Jason Riis, Ph.D.

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Jason Riis founded Behavioralize in 2018 after a completing a five-year term as a full time faculty member at The Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania), and 5 years before that as a full time faculty member at Harvard Business School. His Ph.D. is in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Michigan, and he was a post-doctoral fellow for Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman at Princeton University. 

Dr. Riis is a Senior Fellow at Wharton's Behavior Change for Good Initiative.


  • Behavior change, habit formation, and preference change

  • Critical thinking and health communication

  • Consumer decision making for food and health‐related products

  • Field experiments in marketing and healthcare

  • Consumer preferences for mental and physical self‐improvement

Representative Publications:


1. Dai, H., Mao, D., Riis, J., Volpp, K., Relish, M., Lawnicki, V., & Milkman, K. (2017). Effectiveness of medication adherence reminders tied to “Fresh Start” dates: a  randomized clinical trial. Journal of the American Medical Association: Cardiology, 2 (4), pp. 453‐455.


2. Putnam‐Farr, N., & Riis, J. (2016). Yes, I want to enroll: yes/no response formats increase response  rates in marketing communications. Journal of Marketing Research, 53(3), 424‐432.

3. Thorndike, A. N., Riis, J. & Levy, D. (2016). Social norms and financial incentives to promote employeesʹ healthy food choices: A randomized controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 86, 12‐18.

4. Dai, H., Milkman, K., & Riis, J. (2015). Put your imperfections behind you: Temporal landmarks spur goal initiation when they signal new beginnings. Psychological Science, 26 (12), 1927 – 1936

5. Schwartz, J., Riis, J., Elbel, B., & Ariely, D. (2012). Inviting consumers to downsize fastfood  portions significantly reduces calorie consumption. Health Affairs, 31(2), 399‐407.

6. Riis, J., Simmons, J. P., & Goodwin G. (2008). Preferences for enhancement pharmaceuticals: the reluctance to enhance fundamental traits. Journal of Consumer Research, 35(3), 495‐508.

7. Damschroder. L. J., Ubel, P. A., Riis, J., & Smith, D. M. (2007). An alternative approach for eliciting willingness‐to‐pay: a randomized internet trial. Judgment and Decision Making, 2(2), 96‐106.

8. Kahneman, D., & Riis, J. (2005). Living and thinking about it: two perspectives on life. In F. Huppert, N. Baylis, & B. Kaverne (Eds.), The Science of Well‐being: Integrating Neurobiology, Psychology, and Social Science, 285‐304. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Teaching Experience (highlights):

  • Earned Distinguished Teaching Award for Consumer Behavior course at Wharton

  • Taught MBA core marketing for 10 years at Wharton and HBS

  • Wrote many widely used cases at HBS including Red Lobster, HEB, and PatientsLikeMe

  • Extensive global teaching experience in Europe and Asia

  • Extensive executive education experience in food and healthcare


"Jason Riis has been a trusted advisor to our business for several years now. His broad understanding of behavioral science and his ability to translate academic research into practice makes him an invaluable resource. I'd recommend Jason without hesitation to any company that wants to build better consumer experiences." - Founder & CEO (health tech company)