Peter McGraw is an innovative researcher who has a talent for fostering community. During his academic career, he has received more than 15 awards, grants and honors. During 2009-2010 McGraw was awarded the Sterling-Rice Research Award, a Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Grant, and the CU Men’s Basketball Professor of the Game honor. He has published more than 20 papers in outlets such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Psychological Science, and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
On campus, he serves on student thesis and dissertation committees, brings distinguished speakers to the University, and counsels the American Marketing Association campus chapter. He spent his first five years at the University of Colorado at Boulder coaching the Men’s Lacrosse Program. He is also involved with the local startup community and serves on the board of Studio Shed and Bamboobies.
A full list of publications is available at Professor McGraw's website.
- Ph.D., Quantitative Psychology (Judgment and Decision Making)
The Ohio State University
- M.A., Quantitative Psychology (Judgment and Decision Making)
The Ohio State University
- M.Ed, Educational Psychology (Learning & Cognition)
- B.A., Psychology and Exercise Science
Ever wonder why people laugh at inappropriate comments, what makes an heirloom invaluable, or why an Olympic athlete might be unhappy to win a medal? These interesting questions that focus on the relationship between emotions, judgment, and decisions are just a few examples of McGraw’s research questions.
McGraw directs three unique interdisciplinary research laboratories – the Judgment, Emotion and Choice Laboratory (JECL), the Moral Research Laboratory (MoRL) and the Humor Research Laboratory (HuRL). His current work includes developing a theory of mixed emotions, examining how businesses could better use humor, and investigating how consumers go about purchasing funerals and weddings.
- Consumer Psychology
- Judgment and Choice
- Moral Psychology
McGraw’s teaching is primarily focused on the Leeds School’s popular Buyer Behavior course. He also regular teaches a doctoral seminar on judgment and decision making. Whenever possible, he draws on new research in consumer psychology to inform his classes about emerging evidence in the field. He also takes a unique approach to his teaching by focusing not only on the firm’s marketing strategies but also on consumer education – so that students (consumers themselves) can be more effective in the marketplace. Finally, McGraw likes to have some fun in the classroom and hosts a class “Olympics” that features competitions in various events, such as bowling, kickball, and trivia bowl.
- Consumer Behavior
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Advertising and Promotion Management
Communal justifications used by communallyfocused organizations are particularly effective when consumers are not closely monitoring the
motives of the organization or when the product is need-based. However, communal justifications become less effective and market-pricing justifications become more effective when consumers are attuned to the persuasive intentions of the organization.
Humor is an important, ubiquitous phenomenon; however, seemingly disparate conditions seem to facilitate humor. We
integrate these conditions by suggesting that laughter and amusement result from violations that are simultaneously seen as
Monetary gambles, as it turns out, may be processed and evaluated differently than gambles with nonmonetary outcomes. Whereas monetary gambles involve numeric amounts that can be straightforwardly combined with probabilities to yield at least an approximate “expectation” of value, nonmonetary outcomes are typically not numeric and do not lend themselves to easy combination with the associated probabilities.
- Sterling-Rice Research Award (2010)
- Marketing Science Institute Grant (2010, 2011)
- Professor of the Game, CU Men's Basketball (2010)
- Big XII Faculty Fellowship (2006, 2010)
- Best Paper, Society for Consumer Psychology Winter Conference (2009)
- Guiney Research and Teaching Award, Leeds School of Business (2008)
- Transformative Consumer Research Grant (2008)
- Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar (2007)
October 2, 2011
Associate Professor Pete McGraw spoke about his "benign violation theory" at the International Society for Humor Studies’ annual conference, the main event in a global subculture of actual university professors who study what makes people laugh.
August 26, 2011
Politicians might not have much incentive to prepare for the most likely kind of terrorist attacks according to a recent paper coauthored by associate professor Pete McGraw.
August 31, 2011
Associate professor Pete McGraw discusses his, paper “A policy maker’s dilemma: Preventing terrorism or preventing blame” in light of recent disasters.
July 2, 2011
The Leeds School professor will be studying both the comedians and the responding audiences at the Just for Laughs festival in the hopes that he can find some definitive answers.
Leeds School of Business
April 25, 2011
Professor Peter McGraw teams up with The New Yorker Cartoon Editor to unlock the code behind the magazine’s celebrated Cartoon Caption Contest.
June 27–29, 2012
St. Julien Hotel
Boulder, CO 80302
The Behavioral Decision Research in Management Conference is held biennially and brings together the best of behavioral research within, but not limited to, the areas of consumer behavior, organizational behavior, negotiation, managerial decision making, behavioral finance, experimental and behavioral economics, decision analysis, behavioral strategy, behavioral operations research, behavioral accounting, and medical and legal decision making.
Posted: June 12, 2013
Nick Haslam, professor at the University of Melbourne and author of Psychology in the Bathroom, answers the question: My favorite example of bathroom graffiti: Here I sit brokenhearted. Tried to sh*t, but only farted. Learn more about his book HERE.
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Posted: June 05, 2013
When I say “how to begin your research paper,” I mean, “this is how you should structure the first one to three paragraphs of your research paper.” Scholars, such as Daryl Bem, suggest taking an hour-glass approach to writing a research paper. Start with broad generalizations (e.g., “William James famously noted…”), winnow the literature down [...]
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Posted: May 29, 2013
(With Joel Warner. This post has appeared on the Humor Code’s Huffington Post and Psychology Today blogs.) Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are garnering lots of attention these days. Some see large-scale, web-based classes as the new frontier for colleges and universities, a great leap forward that could revolutionize higher education. Duke University professor [...]
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Dr. Peter McGraw discusses his research about preventing terrorist acts, how the U.S. government acts and how the public responds. McGraw spoke with NPR's Shankar Vedantam on All Things Considered on Aug. 31, 2011, about this topic.