Oh, hello there. I'm Amit. I'm currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. I was previously a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. 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).
For media coverage of some of my work, see The Atlantic, Business Insider, Chicago Booth Review, CNN, Forbes, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Newsy, PBS, Time Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, The International Business Times (here and here), NPR (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.