Professor Nemeth has over 100 publications in peer reviewed journals and books. Her work, primarily on influence and group decision making processes, has been translated in various languages and broadly applied to both business and to the law. Her most recent work has been on the topic of creativity and innovation and has included interviews with Nobel laureates in the sciences as well as entrepreneurs and CEOs of innovative companies. A complete list of her work and publications can be found in the curriculum vitae. Additional publications can be found and downloaded in the section on Consulting Services.
Areas of Research Interest
Social Psychology and Organizational Behaviour.
Research specialties are influence, creativity and small group decision making with a particular emphasis on the value of properly managed dissent for stimulating thought and creativity. Her work has been broadly applied, most notably in jury decision-making and the managing of innovation in organizational settings.
Additional related topics of her research include corporate cultures, profiting from diversity and dissent, the psychology of creative scientists and techniques, including brainstorming, for improving the quality of decision making and creativity.
For most of Professor Nemeth’s professional career, she has studied small group decision making with an emphasis on the ways in which such decisions can be made “better”, more correct and more creative. Her emphasis has been on influence processes in general and the value of dissent, in particular, as she provides repeated evidence that dissent, even when it is wrong, stimulates divergent thinking, a consideration of more alternatives, and ultimately serves the detection of truths and the finding of creative solutions (“Minority Influence Theory”).
This research, while both experimental and naturalistic, concentrates on basic cognitive and influence processes. However, it has been broadly applied to law and to business. The work relevant to law is primarily on jury decision making and the reader is referred to “Jury Trials: Psychology and the Law” published in the Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (ed L. Berkowitz), 1981, 14 ,pp 309-367., as well as to a comparative analysis of France vs the United States. Professor Nemeth has also consulted extensively on jury trials and she was the first woman and the first social scientist to give an invited address to the Oregon Bar Association.
The research pertinent to business has focused not only on the quality of decision making and “teams” but also on corporate cultures that foster innovation. The Reader is referred to “Managing Innovation: When Less is More” published in the California Management Review (Fall 1997).
Professor Nemeth has given invited addresses on teams, decision making, persuasion, corporate cultures and innovation to the Business Schools or Schools of Management at Cornell, Harvard, Northwestern, MIT, Yale and at Aston Business School and London Business School in the United Kingdom as well as the School of Management in St. Petersburg, Russia, and UC Berkeley. In 2004-2005, she was named a Leverhulme Fellow, one of the most prestigious awards in social science in the United Kingdom, one which required addresses to Business Schools and local communities. She served 6 years as the Chair of the Board of Advisors to the Institute of Management, Innovation and Organization at the Haas school of Business at UC Berkeley.
As part of her research interests in creativity and innovation, Professor Nemeth spent 3 years interviewing Nobel laureates in Chemistry and Physics for 10-12 hours each and is currently preparing a book on that project. Other research interests include diversity of team members, techniques for raising the level of creativity (e.g. brainstorming, devil’s advocate), power (its uses and abuses) and persuasive tactics as well as cross cultural differences in creativity and influence processes. Her work on brainstorming was featured in an article in the New Yorker in 2012.