top of page


I am an Assistant Professor of Marketing at ESADE Business School.


I study a range of topics related to consumer judgment and decision making, including investigating how the context of a decision affects choices, the drivers of pro-social behavior, and the impact of group identity on decision making. I am passionate about multi-method approaches to research, combining experiments with econometric analysis.


I completed my Ph.D. at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego in 2023. Before that, I worked as a pricing analyst at HP Inc. I received a B.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley in 2014.

Ariel Fridman - website.jpg



Dominance is the strongest form of preference relations that renders one alternative clearly preferred. Dominance effects have been studied using stylized lab experiments, which have found, surprisingly, that people’s preferences can depend on the presence of irrelevant options in the choice set. We identify an important moderator for the dominance effect – the ability to sample or experience products – and test it in both a real-world marketplace for digital freelance services and a lab experiment. This work is the first to use consequential field data to shed light on when and why dominance effects occur, with implications for marketers, choice architects, and policymakers.

Aerial View of Wrestling Match

Would you prefer to harm your own group or aid an opposing group? Given this lose-lose choice across polarized issues, participants prefer to harm their own side of a cause rather than aid the opposition. Participants are willing to subtract, on average, over three times as much from their side in order to avoid giving $1 to the opposing side. We propose that these decisions are driven by identity concerns, and shifting perceived group norms leads to corresponding behavioral changes, with important implications for compromise and intergroup conflict.

Collecting Money

In the face of crises – wars, pandemics, and natural disasters – both increased selfishness and increased generosity may emerge. Using a 4-year real donation data and six months of dictator game allocation data, we find that individuals exhibited greater generosity when COVID-19 threat was present in their geographic location. Our findings have significant societal implications and advance our understanding of economic and psychological theories of social preferences under threat.


Contrary to past research suggesting that the increased salience of a disease threat should improve attitudes toward vaccines, we observed a decrease in intentions of getting a COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available. This decline was driven by participants who identify as Republicans, who showed a negative trend in vaccine attitudes and intentions, whereas Democrats remained largely stable. Consistent with research on risk perception and behavior, those with less favorable attitudes toward vaccination also perceived the virus to be less threatening.

Recent Press

Recent Press
Politically Speaking.jpg

Vaccine Hesitancy

  • NBC San Diego: Politics and Vaccine

  • CBS News: South Bay children's vaccination rates far outpace East County counterparts

  • The AtlanticStop Calling It a ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated’

  • VoxHow American conservatives turned against the vaccine

  • KPBS: Republicans More Likely To Be Skeptical Of Vaccines, UCSD Report Finds

  • PsyPost: New longitudinal study uncovers a stark partisan divide in willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine


COVID-19 and Generosity

R Packages

R Packages

A faster and more useful buffer function for rasters


Fast JSON reader using C++ and parallel processing

bottom of page