Chip Heath

Chip Heath
Professor Emeritus, Organizational Behavior
Contact Info
Academic Area: 
Organizational Behavior

Research Statement

Chip Heath’s research focuses on two general areas: What makes ideas succeed in the social marketplace of ideas, and how can people design messages to make them stick? How do individuals, groups, and organizations make important decisions and what mistakes do they make?


Chip Heath is the Thrive Foundation for Youth Professor of Organizational Behavior, Emeritus in the Stanford Graduate School of Business. His research examines why certain ideas - ranging from urban legends to folk medical cures, from Chicken Soup for the Soul stories to business strategy myths — survive and prosper in the social marketplace of ideas. A few years back Chip designed a course, now a popular elective at Stanford, that asked whether it would be possible to use the principles of naturally sticky ideas to design messages that would be more effective. The material from that course, How to Make Ideas Stick, has been taught to hundreds of students including managers, teachers, nonprofit leaders, doctors, journalists, venture capitalists, product designers, and film producers.

Chip is the coauthor (along with his brother, Dan) of a book titled Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, published by Random House in January 2007.

Chip’s research has appeared in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Cognitive Psychology, Journal of Consumer Behavior, Strategic Management Journal, Psychological Science, and the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty. Popular accounts of his research have appeared in Scientific American, the Financial Times, the Washington Post, Business Week, Psychology Today, and Vanity Fair, NPR, and a National Geographic television show.

Chip has taught courses on Organizational Behavior, Negotiation, Strategy, International Strategy, and Social Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Stanford, Professor Heath taught at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University and his PhD in Psychology from Stanford.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Psychology, Stanford, 1991
  • BS in Industrial Engineering, Texas A&M, 1986

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 2000
  • Fuqua School, Duke, 1997-2000
  • University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, 1991-1997


Journal Articles

David Dunning, Chip Heath, Jerry M. Suls. Perspectives on Psychological Science. March 1, 2018, Vol. 13, Issue 2, Pages 185-189.
Nathanael J. Fast, Chip Heath, George Wu. Psychological Science. July 2009, Vol. 20, Issue 7, Pages 904-911.
Jonah Berger, Chip Heath. Journal of Consumer Research. August 2007, Vol. 34, Issue 2, Pages 121-134.
Adrian Bangerter, Chip Heath. British Journal of Social Psychology. December 2004, Vol. 43, Issue 4, Pages 605–623.


Chip Heath, Dan Heath Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Chip Heath, Dan Heath New York: Crown Business, 2013.
Chip Heath, Dan Heath Broadway Business, 2010.
Chip Heath, Dan Heath Random House, 2007.


Degree Courses


This class will explore the properties shared by ideas that stick with people and change the way they think and act. The course is based on the framework in the book Made to Stick and focuses on hands-on exercises that will teach you how to...

This seminar focuses on social psychological theories and research relevant to organizational behavior. It reviews topics in micro-organizational behavior, linking these to foundations in cognitive and social psychology and sociology. Topics...

Stanford Case Studies

Interplast's Dilemma | SI14
Chip Heath, James Phills2006
The Double-Goal Coach (A), Beyond "Sportsmanship" | SM140A
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2005
The Double-Goal Coach (B), "Honoring the Game" | SM140B
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2005
The Double-Goal Coach (C), Spreading the Message | SM140C
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2005
Stone Yamashita Partners and PBS (A) | SM119A
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2004
Stone Yamashita Partners and PBS (B) | SM119B
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2004
Stone Yamashita Partners and PBS (C) | SM119C
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2004
Tyson Foods, Inc. (A) | M304(A)
Davina Drabkin, Chip Heath2003
Tyson Foods, Inc. (B) | M304(B)
Davina Drabkin, Chip Heath2003
Edison and the Electric Light (A) | M301A
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2002
Edison and the Electric Light (B) | M301B
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2002
Lexicon Branding (A) | M300A
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2002
Lexicon Branding, Procter & Gamble's Swiffer (B) | M300B
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2002
Center for Science in the Public Interest | M296
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2001
The Blair Witch Project (A) | M295A
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2001
The Blair Witch Project (B) | M295B
Victoria Chang, Chip Heath2001

In the Media

The New England Journal of Medicine, June 3, 2012
In the New England Journal of Medicine, the Stanford GSB's Chip Heath and the School of Medicine's Charles G. Prober make the case for online medical school instruction in addition to classroom interaction. Their goal: "education that wrings more value out of the unyielding asset of time."

Insights by Stanford Business

August 19, 2019
Our experts’ tips on small changes that can make or break your next presentation.
July 2, 2019
Escape the heat with books recommended by Stanford business professors.
March 29, 2018
6 ways to communicate challenging concepts to an audience.
February 19, 2018
A new book shows the value of memorable defining moments on customer and employee experiences.
April 26, 2017
Success depends on strong preparation, concrete examples, and good connection with your audience.
March 26, 2013
In their book, Chip and Dan Heath lay out a path for making better decisions.
March 11, 2013
Can any message be shaped to spread? A scholar offers tips to increase the odds.
June 1, 2009
Research shows that conversations between people seeking common ground can influence which ideas and people gain cultural prominence.
December 1, 2007
Research shows that popular products can quickly lose their cache if they become favored by the masses.
February 1, 2005
Researchers suggest the myth that listening to classical music boosts intelligence grew from anxiety about early childhood education.