Carnegie Mellon University

Russell Golman

Russell Golman

Assistant Professor
Ph.D. in Mathematics


I was trained as a game theorist with a Mathematics Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.  But whereas game theorists usually assume that people making strategic decisions are hyper-rational, I try to acknowledge that real people are influenced by each other and sometimes make mistakes.  My research interests have thus expanded into behavioral economics and behavioral decision research as well as complex adaptive systems and social dynamics.  I use economics, psychology, and mathematics to develop theories about why people (and societies) make the choices they make.

My current research projects have me thinking about how strategic deliberation proceeds, how information can be extracted from one’s social network, how fads emerge, how entrepreneurial culture forms, how uncertainty may be exciting or uncomfortable, and how curiosity arises.


Ph.D.: University of Michigan


Golman, Russell and George Loewenstein.  “Information Gaps: A Theory of Preferences Regarding the Presence and Absence of Information”  Decision, 2016, forthcoming.

Golman, Russell, David Hagmann, and George Loewenstein.  “Information Avoidance.Journal of Economic Literature, 2017, 55: 96-135.
Featured on The Academic Minute

Golman, Russell, George Loewenstein, Karl Ove Moene and Luca Zarri. “The Preference for Belief Consonance.Journal of Economic Perspectives 2016, 30: 165-187.

Golman, Russell and Steven Klepper. “Spinoffs and Clustering.” Rand Journal of Economics 2016, 47: 341-365.

Golman, Russell, David Hagmann and John Miller. “Polya’s Bees: A Model of Decentralized Decision Making.Science Advances 1 (2015).

Golman, Russell. “Good Manners: Signaling Social Preferences.” Theory and Decision 2016, 81: 73-88.

Golman, Russell and George Loewenstein. “An Information-Gap Framework for Capturing Preferences About Uncertainty.Proceedings of the 15th Conference on Theoretical Aspects of Rationality and Knowledge, 2015.

Loewenstein, George, Cass R. Sunstein and Russell Golman. “Disclosure: Psychology Changes Everything.” Annual Review of Economics, 2014, 6: 391-419.

Bhatia, Sudeep and Russell Golman. “A Recurrent Neural Network for Game Theoretic Decision Making.” Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 2014.

Golman, Russell and Sudeep Bhatia. "Performance Evaluation Inflation and Compression," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 37, Issue 8, November 2012, Pages 534–543.

Golman, Russell. "Homogeneity Bias in Models of Discrete Choice with Bounded Rationality." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 82, Issue 1, April 2012, Pages 1–11.

Golman, Russell. "Quantal Response Equilibria with Heterogeneous Agents," Journal of Economic Theory, 2011.

Golman, Russell. "Why Learning Doesn’t Add Up: Equilibrium Selection with a Composition of Learning Rules," International Journal of Game Theory, 2010.

Golman, Russell and Scott E. Page. "Individual and Cultural Learning in Stag Hunt Games With Multiple Actions," Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 2010.

Golman, Russell and Scott E. Page. "Basins of Attraction and Equilibrium Selection Under Different Learning Rules," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2010.

Golman, Russell and Scott E. Page. "General Blotto: Games of Allocative Strategic Mismatch," Public Choice, 2008.

Current Papers

Bhatia, Sudeep and Russell Golman. “Attention and Reference Dependence.”

Golman, Russell and George Loewenstein. “The Demand for, and Avoidance of, Information.”

Golman, Russell, George Loewenstein, and Nikolos Gurney. "Information Gaps for Risk and Ambiguity."