George NewmanBroadly, I am interested in human reasoning and the cognitive processes that guide our common sense understanding of the world. My research explores the nature of these intuitions, where they come from and how they inform the decisions that people make on a daily basis.

Within this broader framework, I have been particularly interested in how people’s beliefs about intangible qualities-things that they never directly see or interact with-inform their evaluations of others, their concept of self and the value placed on objects.  As a result, my recent research has primarily focused on questions related to the concepts of authenticity, essentialism, and personal identity.  Links to several of my papers are provided below.


Huang, Julie Y., Joshua Ackerman and George E. Newman (2017). Catching (up with) Magical Contagion: A Review of Contagion Effects in Consumer Contexts, Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2, 430-443.

De Freitas, Julian, George E. Newman, Hagop Sarkissian, Igor Grossmann, Felipe De Brigard, Andres Luco, and Joshua Knobe. Consistent Belief in a Good True Self in Misanthropes and Three Interdependent Cultures. Cognitive Science, 42, 134-160.

Strohminger, Nina, Joshua Knobe and George E. Newman (2017). The True Self: A psychological concept distinct from the self. Perspectives in Psychological Science, 12, 551-560.

De Freitas, Julian, Kevin Tobia, George E. Newman, Joshua Knobe (2017). Normative judgments and individual essence. Cognitive Science, 41, 382-402.

Stavrova, Olga, George E. Newman, Anna Kulemann and Detlef Fetchenhauer (2016). Contamination Without Contact: An Examination of Intention-based Contagion. Judgment and Decision Making, 6, 554-571.

Tierney et al. (2016). Data from a pre-publication independent replication initiative examining ten moral judgment effects. Nature: Scientific Data, 3, article number: 160082

Newman, George E. and Rosanna K. Smith (2016). The Need to Belong Motivates the Valuation of Authentic Objects. Cognition, 156, 129-134.

Makov, Tamar and George E. Newman (2016). “Economic Gains Undermine Evaluations of Sustainability Initiatives.” Nature Climate Change, 6, 844–846.

Goldsmith, Kelly, George E. Newman and Ravi Dhar (2016). “Mental representation changes the evaluation of green product benefits.” Nature Climate Change, 6, 847–850.

Newman, George E. and Rosanna K. Smith (2016). “Kinds of Authenticity.” Philosophy Compass, 11, 609–618.

Smith, Rosanna K., George E. Newman and Ravi Dhar (in press). “Closer to the Creator: Temporal Contagion Explains the Preference for Earlier Serial Numbers,” Journal of Consumer Research.

Newman, George E. (in press). “An essentialist account of authenticity,” Journal of Cognition and Culture.

Schweinsberg, M., at al. (in press). “The pipeline project: Pre-publication independent replications of a single laboratory’s research pipeline,Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Keil, Frank C. and George E. Newman (2015), “Order, Order Everywhere, and Only an Agent to Think: The Cognitive Compulsion to Infer Intentional Agents,” Mind & Language, 30, 117-139.

Luke Zhu, Victoria L. Brescoll, George E. Newman and Eric L. Uhlmann (2015), “Macho Nachos: The Implicit Effects of Gender Stereotypes on Preferences for Healthy and Unhealthy Foods.” Social Psychology, 46, 182-196.

Rand, David G., George E. Newman and Owen M. Wurzbacher (2015), “Social context and the dynamics of cooperation,” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 28, 159-166.

Newman, George E., Julian De Freitas and Joshua Knobe (2015), “Beliefs about the true self explain asymmetries based on moral judgment” Cognitive Science, 39, 96-125.

Newman, George E. and Paul Bloom (2014), “Physical contact influences how much people pay at celebrity auctions” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 705–3708.

Newman, George E., and Daylian M. Cain (2014), “Tainted Altruism: When doing some good is evaluated worse than doing no good at all” Psychological Science, 25, 648-655.

Newman, George E., and Ravi Dhar (2014), “Authenticity is Contagious: Brand Essence and the Original Source of Production” Journal of Marketing Research, 51, 371-386.

Newman, George E., Margaret Gorlin and Ravi Dhar, (2014) “When Going Green Backfires: How Firm Intentions Shape the Evaluation of Environmental Product Enhancements,” Journal of Consumer Research, 41, 823-839.

Rand, David G., Alexander Peysakhovich, Gordon T. Kraft-Todd, George E. Newman, Owen Wurzbacher, Martin A. Nowak, Joshua D. Greene (2014) “Intuitive cooperation and the Social Heuristics Hypothesis: Evidence from 15 time constraint studies” Nature Communications, 5, 3677.

Cain, Daylian M., Jason Dana and George E. Newman (2014), “Giving vs. giving-in,” Academy of Management Annals, 8, 505-533.

Newman, George E., Joshua Knobe and Paul Bloom, “Value Judgments and the True Self,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 203-213.

Smith, Rosanna K. and George E. Newman (2014) “When multiple creators are worse than one: Single author biases in the evaluation of art” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts, 8, 303-310.

Poehlman, T. Andrew, and George E. Newman (2014) “Potential: The Valuation of Imagined Future Achievement” Cognition, 130, 134-139.

Gjersoe, Nathalia L., George E. Newman, Vlad Chituc and Bruce Hood (2014), “Individualism and the extended-self: Cross-cultural differences in the valuation of authentic objects,” PLoSONE, 9, e90787.

