Circuitous Route

After making a pragmatic decision to graduate with a degree in engineering, I decided to make an un-pragmatic decision to be a professional poker player  — I played heads-up no-limit hold ’em as my sole source of income for a year and a half. After a year and a half I was tired of the zero sum world of poker and decided to make my most un-pragmatic decision: get a masters degree in psychology. Since then I have been researching how people make decisions across various contexts, generally about money and time.

This fall I will continue researching time and money in the cognitive psychology department. Specifically I am interested in how individual differences — from your economic background to how you move your eyes — alter how much you discount the future. I love investigating how people interact with the world and make decisions with incomplete information and under uncertainty.

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3 Responses to Circuitous Route

  1. Hello Daniel,
    Wow! Your life sounds like a movie! Going from engineering to psychology is such an interesting career switch. I recently graduated with a degree in engineering and like you, one of my classmates has decided to take a break and play poker professionally. Maybe it’s not so uncommon afterall…
    I’m looking forward to hearing about your future pragmatic or unpragmatic decisions 🙂

  2. RachelBunker says:

    Hi Daniel! Cool journey! Glad you made it to Rutgers! I also study uncertainty and risk but as historical objects of inquiry. I wanted to ask if in your research you find that people think about managing money differently depending on what the money is–such as a future’s trading versus buying a house? I imagine context and a person’s background are also pretty important. Is that what your research finds?

  3. Samantha Lee says:

    Welcome to the Mentoring Program Daniel. Your experience as professional poker player will no doubt provide unique insight to research in time and money in cognitive psychology.

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