He has a BA in psychology from Tel Aviv University, an MA and PhD in cognitive psychology from the University of North Carolina, and a PhD in business administration from Duke University.
After graduating from Duke in 1998, he took a position at MIT, where he was the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics (with a two year break when he was a member at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton). He returned to Duke in 2008.
Over the years, he has published research in psychology, economics, medical, and business academic journals, and has attempted to reach beyond the boundaries of academia by writing four general audience books about his research (Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, The Honest Truth about Dishonesty, and Payoff).
In general, his goal is to study how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational. His interests span a wide range of daily behaviors such as saving (or not), buying (or not), medical decision-making, pain management, procrastination, dishonesty, and decision making under different emotional states. In all of these areas, he is interested in gaining a better understanding of our ability to make decisions, and identifying the places where we fall short, in order to better design products, interventions and policies.