Ashley Whillans

Behavioral scientist
Ashley Whillans investigates how intangible incentives affect employee motivation and well-being.

Why you should listen

Ashley Whillans is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School. In both 2015 and 2018, she was named a Rising Star of Behavioral Science by the International Behavioral Exchange and the Behavioral Science and Policy Association. In 2016, she cofounded the Department of Behavioral Science in the Policy, Innovation, and Engagement Division of the British Columbia Public Service Agency.

Whillans' research has been published in top academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Nature Human Behavior and Science Advances, and popular media outlets, including Harvard Business Review, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Her first book, Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life, was published in October 2020. She earned her BA, MA and PhD in Social Psychology from the University of British Columbia. Prior to joining Harvard, she was a visiting scholar and guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her dissertation research on time and happiness won the 2017 CAGS Distinguished Dissertation Award for being the best PhD thesis in Canada across the fine arts, humanities and social sciences.

Ashley Whillans’ TED talk

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