David Peter Daniels

PhD Program, Organizational Behavior
PhD Program Office
Graduate School of Business
Stanford University
655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305
I am a PhD candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business on the job market during the 2016-17 academic year. I have three interlocking research streams: decision making and social influence, negotiation and conflict resolution, and diversity in groups and organizations. To study these topics, I combine tools from management, psychology, and economics, such as laboratory experiments, field data, theoretical modeling, and quantitative methods. Broadly, I am interested in how behavioral insights can help us understand and improve negotiations, organizations, and markets.
Faculty Advisors
Margaret Ann Neale
Research Interests
Decision Making and Social Influence
Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Diversity in Groups and Organizations
Choice Architecture and Behavioral Policy

Job Market Paper

How nudge strategies can backfire in social interactions
Biases can influence important decisions in social, political, and economic environments, but little is empirically known about whether and how individuals try to exploit others’ biases in strategic interactions. For instance, people must often decide between giving others choice sets with positive or certain options (likely influencing them toward safer options) versus negative or risky options (likely influencing them toward riskier options). In this paper, we study nudge strategies, strategic decisions about how to exploit others’ biases. We show that individuals’ nudge strategies are distorted towards presenting choice sets with positive or certain options, across nine experiments involving diverse samples (including business executives, law students, business students, medical students, and online adults) and multiple important contexts (including public policy, business, and medicine). In many cases, this distortion actually causes a majority of people to use a nudge strategy that backfires. Surprisingly, people’s predictions about the directional effects of nudge strategies are generally correct. Thus, simply prompting people to consider their own predictions can improve nudge strategies that would otherwise be suboptimal. The evidence is consistent with meta-prospect theory, in which properties familiar from prospect theory generate distortions in nudge strategies; for example, loss aversion generates a distortion towards presenting gain frames over presenting loss frames. Overall, our results suggest that improving well-intentioned but suboptimal nudge strategies is a feasible objective which could lead to substantial benefits for both individuals and society.
Spillover bias in diversity judgment
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 139, 92-105.
Diversity research has long assumed that individuals’ perceptions of diversity are accurate, consistent with normative theories of judgments in economics and decision theory. We challenge this assumption. In six experiments, we show that when there is more diversity along one dimension (e.g., race, clothing color), people also perceive more diversity on other dimensions (e.g., gender, skill) even when this cannot reflect reality. This spillover bias in diversity judgment leads to predictable errors in decision making with economic incentives for accuracy, and it alters support for affirmative action policies in organizations. Spillover bias in diversity judgment may help explain why managerial decisions about groups often appear to be suboptimal and why diversity scholars have found inconsistent associations between objective diversity and team outcomes.
Working Papers
It’s about time: Divergent responses to policies that constrain freedom in the near and distant future (In preparation for third-round review, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes)
Social influence failure: The case of default neglect (Under review)
Last Updated 17 Feb 2017