Peter McGraw
Professor CU Boulder • Founder The Humor Research Lab • March 8, 2017
Leeds School of Business

Dr. Peter McGraw is not your typical b-school professor. Though he possesses the pedigree of a serious academic, he has an adventurous side that is evident in his approach to scholarship and life.

McGraw, a professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is an expert in the interdisciplinary fields of emotion and behavioral economics. His research examines the interrelationship of judgment, emotion, and choice, with a focus on the production and consumption of entertainment.

In recent years, McGraw has been a leading force in moving the study of humor from the niche to the mainstream. The advantage that he has over his predecessors is his ability to conduct state-of-the-art experiments with the help of the team he directs at the Humor Research Lab (HuRL), a laboratory dedicated to the experimental study of humor, its antecedents and consequences. In 2014, McGraw co-authored The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny.

He is a member of the faculty at the Leeds School of Business and the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at CU Boulder. He received a B.A. in psychology and M.Ed. in educational psychology from Rutgers University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in quantitative psychology from The Ohio State University. His post-doctoral training was conducted at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He teaches MBA and PhD courses in marketing management and behavioral economics.

McGraw is willing to leave the ivory tower to delve more deeply into research questions – whether trying his hand at stand-up at a dive bar, attending a funeral director convention, posing as a shopper at a gun show, or singing hymns at a Fundamentalist Baptist church. His work has been covered by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, BBC, TIME, and CNN.