Jonah Berger

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Jonah Berger
Jonah Berger Headshot.jpg
Born Washington, D.C.
Alma mater Stanford University, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Occupation Writer, Professor[1]
Known for

Contagious: Why Things Catch On

Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior

Jonah Berger is a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is an expert on word of mouth, viral marketing, social influence, and trends.[2] He's the author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On and Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior.[3]


Berger earned his Ph.D. in marketing from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and his B.A. from Stanford University in Human Judgment and Decision Making. Popular accounts of his research often appear in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, Science, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Wired, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Atlantic, and The Economist. Berger writes regularly about psychology, marketing, social influence, and viral as a LinkedIn Influencer.[4]

Berger is a popular speaker at major conferences and events and often consults for companies like Google,[3] Vanguard, General Motors, Facebook, Unilever, Estée Lauder, Microsoft, Progressive, Purina, LinkedIn, and General Mills.[5]




Berger has published dozens of articles in leading, psychology, marketing, and general science journals. These include:

  • Berger, Jonah and Katy Milkman (2012), “What Makes Online Content Viral?” Journal of Marketing Research, 49 (2), 192-205.
  • Berger, Jonah and Raghuram Iyengar (2013), “Communication Channels and Word of Mouth: How the Medium Shapes the Message,” Journal of Consumer Research, October.
  • Zoey Chen and Jonah Berger (2013), “When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation,” Journal of Consumer Research, October.
  • Berger, Jonah, Eric Bradlow, Alex Braunstein, and Yao Zhang (2012), “From Karen to Katie: Using Baby names to Study Cultural Evolution” Psychological Science, 23 (10), 1067-1073.
  • Sela, Aner and Jonah Berger (2012), “Decision Quicksand: How Trivial Choice Suck Us In” Journal of Consumer Research, 39(2), 360-370.
  • Berger, Jonah and Eric Schwartz (2011), “What Drives Immediate and Ongoing Word of Mouth?” Journal of Marketing Research, October, 869-880.
  • Berger, Jonah and Devin Pope (2011), “Can Losing Lead to Winning?” Management Science, 57(5), 817-827.
  • Berger, Jonah, Alan T. Sorensen, and Scott J. Rasmussen (2010), “Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: When Negative Reviews Increase Sales,” Marketing Science, 29(5), 815-827.
  • Berger, Jonah and Gael Le Mens (2009), “How Adoption Speed Affects the Abandonment of Cultural Tastes,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 8146-8150.
  • Berger, Jonah, Marc Meredith, and S. Christian Wheeler (2008), “Contextual Priming: Where People Vote Affects How They Vote,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105 (26), 8846-8849.
  • Berger, Jonah and Gráinne M. Fitzsimons (2008), “Dogs on the Street, Pumas on Your Feet: How Cues in the Environment Influence Product Evaluation and Choice,” Journal of Marketing Research, 45(1), 1-14.
  • Berger, Jonah and Chip Heath (2007), “Where Consumers Diverge from Others: Identity-Signaling and Product Domains,” Journal of Consumer Research, 34(2), 121-134.


Berger has been recognized for both his teaching and research with awards including:

  • American Management Association, Top 30 Leaders in Business (2015)
  • Berry-American Marketing Association Book Prize for Best Book in Marketing (2014)
  • Fast Company Most Creative People in Business (2013)
  • The American Marketing Association (AMA) Top 5 Most Productive Researchers in Marketing (2013)
  • The Association for Consumer Research (ACR) Early Career Award for Contribution to Consumer Research (2012)
  • The Society for Consumer Psychology (SCP) Early Career Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Consumer Psychology (2012)
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Iron Professor Award for Awesome Faculty Research [1]
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania MBA Teaching Commitment and Curricular Innovation Award, 2011
  • New York Times, Year in Ideas 2006


  1. ^ Clark, Dorie. "How to Create Viral Content". Forbes. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Sacks, Danielle. ""Fifty Percent Of 'The Tipping Point' Is Wrong." Jonah Berger Shows You Which Half". Fast Company. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Anderson, Kare. "The Secret Behind Why Things Catch On". Forbes. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Jonah Berger - Marketing Department". University of Pennsylvania - Wharton School. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Berger, Jonah. "Jonah Berger". Jonah Berger. Retrieved 6 March 2014. 

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