Alex Shaw joined the faculty at The University of Chicago in 2015. He received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology at Yale University after completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Pennsylvania. He then did a post-doctoral fellowship in the Center for Decision Research at at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
Broadly, his research focuses on how children and adults navigate the social world, with a particular focus on reputation management and social signaling. Many of his research projects focus on understanding how children and adults form social judgments about others and what kind of a reputation they pursue in different social situations. Often people cannot simply pursue a “good reputation”, but must make decisions about how to balance different reputational concerns. Being seen as maximally honest might mean not being seen as maximally kind, being seen maximally fair and impartial might mean not being seen as maximally loyal, and doing what looks best to others now is not always what will be the best or look the best in the long run. Dr. Shaw's research investigates how adults balance these concerns and also explores how children’s concerns with reputation develop and change as they mature.