McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University
“I am a first-generation low-income student at Georgetown University. When I was able to take Professor Logg’s Management course I jumped at the opportunity as I had heard great things about her teaching methods and motivation for teaching. After taking her class over the pandemic while I was at home I can attest that Professor Logg is the most comprehensive, supportive, and inspiring teacher at Georgetown University. During my time taking her class, I had trouble concentrating and hearing on my computer and she was able to send me some headphones to help with my concentration and also accommodated time for office hours. I had never had such a supportive and comprehending professor at Georgetown.” – Vanesa Fernanda Carrillo, student
Jennifer Logg, 36, is Assistant Professor of Management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. She has been with the school since 2019. She currently teaches Management and Organizational Behavior and The Psychology of Big Data, a class she created and will teach as part of Georgetown’s new Master’s of Science in Business Analytics.
She also teaches a research tutorial. “I’m passionate about introducing undergraduate research assistants to the scientific research process in my ‘Logg Lab,’” she tells Poets&Quants.
She has a PhD in Management of Organizations from the University of California, Berkeley. She was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School.
“Professor Logg is truly passionate about what she teaches. More importantly, she constantly ties her research to her instruction in the classroom, adding a layer of depth to each concept she is trying to impart to students,” writes Aristides Hadjipanteli in their nomination. “More significantly, she makes a consistent effort to meet with students outside of lecture hours and engages with them on a personal level, teaching them the very same research skills she uses so that they may come away from her classes with a new skillset. Prof. Logg’s teaching style ought to be blueprint!”
Dr. Logg’s research focuses on how individuals can assess themselves and the world more accurately by using advice and feedback produced by algorithms. Her 2021 paper, “Algorithm Appreciation,” was ranked No. 1 on the list of “Most Cited Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes Articles Since 2018.” She is the winner of the Journal of Experimental Psychology’s 2019 Early Career Award for her paper, “Is overconfidence a motivational bias?”
LIFE AS A BUSINESS SCHOOL PROFESSOR
I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when… In college, I was a research assistant in multiple psychology labs. After college, I was a program coordinator at Columbia University for Elke Weber and Dave Krantz’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. I still remember Elke’s advice to look at business schools for graduate school because I was interested in researching judgment and decision making. After hearing that from Elke, I started attending seminars at the business school and I was hooked. My favorite part of grad school, and my job to this day, is attending seminars and hearing about colleagues’ research.
What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it? My research examines how people can assess themselves and the world more accurately by using advice and feedback produced by algorithms. I test when people are willing to listen to insights generated by algorithms. I call my primary line of research, Theory of Machine, a twist on Theory of Mind. Broadly, this work examines how people expect algorithmic and human judgment to differ.
The most significant discovery is that experts and non-experts respond differently to algorithmic advice. People in our experiments relied more on the same advice when they thought it came from an algorithm than from another person. These results are especially interesting considering that we did not provide our participants with much information about the algorithm.
The experts in our experiment, national security professionals who make forecasts for their job, however, discounted both the advice from the algorithm and the advice from people. They seemed to trust their own expertise most, and they did not revise their original predictions. Importantly, after scoring the predictions based on accuracy, the experts made less accurate predictions than the non-experts. Now, I’m looking at how present algorithmic advice can increase people’s willingness to listen.
If I weren’t a business school professor, I’d be… doing similar research in a people analytics team.
What do you think makes you stand out as a professor? My passion for introducing students to the critical thinking required to generate and communicate analytical insights from “big data.”
I also really love introducing students to the scientific method, specifically research utilizing experiments. In my research lab, I have met the most talented and kind students. I’m really lucky to get to work with them and see them develop as scholars.
One word that describes my first time teaching: Humbling to see how motivated students are to apply management and behavioral economics topics to their lives and careers.
Here’s what I wish someone would’ve told me about being a business school professor:
Professor I most admire and why: I admire so many people in the field, not just for their research but for how wonderful they are as people. The researchers in the judgment and decision-making area are truly some of the best people you can meet.
I would have to say, Don Moore, my doctoral advisor, because his goal is to discover truth. That sentiment has guided my career and it keeps me grounded.
TEACHING BUSINESS SCHOOL STUDENTS
What do you enjoy most about teaching business students? I love how curious they are to understand the world and improve it. Students are ready to address important organizational and also societal issues. I ask my students to propose an experiment to run in an organization and they are very thoughtful in choosing a consequential issue. When they present their experiment, they are impressively creative; so I can’t help but gush to colleagues, friends, and family about them.
What is most challenging? Helping everyone develop the confidence to share their thoughts. I love when a class is on board to leverage the experience and expertise each student brings to class. Some students can be hesitant to speak up and I encourage them to share their insights so we can all learn from them. These are often the students who surprise the class with super interesting ideas no one else has considered; I’m so proud of them when they do!
In one word, describe your favorite type of student: Curious
In one word, describe your least favorite type of student: Entitled
When it comes to grading, I think students would describe me as… Fair and transparent
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
What are your hobbies? Photography
How will you spend your summer? Doing research!
Favorite place(s) to vacation: Anywhere coastal to swim in the ocean.
Favorite book(s): The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton. More recently, Don Moore’s Perfectly Confident. My students’ really love Don’s book too.
What is currently your favorite movie and/or show and what is it about the film or program that you enjoy so much? Moneyball! I turned it into a quasi-case study for the class I created, called the Psychology of Big Data, for Georgetown’s new Master’s of Science in Business Analytics. We walk through each of the characters and analyze how each of them responded to Billy Beane’s idea to use analytics (sabermetrics) to recruit players for the Oakland A’s baseball team. Students always add new insights to the discussion and I learn something new from them every class debrief.
What is your favorite type of music or artist(s) and why? It depends but I was raised on classic rock, so if Tom Petty or Bruce Springsteen turn up on my Spotify, I’m happy.
THOUGHTS AND REFLECTIONS
If I had my way, the business school of the future would have much more of this… Discussions about how the rise of “big data” and analytics requires an emphasis on critical thinking and teaching students how to assess different types of evidence (anecdotal, correlational, and experimental) presented to them.
I’m happy to see how eager students are to discuss Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the cases we debrief in class. I was honestly surprised how gracefully students discussed these issues and how they immediately created a collaborative environment for each other to discuss these important issues. Additionally, I was heartened to see many students return to the topic as a focus for their culminating project. It’s really inspiring to hear their perspectives and how they consider solving societal issues.
I’m grateful for… wonderful people; my students, research assistants, collaborators, colleagues, friends, and family.