Nils Olsen


Nils Olsen

Assistant Professor of Organizational Sciences



Room 106, 600 21st Street, NW Washington DC 20052

Nils Olsen is trained as a social psychologist and statistician and approaches his research and teaching from a behavioral economics perspective. Dr. Olsen’s research includes: (a) decision-making in high-intensity contexts (e.g., medical, legal, financial,; and (b) decision-making within human-AI(BOT) interactions.

He has publications appearing in the Journal of Personality and Social PsychologySocial Cognition, Academic Emergency Medicine, Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Brain Research Bulletin, Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (JACR, University of Chicago Press), and Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games    

Olsen's applied experience includes work within the Global Executive MBA Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of BusinessDuke Corporate Education, Inc., the American Bar Foundation, the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), and Deutsche Asset Management (Deutsche Bank). His presentations include events at JP Morgan Chase, the Trading Floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the Association for Psychological ScienceLondon Business School, the International Convention on Science, Education, and Medicine in Sport (ICSEMIS), the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), and the National Geographic Channel.

Dr. Olsen has been honored with The George Washington University’s (Columbian College of Arts & Sciences) Graduate Programs Advisor of the Year Award (2013), nominated for the Honey Nashman Spark a Life Award (2015) and nominated for the GW Student-Athletes' Professor of the Year Award (Finalist in 2017 & Nominee in 2018, 2019).

As a tribute to his commitment to research, Dr. Olsen has successfully mentored Organizational Sciences majors to secure either the #1 or #2 spots (or both) in GW's Research Showcase for 8 consecutive years: 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 (2020 – pandemic), 2021, & 2022.

  • Behavioral Economics 
  • Consumer Decisions
  • Medical Decisions
  • Decision-Making & AI

Olsen's research includes: (a) decision-making in high-intensity contexts (e.g., medical, legal, financial,; and (b) decision-making within human-AI(BOT) interactions ( & 

  • ORSC 1109 - Intro to Organizational Sciences
  • ORSC 3159 -  Extreme Decisions
  • ORSC 4161 -  Research Methods in Organizational Sciences 
  • ORSC 4197W -  Senior Research Seminar 
  • ORSC 6104 - Statistics in Management, Administration, & Policy Studies


*Kulesa, J., Escalante, E., Olsen, N., & Lucas, R. (2023). Evolution of conflict management style during intern year of paediatric residency. The Clinical Teacher – Medical Education Journal. PMID: 37491144, DOI: 10.1111/tct.13612

Davis, N., Olsen, N., Perry, V. G., Stewart, M. M., & White, T. B.. (2022). I’m only human? The role of racial stereotypes, humanness and satisfaction in transactions with anthropomorphic sales bots.  Journal of the Association for Consumer Research (University of Chicago Press), 8(1).    Article Animation  

 *Peterson, L.M., **Orr, J.A., **Rogelberg, S.D., & Olsen, N. (2022). Social-contextual factors interact with masculinity to influence college men’s HPV vaccination intentions: The role of descriptive norms, prototypes, and physician gender. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 45, 825-840.    

Girginov, V., Moore, P. J., Olsen, N., Godfrey, T., & Cooke, F. (2020). Wearable technology-stimulated social interaction for promoting physical activity: A systematic review. In V. Girginov (Senior Editor), P. J. Moore & N. Olsen (Guest Editors), Cogent Social Sciences, 6:1, 1742517. Oxfordshire, UK: Taylor & Francis.

Zurca, A. D., Olsen, N., & Lucas, R. (2019). Development and Validation of the Pediatric Resuscitation and Escalation of Care Self-Efficacy Scale. Hospital Pediatrics, 9(10) 801-807.    

Baig, K. M., Su, S., Mumford, S., Giuliani, E., Ng, S. S. M., Armstrong, C., Keil, M. F., Vaught, K. C., Olsen, N., Pettiford, E., Burd, I. & Segars, J. H. (2018). Mice deficient in AKAP13 (BRX) develop compulsive-like behavior and increased body weight. Brain Research Bulletin, 140, 72-79.  

