Phil Fernbach Headshot
Associate Professor • Co-Director of the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making • Marketing PhD Program Director
Marketing • Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making

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I am a professor of marketing in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. I am a cognitive scientist who studies how people think, and I apply insights from my research to improve public discourse and help consumers and managers make better decisions. I am co-director of the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making, an affiliate of the Institute of Cognitive Science, and the Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility, and an external advisory board member for McKinsey & Company. I teach data analytics and behavioral science to undergraduate and Masters students.

I am co-author with Steve Sloman of the 2017 book, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone, which was chosen as an Editor’s Pick by the New York Times. The book explores why we think we know so much more than we do, and the profound implications for individuals and society. I have written popular press articles for outlets such as the New York Times, Quartz, MarketWatch, and Harvard Business Review, and I regularly give public talks about my research.

I received my Ph.D. in cognitive science from the Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences at Brown University in 2010. Prior to pursuing my Ph.D. I worked with consumer goods companies as a strategy consultant for two boutique firms in Boston. Before that, I did my undergraduate studies at Williams College in the mountains of Western Massachusetts where I studied philosophy.

When I'm not busy with research I spend most of my time playing with my son and daughter, flatpicking my Martin HD28 at local bluegrass jams and playing ice hockey.



For publications, CV and other information please visit my website.