joined Columbia’s marketing faculty, and Tamar Avnet, who had previously completed her doctoral dissertation at Columbia under Michel’s direction, and was now on the faculty of Yeshiva University. Leonard Lee suggested naming the group the RED Lab, for Research on Emotion and Decisions, with Andrew Stephen serving as the lab’s first “manager.”

Since the lab’s inception, a large number of projects related to the role of emotion in judgment and decision making have been completed under the lab’s umbrella, leading to many publications in the premier journals in marketing, consumer research, psychology, and decision making. New doctoral students have continuously joined the group, as more “senior” students steadily graduated. To maintain the group at an optimal size of about 8-10 members, the lab admits about one new member per year, usually in replacement of a graduating member. An additional faculty, Keith Wilcox, joined the group in 2012. Occasionally, the lab hosts visiting scholars who spend anywhere between a semester and a full year with the group.

The lab meets for two hours about once week. During the meetings, one to two projects led by any of the members are discussed with constructive feedback provided by the other members. To preserve the lab’s focus and identify, only projects that are broadly related to the subject of emotion and decision making are discussed. The group additionally meets for a convivial “lab social” in a local bar and restaurant at least once every semester.

Professor Michel Pham's Recent Interview at ACI

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