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Daylian Cain

Daylian Cain

Senior Lecturer in Negotiations, Leadership, and Ethics

Dr. Cain's research focuses on "judgment and decision-making" and "behavioral business ethics." In other words, he studies the reasons why smart people do dumb things. Cain is a leading expert on conflicts of interest, especially the "perverse effects of disclosing conflicts of interest," and how to turn altruism on and off. Notably, Cain’s research has been discussed in the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, Forbes, The New Yorker, the Washington Post, BusinessWeek, USA Today, the New York Times, and other top media outlets such as NPR. Cain has won national teaching awards and has also appeared as a commentator on National Geographic’s popular TV show, Brain Games.


  • Russell Sage Fellow, Harvard, 2007
  • PhD, Carnegie Mellon, 2007
  • MS, Carnegie Mellon, 2003
  • MA, UNC-Chapel Hill, 2002
  • MA, Dalhousie, 1997
  • BA, 1st Class Honors, Dalhousie, 1996


Advice vs. Choice

J. Dana and D.M. Cain
Current Opinions in Psychology, vol. 6, pp. 173-176

Making Sense of Overconfident Entry

D. M. Cain, D. A. Moore and U. Haran
Strategic Management Journal

Tainted altruism: When doing some good is worse than doing no good at all

G. Newman and D. M. Cain
Psychological Science

Giving vs. Giving-in

D. M. Cain, J. D. Dana and G. E. Newman
Academy of Management Annals

Working Papers

Removed Reproach: The Relative Focus on Authenticity in Charitable Fundraising

G. E. Newman, A. Schniderman, and D. M. Cain

Insinuation Anxiety: Increased Pressure to Follow Less Trusted Advice

S. Sah, G. Lowenstein, and D.M. Cain

Paying People to Look at The Consequences of Their Actions

D. M. Cain and J. Dana


  • The Dirt on Coming Clean, "The Dirt on Coming Clean: Perverse Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest" was recently named among the most relevant research studies on fiduciary reform (and presented to the SEC by the Committee for the Fiduciary Standard).
  • Master Teacher in Ethics Award, Society of Business Ethics and Wheatley Institution, 2012
  • Yale SOM Alumni Association Teaching Award, Yale School of Management Alumni Association, 2011
  • Paper of the Year, Society of Business Ethics (SBE), 2010