William Benton Professor

Office phone: (773) 702-5830
Fax: (773) 702-0886
Lab Phone: (773) 702-9081
Office: Beecher Hall 213
Lab: Beecher Hall 208


  • Ph.D., Princeton University, Psychology, 1989
  • M.A., Princeton University, Psychology, 1987
  • B.A., Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Psychology and Philosophy, 1984

Academic Appointments

  • Chair, Cognition Program, 2005-present
  • Professor, The University of Chicago, July 2002 - present
  • Associate Professor, The University of Chicago, July 1995 - June 2002
  • Assistant Professor, The University of Chicago, July 1991 - June 1995
  • Post-doctoral Scholar, Stanford University, September 1989 - June 1991

Research Interests

  • Communication and Language Use
  • Metaphors, Idioms and other Figures of Speech
  • Thinking, Reasoning and Problem Solving
  • Judgment and Decision Making


Lab:  https://mdl.uchicago.edu

Selected Publications

Costa, A., Foucart, A., Hayakawa, S., Aparici, M., Apestguia, J, Heafner, J, & Keysar, B. (2014). Your Morals Depend on your Language. PLoS One. e94842.

Wu, S., Barr, D. J., Gann, T. M., and Keysar, B. (2013). How culture influences perspective taking: Differences in correction, not integration. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7 (822).

Keysar, B., Hayakawa, S., and An, S. G., (2012). The foreign language effect: Thinking in a foreign tongue reduces decision biases. Psychological Science. 23, 661-668.

Lev-Ari, S. and Keysar, B. (2012). Less detailed representation of non-native language: Why non-native speakers' stories seem more vague. Discourse Processes, 49, 523-538.

Savitsky, K., Keysar, B., Epley, N., Carter, T. and Swanson, A. (2011). The closeness-communication bias: Increased egocentrism among friends versus strangers. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47, 269-273.

Lev-Ari, S. & Keysar, B. (2010). Why don’t we believe non-native speakers? The influence of accent on credibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 1093–1096.

Lin, S., Keysar, B., & Epley, N.  (2010).  Reflexively mindblind:  Using theory of mind to interpret behavior requires effortful attention.  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 551-556.

Chang, V. Y., Arora, V. M., Lev-Ari, S., D'Arcy, M., Keysar, B.  (2010).  Interns Overestimate the Effectiveness of Their Hand-Off Communication. Pediatrics, 125, 491-496.