Penn announces two new PIK professors

PIK profs

Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price recently announced the addition of two new Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) professors with the appointments of Barbara Mellers and Philip Tetlock. Mellers is Penn’s 11th PIK professor, Tetlock the 12th. Their appointments are effective Jan. 1, 2011.

Mellers, currently a professor in the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, is a globally influential scholar of decision making. Her research examines factors that influence judgments and decisions, including emotions, self-interest, past mistakes, sensitivities to risk and perceptions of fairness. 

A visiting professor at Penn since September, Mellers will be the I. George Heyman University Professor. Her appointment will be shared between the Department of Psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) and the Department of Marketing in the Wharton School.

“Our judgments are influenced as much by perceptions as reality,” Gutmann says. “Barbara Mellers’ path-breaking research examines how complex dynamics of decision making affect consumer choice, cooperative behavior and personal preference. By helping to reveal how we have knowledge about ourselves and how that knowledge, or lack thereof, influences our relationships with others, her scholarship provides invaluable insights and societal benefits.”

Tetlock, an award-winning scholar of political psychology and organizational behavior, is perhaps best known for his book, “Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?” winner of the Robert E. Lane Award for Best Book in Political Psychology and the Woodrow Wilson Award for Best Book on Government, Politics or International Affairs. 

Like Mellers, he is currently a professor in the Haas School of Business at Berkeley and has been a visiting professor at Penn since September. He will be the Leonore Annenberg University Professor and his appointment will be shared between the Department of Psychology in SAS and the Department of Management in Wharton.

“Phil Tetlock’s seminal work is advancing our understanding of human behavior by rigorously exploring key psychological, cognitive and social elements of success and failure in human prediction and judgment,” President Gutmann says. “His scholarship demonstrates the importance of transparency, collaboration and accountability, and also of being open-minded even about open-mindedness.”

The PIK initiative was established by Gutmann to recruit scholars whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge.


Originally published on December 16, 2010