Uma Karmarkar

Uma R. Karmarkar is an assistant professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. She holds a joint appointment with the Rady School of Management. Her research develops theory-driven frameworks about consumer behavior “from the brain up.”

Karmarkar’s research falls into two major streams. The first investigates how individuals use the limited information available in uncertain situations to make choices. The second examines how the timing and context-dependent framing of information influences decision-making. In pursuing this work, she combines methods from consumer psychology and behavioral economics with neuroimaging, allowing her to study both conscious and unconscious processes.

Prior to joining UC San Diego, Karmarkar was a visiting professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and an assistant professor in marketing at Harvard Business School. She has a PhD in consumer behavior from Stanford University and a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA.

  • Consumer behavior
  • Neuroscience
  • Consumer psychology
  • Behavioral economics

Buckholtz, J. W., U. R. Karmarkar, S. Ye S, G. Brennan, and A. Baskin-Sommers. 2017. "Blunted Ambiguity Aversion during Cost-Benefit Decisions in Antisocial Individuals." Scientific Reports 7. doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02149-6.

Karmarkar, U. R. 2017. "The Impact of ‘Display-set’ Options on Decision-Making." Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 30 (3): 744–53. doi: 10.1002/bdm.1998. First published online Nov. 3, 2016.

Karmarkar, U. R., and B. Bollinger. 2015. "BYOB: How Bringing Your Own shopping Bags Leads to Treating Yourself and the Environment." Journal of Marketing 79 (4): 1–15.

Karmarkar, U. R., and H. Plassmann. 2017. "Consumer Neuroscience: Past, Present, and Future." Organizational Research Methods.

Karmarkar, U. R., and C. Yoon. 2016. "Consumer Neuroscience: Advances in Understanding Consumer Psychology." Current Opinion in Psychology 10:160–65. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.01.010.

Karmarkar, U. R., B. Shiv, and B. Knutson. 2015. "Cost conscious? The Neural and Behavioral Impact of Price Primacy on Decision-Making." Journal of Marketing Research 52 (4): 467-–81.

Karmarkar, U. R., B. Shiv, and R. M. C. Spencer. 2015. "Should You Sleep on it? The Effects of Overnight Sleep on Subjective Preference-based Choice." Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 30 (1): 70–79. doi: 10.1002/bdm.1921.

Peysakhovich, A., and U. R. Karmarkar. 2015. "Asymmetric Effects of Favorable and Unfavorable Information on Decision-Making under Ambiguity." Management Science 62 (8): 2163–78 doi:

Shenhav, A., C. Wolf, and U. R. Karmarkar. 2018. "The Evil of Banality: When Choosing between the Mundane Feels like Choosing between the Worst." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 147 (12):1892–1904. doi: 10.1037/xge0000433.