Daniel G. "Dan" Goldstein (born 1969) is an American cognitive psychologist known for the specification and testing of heuristics and models of bounded rationality in the field of judgment and decision making. He is an honorary research fellow at London Business School and works with Microsoft Research as a principal researcher.

Academic career

Goldstein received his bachelor of science degree in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1993 and a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from the University of Chicago in 1997. He and doctoral advisor Gerd Gigerenzer started the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, where Goldstein worked as a Research Scientist for several years.

In 2002, Goldstein became Associate Director of the Center for the Decision Sciences[1] at Columbia University before becoming an Assistant Professor of Marketing at London Business School in 2005. In 2009, Goldstein accepted an offer as a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Research.[2] In 2012, Goldstein was part of a group of Yahoo scientists who left en masse to found the New York City lab of Microsoft Research, where he is Principal Researcher.[3][4]

Goldstein's doctoral thesis used computer simulation to study the accuracy and frugality of satisficing heuristics for making inferences. Investigations of the take-the-best heuristic[5] and the recognition heuristic[6] were later published as journal articles in Psychological Review and in the book Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart.[7] These fast and frugal heuristics have since had an impact in medicine, law and politics, and other areas outside psychology.[8][9][10][11] With Eric J. Johnson, Goldstein authored an article on organ donation in the journal Science[12][13][14][15] Along with Nobel Laureate William F. Sharpe, he created the Distribution Builder method for eliciting probability distributions.[16][17][18] Hal Hershfield and Goldstein ran virtual reality experiments in which people saw renderings of themselves as senior citizens and increased their intentions to save for retirement, as discussed in Goldstein's TED talk The Battle Between Your Present and Future Self.[19]

In 2014, Goldstein was elected President of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making.[20]


  1. ^ http://decisionsciences.columbia.edu/
  2. ^ http://research.yahoo.com/
  3. ^ Strange, Adario (2012-05-03). "Microsoft Opens New York Research Lab With Former Yahoo Scientists". PC Magazine. 
  4. ^ http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/people/dgg/
  5. ^ Gigerenzer, Gerd; Daniel G. Goldstein (1996). "Reasoning the fast and frugal way: Models of bounded rationality". Psychological Review. 103 (4): 650–669. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.103.4.650. PMID 8888650. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  6. ^ Goldstein, Daniel G.; Gerd Gigerenzer (2002). "Models of ecological rationality: The recognition heuristic.". Psychological Review. 109 (1): 75–90. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.109.1.75. PMID 11863042. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  7. ^ Gigerenzer, G.; Todd, P. M. (1999). Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart. the ABC Research Group. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-514381-2. 
  8. ^ Bower, Bruce (1999-05-29). "Simple Minds, Smart Choices". Science News. 155 (22): 348. doi:10.2307/4011573. 
  9. ^ Menand, Louis (2004-08-30). "The Unpolitical Animal". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on August 9, 2007.  CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  10. ^ Kiviat, Barbara (2007-08-16). "Why We Buy the Products We Buy". Time Magazine. Archived from the original on August 17, 2007.  CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  11. ^ Gigerenzer, Gerd; Christoph Engel (2006). Heuristics and the Law. New York: MIT Press. ISBN 978-0-262-07275-5. 
  12. ^ Johnson, Eric J.; Daniel G. Goldstein (2003). "Do defaults save lives?". Science. 302 (5649): 1338–1339. doi:10.1126/science.1091721. PMID 14631022. 
  13. ^ Porter, Eduardo (2005-03-27). "Choice Is Good. Yes, No or Maybe?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  14. ^ "Looking for Sound Financial Advice? Look to Psychology". APA Online; Psychology Matters. American Psychological Association. 2004-02-19. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  15. ^ Thaler, Richard (2009-09-27). "Opting in vs. Opting Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-09-27. 
  16. ^ Goldstein, DanielG.; Eric J. Johnson; William F.Sharpe (2008). "Choosing OutcomesVersus Choosing Products: Consumer-Focused Retirement Investment Advice". Journal of Consumer Research. 35: 440–456. doi:10.1086/589562. 
  17. ^ Sharpe, William F.; Daniel G. Goldstein; Philip W. Blythe (2000-10-10). "The Distribution Builder: A Tool for Inferring Investor Preferences". Archived from the original on February 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
  18. ^ "Distribution Builder Video". Archive.org. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  19. ^ Hershfield, H.; Goldstein, D. G.; Sharpe, W. F.; Fox, J.; Yeykelis, L.; Carstensen, L. L.; Bailenson, J. N. (2011). "Increasing saving behavior through age-progressed renderings of the future self.". Journal of Marketing Research. 48 (SPL): S23–S37. doi:10.1509/jmkr.48.SPL.S23. PMC 3949005free to read. PMID 24634544. 
  20. ^ "Society for Judgment and Decision Making". 

Selected publications (listed chronologically)