Faculty Directory

Tim Johnson

Tim Johnson


Tim Johnson joined the Atkinson faculty as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Management and Public Policy in 2011. Tim teaches students about the non-market interactions between businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and governments. As well, Tim offers courses that teach students how to analyze public policies using contemporary social science research tools.

Tim informs these classes with insights from his research, which seeks to understand how individuals use formal institutions, social norms, and their knowledge of behavioral regularities in order to achieve successful cooperation and strong organizational performance. He has published this research in journals across the social and behavioral sciences, including Nature, Economics Letters, The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, and Political Psychology.

Tim's research activities, moreover, have afforded him the opportunity to work with scientists from across the globe. Upon completing his Bachelor's degree at the University of Oregon in 2004, Tim worked as a Predoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute in Berlin, Germany. Following his time at the Max Planck Institute, Tim returned to the United States to enroll in graduate studies at Stanford University, where he completed a PhD, in Political Science, in the summer of 2011.


  • Ph.D., Stanford University
  • M.A., Stanford University
  • B.A. University of Oregon

Areas of Instruction

Public Management and Public Policy

Professional Affiliations

American Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association, Western Political Science Association, American Economic Association

Selected Publications

Tim Johnson, Mikhail Myagkov, and John Orbell. (Forthcoming). Distinctive Preferences Toward Risk in the Substantive Domain of Sociality. Political Psychology.

Tim Johnson. (Forthcoming). The Strategic Logic of Costly Punishment Necessitates Natural Field Experiments and At Least One Such Experiment Exists. Behavior and Brain Sciences.

von Helversen, Bettina, Andreas Wilke, Tim Johnson, Gabriele Schmid, & Burghard Klapp. Performance Benefits of Depression: Sequential Decision Making in a Healthy and a Clinically Depressed Sample. Journal of Abnormal Psychology. (Forthcoming).

Smirnov, Oleg, Christopher T. Dawes, James H. Fowler, Tim Johnson & Richard McElreath. The Behavioral Logic of Collective Action. Political Psychology 31: 595-616. (2010)

Johnson, Tim, Christopher T. Dawes, James H. Fowler, Richard McElreath, & Oleg Smirnov. The Role of Egalitarian Motives in Altruistic Punishment. Economics Letters 102: 192-4. (2009)

Dawes, Christopher T., James H. Fowler, Tim Johnson, Richard McElreath, & Oleg Smirnov. Egalitarian Motives in Humans. Nature 446: 794-6. (2007)

Johnson, Tim, Mikhail Myagkov, & John Orbell. Sociality as a Defensive Response to the Threat of Loss. Politics and the Life Sciences 23:13-9. (2005)

Fowler, James H., Tim Johnson, & Oleg Smirnov. Egalitarian Motive and Altruistic Punishment. Nature, 433: E1. (2005)

Selected Presentations

Johnson, Tim. Service After Serving: Do Military Veterans Make High-Performing Public Bureaucrats? Paper presented at the Pacific Northwest Political Science Association Annual Conference. (2010).

Johnson, Tim. The Problem with Pendleton‟s Premise: Non-Meritocratic Hiring Can Improve Bureaucratic Performance. Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference. (2010).

Johnson, Tim, Smirnov, Oleg. The Evolution of Cooperation through Fitness Cues. Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference. (2007).

Myagkov, M., Orbell, J., Johnson, T., Menshikov, I. Sociality as Risky Choice in Economic Theory and its Critic Prospect Theory. Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference. (2007).

von Helversen, B., T. Johnson. Individual Differences in Satisficing and Strategies for Sequential Choice. Paper presented at the Society for Judgment and Decision Making Annual Conference. (2006).

Fowler, J.H., Johnson, T., McElreath, R., and Smirnov, O. Inequality Reduces Punishment-Induced Cooperation in Humans. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences. (2005).

Johnson, T., Myagkov, M., Orbell. A Bias toward Loss Aversion in the Choice to Enter Risky Cooperative Games. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. (2005).