Behavioral and Economic Analysis and Decision-Making (BEAD)

Actionable Intelligence on Consumers and Markets

NORC’s Behavioral and Economic Analysis and Decision-Making (BEAD) team helps clients understand consumers’ behavior and financial decisions. Drawing on our deep expertise in behavioral economics, decision science, and market research, we rigorously collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data to deliver actionable insights on critical policy and business issues.

Because BEAD is a nimble team within a large, University of Chicago-affiliated research organization, we can work quickly, tailoring our methods and timelines to the needs of our clients, while drawing on the extensive resources of NORC and the University.

Integrated Services. Rigorous Methodology.

BEAD can fine-tune its data collection and analysis to answer a wide away of consumer-related research questions. Our methods include:

Research Design & Data Collection

  • Study design
  • Questionnaire development
  • Cognitive testing
  • Experimental data collection
  • Quantitative data collection
  • Qualitative data collection

Data Analytics

  • Predictive analytics
  • Advanced modelling
  • Stated preference methods
    • Conjoint; Maxdiff
  • Pricing research
  • Segmentation
  • Survivial analysis

Data Dissemination

  • Data visualization
  • Publications
  • Presentations
  • Media planning and promotion

Subject Matter Expertise

BEAD provides businesses and nonprofits with rigorously derived insights consumer behavior and decision-making. Those insights can inform product development and policymaking in a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Insurance
  • Financial planning
  • Investor protection
  • Consumer behavior
  • Retirement preparedness
  • Labor and employment
  • Healthcare decision-making

Recognized Thought Leaders

BEAD’s team members have worked with clients and partners in a wide variety of industries and have published and presented research across the country and around the globe. The team includes:

  • Angela Fontes, PhD, Consultant, a nationally recognized expert in behavioral economics and financial decision-making
  • Mark Lush, Behavioral Scientist, an expert in using behavioral science to understand customer insights, influence change and drive decision-making
  • Justine Bulgar-Medina, PhD, a skilled research methodologist and an expert in labor and employment

Clients and Partners

NORC has helped a wide variety of businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations understand the “why” of consumer behavior and use that understanding to further their strategic goals, including:

  • State Farm
  • MetLife
  • JUST Capital
  • Morningstar
  • Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)
  • Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital
  • Sloan School of Management
  • MIT
  • Security and Exchange Commission
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • U.S. Census Bureau


Debra Coaxum
Vice President

Mark Lush
Behavioral Scientist


Hamilton Plans Tours with Data

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Case Study: Hamilton

JUST Capital

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Case Study: JUST Capital


Kennon Copeland
Senior Vice President

Edward Mulrow
Vice President

Julie Banks
Vice President

Bernard Dugoni
Senior Research Methodologist

Melissa Howe
Senior Research Scientist