Newman, George E., Rosanna K. Smith and Daniel Bartels (2014), “Are artworks more like people than artifacts? Psychological connectedness and the extended self” Topics in Cognitive Science, 6, 647-662.

Urminsky, Oleg, Daniel M. Bartels, Paola Giuliano, George E. Newman and Lance Rips, (2014) “Choice and Self: How Identity Shapes Choices and Decision MakingMarketing Letters, 25, 281-291.

Brescoll, Victoria L., Eric Uhlmann and George E. Newman, “The Effects of System Justifying Motives on Endorsement of Essentialist Explanations for Gender Differences” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105 (6), 891-908.

Knobe, Josh, Sandeep Prasada and George E. Newman (2013),“Dual Character Concepts and the Normative Dimension of Conceptual Representation” Cognition, 127, 242-257.

Newman, George E., and Paul Bloom (2012),“Art and Authenticity: The Importance of Originals in Judgments of Value” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141, 558-669.

Newman, George E. and Brian J. Scholl (2012), “Bar Graphs Depicting Averages are Perceptually Misinterpreted: The within-the-bar bias,” Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19, 601-607.

Newman, George E. and Y. Jeremy Shen (2012), “The Counterintuitive Effects of Thank-you Gifts on Charitable Giving” Journal of Economic Psychology, 33, 973-983.

Newman, George E., and Daniel Mochon (2012), “Why are lotteries valued less? Multiple tests of the direct risk-aversion hypothesis” Judgment and Decision Making, 7, 19-24.

Newman, George E., Gil Diesendruck and Paul Bloom (2011), “Celebrity Contagion and the Value of Objects,” Journal of Consumer Research, 38, 215-228 (Lead article).

Newman, George E., Frank C. Keil, Valerie Kuhlmeier and Karen Wynn (2010), “Sensitivity to Design: Early Understandings of the Link Between Agents and Order,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 17140-17145.

Newman, George E., Kritsi K. Lockhart and Frank C. Keil (2010), “’End-of-Life’ biases in moral evaluations of others,” Cognition, 115, 343-349.

Gao, Tao, George E. Newman and Brian J. Scholl (2009), “The psychophysics of chasing,” Cognitive Psychology, 59, 154-179.

Hamlin, J. Kiley, George E. Newman and Karen Wynn (2009), “Eight-month-old infants infer unfulfilled goals, despite contrary physical evidence,” Infancy, 14, 579-590.

Newman, George E., Hoon Choi, Karen Wynn, and Brian J. Scholl (2008), “The origins of causal perception,” Cognitive Psychology, 57, 262-291.

Newman, George E., Patricia Hermann, Karen Wynn and Frank C. Keil (2008), “Biases towards intrinsic features in infants’ reasoning about objects,” Cognition, 107, 420-432.

Newman, George E. and Frank C. Keil (2008), “Where’s the essence? Developmental shifts in children’s beliefs about internal features,” Child Development, 79, 1344-1356.

Blok, Serge V., George E. Newman and Lance J. Rips (2007), “Out of sorts? Remedies for theories of object concepts: A reply to Rhemtulla and Xu,” Psychological Review, 114, 1096-1102.

Rips, Lance J., Serge V. Blok and George E. Newman (2006), “Tracing the identity of objects,” Psychological Review, 113, 1–30.

Cheries, Erik W., George E. Newman, Laurie Santos, and Brian J. Scholl (2006), “Units of visual individuation in rhesus macaques: Objects or unbound features?” Perception, 35, 1057-1071.

Book Chapters & Commentaries

Uhlmann, Eric L., Luke Zhu, Victoria Brescoll and George E. Newman (in press), “System Justifying Motives Can Lead to Both the Acceptance and Rejection of Innate Explanations for Group Differences” [commentary on Cimpian and Salomon] Brain & Behavioral Sciences.

De Freitas, Julian, Kevin Tobir., George E. Newman, Joshua Knobe (2014), “The good ship Theseus: The effect of valence on object identity judgments,” Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, Mahwahm NJ: Erlbaum.

Newman, George E. (2013), “The Duality of Art: Body and Soul,” [commentary on Bullot and Reber] Brain & Behavioral Sciences, 36, 153.

Newman, George E. (2012), “The Bias toward Cause and Effect,” in Psychology of Bias, Nova Science Publishers.

Keil, Frank C. and George E. Newman (2010), “Darwin and development: Why ontogeny does not recapitulate phylogeny for human concepts,” In. D. Mareschal, P. Quin, & S. Lea (eds.). The Making of Human Concepts. Oxford University Press.

Keil, Frank C. and George E. Newman (2008), “Two tales of conceptual change: what changes and what remains the same,” In S. Vosniadou (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Conceptual Change, Earlbaum, 83-101.

Newman, George E., Serge V. Blok and Lance J. Rips (2006), “Beliefs in afterlife as a by-product of persistence judgments,” [commentary on Bering], Behavioral & Brain Sciences, 29, 480-481.

Blok, Serge V., George E. Newman and Lance J. Rips (2005), “Individuals and their concepts,” In W. K. Ahn, R. L. Goldstone, B. C. Love, A. B. Markman & P. Wolff (Eds.), Categorization inside and outside the lab. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Blok, Serge V., George E. Newman, Jennifer Behr and Lance J. Rips (2001), “Inferences about individual identity,” Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society (pp. 80–85). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.