Stanford Experts

Baba Shiv

Professor of Marketing, Graduate School of Business


(650) 725-8122



Baba Shiv’s research expertise is in the area of neuro-economics, with specific emphasis on the role of neural structures related to emotion and motivation in shaping decisions and experiences. His recent work examines the interplay of the brain’s “liking” and “wanting” systems and its implications for marketing, innovation, leadership and decision-making. He asks: Does being denied something make people pursue it more hotly but also simultaneously like it less? Does a wine’s price tag price affect the pleasure one experiences? In the past few years, he has also focused his attention onto the neuro-economics behind innovation and entrepreneurship leadership in companies small and large, from Silicon Valley tech startups to Fortune 500 companies Baba Shiv teaches courses at the GSB that build on his research interests. Examples of some of the courses that he teaches are The Frinky Science of the Mind, and Entrepreneurial Ventures in Luxury Markets. He frequently hosts executives from around the world in executive education programs at Stanford on strategic marketing management, design thinking and customer-focused innovation. Along with colleagues from the University of Iowa’s Tippie School of Management and the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business, Professor Shiv recently focused on consumers, specifically lonely ones, and how they respond to product ratings. Their research showed there are more lonely consumers than companies think, many of whom tend to choose products fewer people seem to like, such as artwork. Having to make a purchase for public consumption, however, often prompted lonely people to go with the majority. Marketers can use this information to better appeal to the lonely, the researchers said.