All About Dan


I do research in behavioral economics and try to describe it in plain language. These findings have enriched my life, and my hope is that they will do the same for you.

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.

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.

A few years later, as I was learning more and more about decision making and behavioral economics, I realized that this knowledge is relevant to many aspects of our life, from financial decision making, to health, to better habits, and even to better personal life. Once I realized that understanding decision-making can help me live in a better way, I started working on how to get all of us use the same basic knowledge to improve our daily life.

Irrationally Yours, Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty, the movie Dishonesty and the card game Irrational Game 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.

My free time is spent working on a guide to the kitchen and life—Dining Without Crumbs: The Art of Eating Over the Kitchen Sink—and of course, studying the irrational ways we all behave.

Download my curriculum vitae »

What is this nonsense about not doing email?


I’m currently getting email at a level that I just can’t handle. To try and manage the load, I’m testing a new email system. If you use it, please let me know how it is working for you.

For invitations for lectures and talks, please first check my online schedule to see if I’m free at that time. If I’m free, CONTACT ME.