Lucas, R. H., Farley, H., Twanmoh, J., Urumov, A., Evans, B., & Olsen, N. (2009). Measuring the opportunity loss of time spent boarding admitted patients in the emergency department: A multi-hospital analysis. Journal of Healthcare Management, 54(2), 117-125. PMID: 19413166; DOI:10.1097/00115514-200903000-00009

Lucas, R., Farley, H., Twanmoh, J., Urumov, A., Olsen, N., Evans, B., & Kabiri, H. (2009). Emergency department patient flow: The influence of hospital census variables on emergency department length of stay. Academic Emergency Medicine, 16(7), 597-602. PMID: 19438415; DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2009.00397.x NB: This research explores the impact of decision-making protocols and patient volume on length of stay in the emergency departments of four US hospitals (N=13,185 emergency department visits). 

Sedikides, C., Ariely, D., & Olsen, N. (1999). Contextual and procedural determinants of partner selection: Of asymmetric dominance and prominence. Social Cognition, 17, 118-139.    NB: This research appears in chapter 1 of the New York Times Bestseller, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions (by Dan Ariely, 2009).  

Harvey, J. H., **Stein, S. K., Olsen, N., Roberts, R. J., Lutgendorf, S. K., & Ho, J. (1995). Narratives of loss and recovery from a natural disaster. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 10, 313-330.    

Sedikides, C., Olsen, N., & Reis, H. T. (1993). Relationships as natural categories. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 71-82.    



Olsen, N., Moore, P. J., *Hyde, S., & **Fowler, L. (2020). Healthcare treatment seeking and avoidance. In K. Sweeny & M. Robbins (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Health Psychology. New York, NY: Wiley. ISBN: 978-1-119-05783-3.  

Olsen, N., Perry, V. G., & *Jin, Z. (2018). Cognition, distraction, and the financial planning client. In C. R. Chaffin (Ed.), Client Psychology (119-136). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-1-119-43626-3.  

Girginov, V., & Olsen, N. (2014). LOCOG: A temporary organisation within a high-velocity environment. In V. Girginov (Ed.), Handbook of the London 2012 olympic and paralympic games. Volume two: Celebrating the games (71-83). London, UK: Routledge.

Rusbult, C. E., Olsen, N., Davis, J. L., & Hannon, P. (2001). Commitment and relationship maintenance mechanisms. In J. H. Harvey & A. E. Wenzel (Eds.), Close romantic relationships: Maintenance and enhancement (87-113). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.…  

Harvey, J. H., **Stein, S.K., & Olsen, N. (1996). Losses resulting from natural disaster: A study of storytelling. In J. H. Harvey (Ed.), Embracing their memory: Loss and the social psychology of storytelling (152-164). Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster.    



Olsen, N. (2007). Game Theory. In S. Clegg & J. Bailey (Eds.), International encyclopedia of organization studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Olsen, N. (2007). Cognitive Dissonance. In S. Clegg & J. Bailey (Eds.), International encyclopedia of organization studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.



Orr, J., Peterson, L. M., & Olsen, N. (2018, April). Does physician gender play a role in college students' human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination decisions? Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 52, S52-S52. Oxford University Press.   

Sawczuk, A., Olsen, N., & Davis, E. B. (2012, May). Inter-organizational relationships (IORs): Developing new models of sustainability. In T. D. Golden (Ed.), Proceedings: The Eastern Academy of Management (794-820). Philadelphia, PA.    

Grady, V., Davis, E. B., Olsen, N., Duffy, S., & Ciampaglio, T. (2008, May). The power of effect. Panel presentation: Papers on organizational effectiveness. Proceedings: The Eastern Academy of Management, Washington, DC.  

Aziz, A., Norris, J., Goldman, H., & Olsen, N. (2006, April). Facets of type A personality and pay increase among the employees of fast food restaurants. Proceedings: The Society for Advancement of Management International Conference, Orlando, FL.    

Olsen, N. & Burton, R. M. (2000). Asymmetric dominance versus learning: Can context override the learning of choice-set rules? Proceedings: The Annual Meeting of the Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory Conference, Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon.    



Olsen, N. (1993). Brief Note on Humility (N. Richards). Contemporary Psychology, 38, 1123.  

Ph.D. in Social Psychology; additional concentration in statistics (game-theory & decision-making), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

M.A. in Social Psychology (juridic decisions), University of Iowa at Iowa City

B.S. in Psychology (social cognition & recall), University of Wisconsin at Madison