Dan Gilbert
Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

What do you do?

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Gilbert talks about why we're so bad at predicting what makes us happy.

Dan Gilbert

Daniel Gilbert is the Harvard College Professor of Psychology at Harvard University. His research with Tim Wilson on "affective forecasting" investigates how and how well people can make predictions about the emotional impact of future events.

Dan has won numerous awards for his teaching and research—from the Guggenheim Fellowship to the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award for an Early Career Contribution to Psychology. However, he says that his greatest accomplishment is that he appears just before Dizzy Gillespie on the list of Most Famous High School Dropouts.

Dan's research has been covered by The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Money, CNN, U.S. News & World Report, The New Yorker, Scientific American, Oprah Magazine, Psychology Today, and many others.


Question: Beyond a simple title, how would you describe what you do for a living?

Dan Gilbert: Well I’m a professor, which means I’m a teacher and a researcher. And as a teacher I spend lots of time with young people – undergraduates and graduate students – training them . . . teaching them and training them for their later profession. As a researcher, I spend most of my time trying to understand why people are so damn bad at figuring out what will make them happy in the future.

Recorded on: 6/12/07


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