Philip Fernbach

Assistant Professor



Phil Fernbach is an assistant professor of marketing in the Leeds School of Business. He holds a Ph.D. from Brown University in cognitive science and a B.A. from Williams College where he studied philosophy. His research interests span many areas of consumer behavior including causal reasoning, probability judgment, financial decision-making, and moral judgment. His research has been published in outlets such as the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Psychological Science, the Journal of Consumer Research, and Cognition, and has been profiled in media outlets like ABC News, the Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Dr. Fernbach worked with consumer goods companies as a strategy consultant for two boutique firms in Boston.


Paper by Leeds Research Associate Sparks Conversation on Political Understanding


June 19, 2013

A recent paper by psychologist Phil Fernbach of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado and his collaborators, published this May in Psychological Science, provides some evidence for this final option: people overestimate how well they understand the mechanics of complex policies, and this sense of understanding helps bolster politically extreme positions.

The Less You Know, the More You Understand?

The Discover Magazine Blog

October 19, 2012

A recent study in the Journal of Consumer Research by Philip Fernbach and his colleagues suggests that sometimes, a well-reasoned, complex, detailed argument can actually repel those inclined towards intuition.

I'm Right! (For Some Reason)

NY Times

October 19, 2012

Steven Sloman and Philip M. Fernbach, assistant professor of marketing at Leeds, look at the illusion of knowledge in American politics and what we must do to change it.

Consumers Differ in Desire for Explanation

Leeds School of Business

September 18, 2012

The depth of explanation about novel products influences consumer preferences and willingness to pay, according to a study led by assistant professor of marketing, Phil Fernbach. The study led to the discovery of "explanation foes" and "explanation fiends."