My immersive introduction to irrationality took place many years ago while I was overcoming injuries sustained in an explosion. The range of treatments in the burn department, and particularly the daily “bath” made me face a variety of irrational behaviors that were immensely painful and persistent. Upon leaving the hospital, I wanted to understand how to better deliver painful and unavoidable treatments to patients so I began conducting research in this area. After completing this initial research project, I became engrossed with the idea that we repeatedly and predictably make the wrong decisions in many aspects of our lives and that research could help change some of these patterns.
My books 'Predictably Irrational' and 'The Upside of Irrationality' are my attempt to take my research findings and describe them in non academic terms so that more people will learn about this type of research, discover the excitement of behavioral economics, and possibly use some of the insights to enrich their own lives. In terms of official positions, I am the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.