Nils Olsen is Assistant Professor & Director of Organizational Sciences at The George Washington University, 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).

In the classroom, Dr. Olsen teaches: (1) Extreme Decisions; (2) Persuasion, Negotiation & Conflict Resolution; (3) Research Methods in Organizational Sciences; (4) Senior Research Seminar; (5) Statistics; and - within selected (study tour) semesters - (6) Communication, Decision-Making, & Innovation: The Special Case of Denmark.

Olsen's research covers: (a) decision-making in high-intensity contexts (e.g., financial & medical - see GW TODAY article, https://gwtoday.gwu.edu/extreme-decisions); (b) persuasion & negotiation; (c) cognitive processing within artificial intelligence (AI); & (d) procedural justice within professional-client interactions (e.g., consultant-client, lawyer-client, physician-patient). His publications have appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Social Cognition, Academic Emergency Medicine, Brain Research Bulletin, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions (New York Times Bestseller), and 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). He is a reviewer for the Journal of Psychology, Health and Medicine (https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cphm20/current).

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

contact: nolsen@gwu.edu

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.