Nils Olsen is trained as a social psychologist and statistician, and approaches his research and teaching from a behavioral economics perspective (Ph.D., Social Psychology; additional concentration in statistics; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; M.A., Social Psychology, University of Iowa at Iowa City; & B.S., Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Madison). Olsen's research includes: (a) decision-making in high-intensity settings (e.g., emergency department physicians, financial decision-makers - see GW TODAY article, https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/extreme-decisions); (b) perceptions of artificially intelligent agents (bots); and (c) consumer decision-making. Nils Olsen is the Program Director for GW’s Undergraduate (BA) & Graduate (MA) Programs in Organizational Sciences.

Olsen’s publications have appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Social Cognition, Academic Emergency Medicine, Brain Research Bulletin, The Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (https://www.routledge.com/Handbook-of-the-London-2012-Olympic-and-Paralympic-Games-Volume-Two-Celebrating/Girginov/p/book/9780415671927), and the New York Times Bestseller – ‘Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions’ (by Dan Ariely).

Olsen’s applied experience includes work within the Global Executive MBA Program at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Duke 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 Science, 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).


Prince National Tennis All-America


Decision Making Research

Dr. Nils Olsen maintains a consistent program of research within the realms of health, financial and mega-event (Olympic event) decisions.



Dr. Nils Olsen collaborated with Dr. Clay Warren to design and deliver a 10-day (plus two weekend) study tour to Copenhagen, Denmark.