About Me

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I am a PhD student at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business specializing in Behavioral Science. My goal is to help people better understand themselves and their decisions. My research, therefore, focuses on everyday judgment and decision-making and consumer psychology with applications in financial decisions and communication.

My approach to research is grounded in the real world. I focus on phenomena that we see in everyday life and use a variety of methods to study them. This includes lab and large-scale field experiments, as well as analysis of large administrative data sets. I'm especially interested in studying phenomena that may not be noticeable on average yet still affect a significant number of people.

During my PhD, I’ve been deliberate in expanding my approach to research. Focusing especially on designing cleaner experiments, generating insights at scale, and identifying novel questions and methods to understand everyday judgments and decisions.

My methods are tailored to the questions I am trying to answer. Across my projects I mostly use a combination of lab and field experiments, supplementing these insights with qualitative surveys, analysis of administrative data, and high-dimensional statistical methods such as machine learning.


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]


Currently, I'm working on three main projects that focus on financial decision-making and communication. The first explores why people simultaneously carry high-interest revolving debt and cash in their savings and checking accounts. The second project looks at the common struggle of not being able to express exactly what we mean. My third project is about figuring out what makes a message effective and in the process we come up with a method of discovering insights using both machine learning and basic human psychology. I also have one published paper that examines self-other differences in the way we evaluate wealth. 

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. 


Sendhil Mullainathan

Abigail Sussman

Nick Chater

John Hamman

Vera & Guilherme Batista


Jens Ludwig

Aastha Mittal

Jane Risen

James Ross

Juliana Schroeder

Jennifer Trueblood

Yuji Winet