About Me

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I am a PhD student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business specializing in Behavioral Science. I am broadly interested in judgment and decision-making with a focus on financial decisions and communication.


My approach to research takes advantage of the fact that we are living in a period of unprecedented methodological advances and diversity. Equipped with various methods and prior industry experience, my work is grounded and pragmatic: I start

with an observation in the world and use whatever methods are most appropriate to study it. 


Across my projects, I have designed controlled (lab) experiments in the style traditionally used in psychology and conducted large-scale field experiments with international organizations, an approach more common in behavioral economics and marketing. More recently, I have leveraged machine learning techniques in work that is more standard in computer science.  

The aim of my research is to help people better understand themselves and their decisions. I am interested in the rifts between what people say they do, what they believe they should do, and what they actually do. In particular, I believe that the way people make sense of these contradictions and their attempts to communicate these accounts to others often guide their future behaviors and decisions. My projects, therefore, focus on everyday judgment and decision-making and consumer psychology with applications in financial decisions and communication.

Prior to starting my Ph.D., I spent about 10 years studying human psychology and everyday decisions, in the U.S. and around the world. In past work, I have used behavioral science to study social problems including credit card debt repayment in Australia; chicken farming strategies in Ethiopia; water, sanitation, and hygiene access, and unconditional cash transfers in Kenya.


I earned my Bachelor's degrees from Florida State University and my Master's from the University of Warwick. I co-founded the Behavioral Economics team within the Commonwealth Bank of Australia where I served as Head of Behavioral Research. I also worked at the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, a research and advisory firm headquartered in East Africa, helping set up the advisory practice and expanding operations into Ethiopia.


I continue to advise organizations around the world on applying behavioral science and setting up in-house ‘nudge units’. I am also constantly connecting with partners seeking to not only consume, but also produce new insights in behavioral science.​ 


While I can spend countless hours thinking about behavioral science, my greatest joys sit outside my work. Embracing time with family, cultivating community, cooking (not great at this but I love it),  playing board games, watching improv, traveling and trying desserts. 

See also:
  • "Articulating Your Internal Reality" [podcast interview]
  • "Can behavioral science help us be better with our money?" [podcast interview]
  • "Change Maker: Rafael Batista nudging for good in banking" [link]
  • "How CommBank nudges customers to do better" [paywall link]
  • "HBS Case Study- Commonwealth Bank of Austalia: Unbanklike Experimentation" [paywall link]
  • "A Strong Sense of Scepticism, A Deep Curiosity About the World" [link]

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Mentors

Sendhil Mullainathan

Abigail Sussman

Nick Chater

John Hamman

Vera & Guilherme Batista

Collaborators

Jens Ludwig

Ella Mao

Aastha Mittal

Jane Risen

James Ross

Juliana Schroeder

Jennifer Trueblood

Yuji Winet