Jennifer Aaker

The General Atlantic Professor

Academic Area:

Research Interests

  • The Psychology of Time and Money
  • Meaningful Choice
  • The Impact of Culture on Decision Making
  • The Role of Emotions and Goals on Health


Dr. Jennifer Aaker is the General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business. A behavioral scientist and author, Dr. Aaker is a leading expert on how meaning and purpose shape the choices individuals make, how money and time can be used in ways that cultivate long-lasting happiness, and how technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Mixed Reality (XR) are redefining human interaction. She is widely published in leading scientific journals and her work has been featured in The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, BusinessWeek, Forbes, NPR, CBS MoneyWatch, Inc., and Science.

Dr. Aaker is the coauthor of several books including the award-winning book, The Dragonfly Effect, which has been translated into over 10 languages, as well as Power of Story, which drew on behavioral science to provide a hands-on tool putting The Dragonfly Effect model to work. She worked with a group of Stanford students to get over 100,000 people into the bone marrow registry, a target that they achieved in under one year. Her new book, Humor, Seriously, is focused on why humor is a window into our humanity, and how it can be used as a secret weapon in business and life (with Naomi Bagdonas, Penguin, 2020).

At Stanford, she teaches classes including Designing AI to Cultivate Human Well-Being, Rethinking Purpose, A New Type of Leader, VR/AR: Scaling Empathy in an Immersive World, Power of Story, and Humor: Serious Business. She is the recipient of the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Stanford Distinguished Teaching Award, Citibank Best Teacher Award, George Robbins Best Teacher Award, Robert Jaedicke Silver Apple Award, and the MBA Professor of the Year Award.

Dr. Aaker is a highly sought-after speaker on the application of behavioral science to help companies and leaders positively impact human well-being through technology, business practices, story, and purpose-driven leadership. Dr. Aaker serves as a board member and advisor helping companies and leadership teams with digital transformation, incorporating human well-being into corporate strategy to drive business performance, global brand building and embracing a new leadership type for the innovation economy - one anchored on purpose, fueled by levity.

Before joining Stanford University, Aaker was a professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management where she conducted the research that resulted in her seminal paper, Dimensions of Brand Personality. She completed her PhD degrees at Stanford University, and holds a BA from UC Berkeley. More personally, she is an early adopter of the trailblazing “family sabbatical” practice, by which she “moves” her family to far-flung locations in an effort to teach her kids to be citizens of the world. They have yet to express enthusiasm about this practice but almost certainly will before she dies. In terms of personal accomplishments, she counts winning a dance-off in the early 1980s among her most impressive feats; and her abbreviated cooking skills have earned her family Doordash Platinum status.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Marketing, PhD Minor in Psychology, Stanford Graduate School of Business, 1995
  • BA in Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, 1989
  • General Atlantic Chair, 2005-present
  • Xerox Distinguished Chair in Knowledge, 2007–09

Academic Appointments

  • The General Atlantic Professor, Stanford GSB, 2005-present
  • Xerox Distinguished Professor; Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley; 2007–08
  • Thomas W. Tusher Professor; Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley; 2006–07
  • Professor, Stanford GSB, 2004–05
  • Associate Professor, Stanford GSB, 2001–04
  • Assistant Professor, Stanford GSB, 1999–2001
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Columbia Graduate School of Business, Fall 1998
  • Assistant Professor, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA, 1995–99

Awards and Honors

  • Nobel Nomination Panel for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences, 2019–present
  • General Atlantic Chair, 2005–present
  • Coulter Family Fellow, 2020–21
  • MBA Professor of the Year, Poets & Quants, 2018–19
  • Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Society for Consumer Psychology, 2014
  • Ormond Family Faculty Fellow, 2013
  • Robert K. Jaedicke Silver Apple Award 2011
  • Winnick Family Faculty Fellow, 2011
  • Ferber Award – Journal of Consumer Research for “The Time versus Money Effect” Hon. Mention, 2010
  • Best Paper– Award Journal of Consumer Research for “When Good Brands Do Bad”, 2007
  • Best Paper Award–Stanley Reiter for “Bringing the Frame into Focus”, 2007
  • Thomas W. Tusher Chair of Global Business, 2006–07
  • Best Paper Award– Journal of Consumer Research, "Can Mixed Emotions Peacefully Co-Exist?”, 2005
  • A. Michael Spence Faculty Scholar, 2003–04
  • Early Career Award for Outstanding Research, Society of Consumer Psychology, 2003
  • Society of Consumer Psychology Early Career Award for Outstanding Research, 2003
  • Outstanding Reviewer Award, Journal of Consumer Research, 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Fletcher Jones Faculty Research Scholar, 2001
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, Stanford GSB, 2000
  • Marketing Science Institute Grant, 2000
  • Citibank Best Teacher Award, UCLA, 1999
  • CIBER International Research Grant, 1996–99
  • UCLA Academic Senate Grant, 1995–99
  • George Robbins Best Teacher Award, UCLA, 1998
  • Hong Kong Science International Research Grant, 1997–98
  • AMA Dissertation Award (Finalist), 1996
  • Merit Fellowship, Jaedicke Scholar; Stanford GSB; 1993–94
  • Psi Chi National Honorary Society in Psychology, 1989


Journal Articles



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