Oh, hello there. I'm Amit. I am currently an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. My primary appointment is at the McCombs School of Business. I’m also affiliated with UT’s Psychology Department. I was previously a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Center for Decision Research at The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. During my time there, I mainly focused on some fun experiments with Nick Epley. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Psychology at Cornell University, where I worked with Tom Gilovich on topics related to consumer behavior, well-being, and judgment and decision-making. Before that, I received my A. B. in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University, working primarily with Dan Gilbert.
I am particularly interested in studying happiness. Much of my work has explored its relationship with money, examining the distinction between experiential and material purchases (that is, money spent on doing--e.g., on vacations and concerts--versus money spent on having--e.g., on clothing and gadgets). I have investigated how experiential consumption promotes enhanced anticipatory pleasure, provides hedonic benefits through utility derived from storytelling, and also has downstream consequences in terms of fostering social connectedness, gratitude, and prosocial behavior. These days I'm thinking about the broader connection between sociality and well-being. More specifically, I've been curious about whether people should act prosocially more often than they typically do.
I enjoy justifying the amount of money I spend on meals, live music, travel, and theater through rigorous scientific research.
I do not especially enjoy updating this website.
I guess I also occasionally blog. (People tell me that "occasionally" suggests "more than once" as well). And at times my writing for a general audience can be longer, like when it’s for the Harvard Business Review.
For media coverage of some of my work, see The Atlantic, BPS Research Digest, CNBC, CNN, The Daily Texan, Forbes, The Huffington Post, Inc, Moneyish, Newsy, Pacific Standard, PBS, Psychology Today, Quartz, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Booth Review (here and here), The International Business Times (here and here), The New York Times (here and here), NPR (here and here), Texas McCombs Big Ideas (here and here), Time Magazine (here and here), Business Insider (here and here and here), the Cornell Chronicle (here, here and here), New York Magazine (here, here, and here), or ScienceDaily (here, here and here).
For a blurry picture of me learning how to ride a bicycle at the age of 28, click here.