Ilona Fridman, PhD

Research Fellow

I study how people process information, what aspects of information they focus on, what they evaluate as worthy to consider and act upon.  At times, evaluating available information, people could misjudge opportunities and choose options that might lead to a suboptimal outcome. For instance, encountering a medical problem, when stakes are high and actions irreversible, people might choose interventions with minimum benefits but with serious harms. One challenge is that individuals might prioritize their prior attitudes or anecdotal experiences over evidence-based information while making decisions. My goal is to develop tools that motivate individuals to learn critical aspects of information and avoid choosing options that have high-costs but low-benefits.

I utilize experiments, Natural Language Processing, Topic Modeling, and Machine learning methods to answer my research questions.  

Selected publications

Fridman I., Ubel, A.P, Higgins, E.T. (2018). Eye-Tracking Evidence Shows that Non-Fit Messaging Impacts Attention, Attitudes and Choice. PloS One,  

Fridman, I., Glare, P. A., Stabler, S., Epstein, A. S., Wiesenthal, A., Leblanc, T. W., & Higgins, E. T. (2018). Information Framing Reduces Initial Negative Attitudes in Cancer Patients’ Decisions about Hospice Care. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. doi: 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2018.02.010
Fridman, I & Higgins, E. T.  Regulatory Focus Theory and Health Communications (2017). In Ed. Parrott, R.L., Research Encyclopedia of Health and Risk Message. Oxford Press

Fridman, I., Scherr, K., Glare, P., Higgins, E. T. (2016). Using a non-fit message helps to de-intensify negative reactions to tough advice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 42(8):1025-44. doi: 10.1177/0146167216649931​

Fridman, I., Epstein, A., Higgins, E. T. (2015). Appropriate use of psychology in patient-physician communication: Influencing Wisely. Journal of American Medical Association Oncology, 1(6), 725-726. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.0980.



MPhil, Columbia University Business School, Management, Organizational Behavior

PhD, Columbia University Business School, Management, Organizational Behavior