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.

Like the late, great Prince, I am sometimes on the radio. I've been told that "sometimes" implies more than once.* (Did Prince ever do podcasts?)

I guess I also occasionally blog. (People tell me that "occasionally" suggests "more than once" as well).

The University of Texas at Austin
2110 Speedway, B6700, Austin, TX 78712
Amit.Kumar@mccombs.utexas.edu
(973) 722-2510

For media coverage of some of my work, see The Atlantic, BPS Research DigestChicago Booth Review, CNBCCNN, The Daily TexanForbesThe Huffington Post, Inc, MoneyishNewsy, Pacific StandardPBS, Psychology TodayQuartz, Texas McCombs Big Ideas, U.S. News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider (here and here), The International Business Times (here and here), The New York Times (here and here), NPR (here and here), Time Magazine (here and here), the Cornell Chronicle (herehere and here), New York Magazine (herehere, and here), or ScienceDaily (herehere and here).

For an overview of some of my work, read this. If you'd rather take a few minutes instead of--or in addition to--a couple of hours, watch this video (and/or this one).

For a blurry picture of me learning how to ride a bicycle at the age of 28, click here.

If you can think of some of the many other ways in which I am like Prince, please feel free to shoot me an email.

*Apparently, the first link is a Fox affiliate and the second is an NPR affiliate. I'm really bridging the political divide. [Okay, maybe I do the Public Radio thing a little more often. (Even in Canada)].