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The Psychometrics Centre

Cambridge Judge Business School


Sandra Matz is the David W. Zalaznick Associate Professor of Business at Columbia Business School in New York.

She is interested in the role of psychological characteristics in a number of business-related domains (e.g. marketing or management). More specifically, her research combines traditional experimental methods with Big Data analytics to study how psychological characteristics influence real-life outcomes such as financial well-being, consumer satisfaction or team performance,  and how such insights can be used to help businesses and individuals make better decisions.

Sandra completed her PhD at the Psychometrics Centre, in the University of Cambridge Department of Psychology in July 2017. She was funded by the German National Academic Foundation which is Germany’s largest and most prestigious funding body. Prior to that, Sandra graduated from the University in Freiburg (Germany) with a 1st Class honours degree in Psychology (BSc) in 2013. 

Combining a strong background in methods and statistics with an interest in real-life business needs, her research applies fundamental psychological theory to business contexts. Working with companies around the world, she currently investigates the potential of using predictions of individual differences (mainly personality) from digital footprints in digital marketing and recruitment.

Sandra has been awarded the Data IQ New Talent Award for her investigations into how the 'Big Five' personality dimensions can be used to increase the effectiveness of digital advertising campaigns on Facebook.  In 2015 and 2016, she was named as one of the DataIQ 100 most influential people in data driven marketing. She was also named as one of the 30 top thinkers under 30 by the Pacific Standard Magazine that recognizes young men and women predicted to have a serious impact on the social, political, and economic issues.

Sandra is fluent in German (mother tongue) and English and has a fair knowledge of French, Italian and Spanish. She loves playing tennis, climbing and travelling.

More information is available on Sandra's website.


Key publications: 


Matz, S. C., & Hirsh, J. (in press). Marketing and Personality. In Carducci, B. J. (eds), The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Matz, S. (in press). Personality-customised advertising in the digital environment. In C. Jansson-Boyd & M. Zawisza (eds), International Handbook of Consumer Psychology. Taylor & Francis.

Behrendt, P., Matz, S. & Goeritz, A. (in press). An integrative model of leadership behavior. Leadership Quarterly.

Matz, S., Gladstone, J. & Stillwell, D. (2016) Money Buys Happiness When Spending Fits Our Personality. Psychological Science, , 27(5), 715-725.

Matz, S., Chan, Y. W. F. & Kosinski, M. (2016). Models of Personality. In Tkalcic, Decarolis, de Gemmis, Kosir & Odić (eds), Emotions and Personality in Personalized Systems. Springer.

Kosinski, M., Matz, S., Gosling, S., Popov, V. & Stillwell, D (2015). Facebook as a Social Science Research Tool: Opportunities, Challenges, Ethical Considerations and Practical Guidelines, American Psychologist, 70(6), 543-556.

Behrendt, P. & Matz, S. (2014). Wie Sie Probleme lösen anstatt sie zu fokussieren. In A. Ryba, D. Pauw, D. Ginati & S. Rietmann (Hrsg.), Professionnell coachen. Das Methodenbuch: Erfahrungswissen und Interventionstechniken von 50 Coachingexperten. Beltz


Manuscripts under review

Matz, S., Kosinski, M., & Stillwell, D. (under review at the JMR). Personality targeting as a new approach to customer-centric marketing.


Manuscripts in preparation

Matz, S. C., Segalin, C., Stillwell, D,. Mueller, S. R. & Bos, M. W. Personality-customized marketing: Using computational methods to predict the personal appeal of commercial image. (writing up manuscript)

Matz, S. C., & Gladstone, J. J. Nice guys finish last: Agreeableness increases default rates in the poor. (3 studies completed)

Gladstone, J. J., Matz, S. C., Garbinsky, E. Psychological fit in brand choice: The moderating role of price (4 studies completed)

Matz, S. C., Menges, J., Schwartz, A. & Stillwell, D. Predicting income from Facebook profile information. (data collection completed)


Conference publications and talks

Matz, S. C., Gladstone, J., & Stillwell, D. (2016). Money Buys Happiness if Spending Fits our Personality. 17th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Diego, CA. 18th European Conference on Personality. Timisoara, RO.

Matz, S. C., Segalin, C., Stillwell, D., & Bos, M. (2016). Personality-tailored advertising: Using automatically extracted features to increase the personal appeal of commercial images. 28th Annual APS Convention, Chicago, IL.

Matz, S. C., Gladstone, J., & Stillwell, D. (2016). Money Buys Happiness if Spending Fits our Personality. 17th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. San Diego, CA.

Matz, S., (2015, July 3rd). Big Data Assessment: Predicting Psychological Traits from Digital Footprints. Invited Keynote at the VII Brazilian Congress for Psychological Assessment, Sao Paulo.

Matz, S. (2015, July 16). Using Big Data in personality-customised advertising. Invited Keynote at the DataIQ Summit, London.

Matz, S., Popov, V., Stillwell. D., & Kosinski, M. (2015). Using the Big Five for personality-customised advertising on Facebook. 16th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Long Beach, CA.

Matz, S., Chan. Y. E. F., Popov, V., Stillwell. D., & Kosinksi, M. (2014). Using Big Data in real-life online marketing: personality-targeted and -tailored advertisements on Facebook. 26th Annual APS Convention, San Francisco, CA.


Media coverage:

"Money Buys Happiness When Spending Fits Our Personality" (selected):

Washington Post





Interview with TFM Insights on "The Science of Digital Behaviour and Human Personality". Published in January 2016

Interview with the German TV channel “ZDF Info” on the topic of „Big Data and credit scoring“.  Broadcast on Novermber 7th, 2013. 

Interview in „DIE WELT“ on the topic of “Recruitment via Facebook”. Published on February 2nd, 2014.


David W. Zalaznick Associate Professor of Business, Columbia Business School

Contact Details

Takes PhD students
Available for consultancy