David G. Rand

New Paths to Purpose Conference


Society for Judgment and Decision Making


David G. Rand

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Bridging the fields of behavioral economics and psychology, David’s research combines behavioral experiments run online and in the field with mathematical and computational models to understand people’s attitudes, beliefs, and choices. His work uses a cognitive science perspective grounded in the tension between more intuitive versus deliberative modes of decision-making, and explores topics such as cooperation, misinformation, political preferences, outrage, and social media platform behavior. His work is both highly theoretical, pinpointing underlying mechanisms, as well as applied, investigating and testing interventions (e.g., how to combat fake news).

David has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles in journals including Nature, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Psychological Science, the American Economic Review, Management Science, and the New England Journal of Medicine, and has received widespread attention from print, radio, TV and social media outlets. His scholarly work currently has over 15,000 citations on Google Scholar. He has also written many popular press articles for outlets including the New York Times, Wired, New Scientist, and the Psychological Observer. He was named in Wired magazine’s Smart List 2012 of “50 people who will change the world,” was chosen as a 2012 Pop!Tech Science Fellow, received the 2015 Arthur Greer Memorial Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Research, and was selected as fact-checking researcher of the year in 2017 by the Poynter Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network. He has also been the recipient of best paper of the year awards in Social Cognition, Experimental Economics, and Political Methodology.