“In reality, many choices are between things that are not that much different. The value of choice depends on our ability to perceive differences between the options.”

Sheena S. Iyengar is the inaugural S.T. Lee Professor of Business at Columbia Business School and the Director of the Global Leadership Matrix and Research Director at the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business.

A social psychologist and renowned expert on the subject of choice, Iyengar’s innovative research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the National Security Education Program. In 2002, she was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Social Scientists by the Executive Office of the President.

Iyengar has taught on a wide variety of topics at Columbia for MBA and Executive MBA students, including leadership, decision making, creativity, and globalization, earning an Innovation in the Teaching Curriculum award along the way. She was also recently selected by Columbia University’s President’s Office to teach at the Global Leadership Fellows Program at the World Economics Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

In her critically acclaimed book, The Art of Choosing, she presents the biology and the psychology of choice, examining how different cultures construct choice and pondering how we might choose better. The Art of Choosing was a finalist for the 2010 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award, received the 2011 Gold Axiom Business Book Award in the “General Business/Economics” category, and was selected by editors as one of the Top 10 Best Business Books of 2010. Iyengar’s other publications and working papers include: “The Dark Side of Choice: When Choice Impairs Social Welfare,” “Allocating Resources Among Group Members: The Medium of Exchange” and “Creating Our Selves Through Choice: Opportunity and Obligation,” among many others. She has also written for, Slate and strategy + business, and has been a guest on CNN, CNBC, CBS Sunday Morning News and The Today Show.

Iyengar has degrees in Economics and Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Stanford University.

She tweets @Sheena_Iyengar.