University of Texas at Austin
McCombs School of Business McCombs School of Business

Adrian Ward

Assistant Professor

Department: Marketing

Contact Information

CBA 7.238

Biography Adrian Ward is an assistant professor in the marketing department of the McCombs School of Business, the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining UT, he received his PhD in psychology from Harvard University and spent two years as a senior research associate in the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The primary focus of Professor Ward’s work is understanding how consumers’ relationships with technology and other people influence attention, knowledge, and decision-making. His research in this area has examined how the mere presence of one’s own smartphone affects cognitive capacity, how Googling for information affects consumers’ beliefs about their own knowledge, and how sharing responsibility with a relationship partner leads to the development of expertise on a “need-to-know basis.” Additional published and ongoing research explores moral perception and decision-making (e.g., “Paying it Forward”), consumer interactions with new technologies, and consumer financial decision-making.

His research has been published in journals including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and covered by popular press outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Scientific American.
Adrian Ward. 2021. People Mistake the Internet's Knowledge for Their Own. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, forthcoming.
Gunes Biliciler, Rajagopal Raghunathan, and Adrian Ward. Consumers as Naive Physicists: How Visual Entropy Cues Shift Temporal Focus and Influence Product Evaluations. Journal of Consumer Research, forthcoming.
Tito L. H. Grillo and Adrian Ward. How Childhood Adversity Shapes Susceptibility to COVID-19 Scams. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research 7(1), forthcoming.
Shiri Melumad, Rhonda Hadi, Christin Hildebrand, and Adrian Ward. 2020. Technology Augmented Choice: How Digital Innovations are Transforming Consumer Decision Processes. Customer Needs and Solutions 7, 90-101.
Adrian Ward and John G. Lynch. 2019. On a Need-to-Know Basis: How the Distribution of Responsibility between Couples Shapes Financial Literacy and Financial Outcomes. Journal of Consumer Research 45(5), 1013-1036.
Diana Tamir, Emma Templeton, Adrian Ward, and Jamil Zaki. 2018. Media Usage Diminishes Memory for Experiences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 76, 161-168.
Adrian Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, and Maarten W. Bos. 2017. Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One's Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity. Journal of the Association of Consumer Research 2(2), 140-154.
Diana Tamir and Adrian Ward. 2015. Old Desires, New Media, in The Psychology of Desire, W. Hofmann and L. F. Nordgren, eds. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Kristi Leimgruber, Adrian Ward, Jane Widness, Michael I. Norton, Kristina Olson, Kurt Gray, and Laurie Santos. 2014. Give What You Get: Capuchin Monkeys (Cebus Apella) and Four-Year-Old Children Pay Forward Positive and Negative Outcomes to Conspecifics. PLoS One 9(1), e87035.
Kurt Gray, Adrian Ward, and Michael I. Norton. 2014. Paying It Forward: Generalized Reciprocity and the Limits of Generosity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143(1), 247-254.
Kurt Gray, Chelsea Schein, and Adrian Ward. 2014. The Myth of Harmless Wrongs in Moral Cognition: Automatic Dyadic Completion From Sin to Suffering. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 143(4), 1600-1615.
Daniel M. Wegner and Adrian Ward. 2013. How Google Is Changing Your Brain. Scientific American 309(6), 58-61.
Adrian Ward and Daniel M. Wegner. 2013. Mind-Blanking: When the Mind Goes Away. Frontiers in Psychology 4, 650.
Adrian Ward. 2013. Supernormal: How the Internet Is Changing Our Memories and Our Minds. Psychological Inquiry 24(4), 341-348.
Adrian Ward, Andrew Olsen, and Daniel M. Wegner. 2013. The Harm-Made Mind: Victimization Augments Perceptions of the Minds of Vegetative Patients, Robots, and the Dead. Psychological Science 24(8), 1437-1445.
Show all publications
Academic Leadership and Awards
Professional Awards
Rising Star, Association for Psychological Science2020
McCombs Research Excellence Grant, University of Texas at Austin2019
Gordon W. Allport Fund Research Grant, Harvard University2012
Ernest Frederick Slater Scholarship Award, Harvard University (3 times)2012
Show all awards
Teaching Awards
Faculty Honor Roll, University of Texas at Austin2019
Trammell/CBA Foundation Teaching Award for Asst. Professors, University of Texas at Austin2019
Faculty Honor Roll, University of Texas at Austin2018
Faculty Honor Roll, University of Texas at Austin2017
Faculty Honor Roll, University of Texas at Austin2016
Derek Bok Award for Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University (4 times)2012
George W. Goethals Award for Excellence in Teaching, Harvard University2011
Show all awards