Startup Lab

Meet our Staff


Dan Ariely


Despite our intentions, why do we so often fail to act in our own best interest? Why do we promise to skip the chocolate cake, only to find ourselves drooling our way into temptation when the dessert tray rolls around? Why do we overvalue things that we’ve worked to put together? What are the forces that influence our behavior? Dan Ariely, James B. Duke Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, is dedicated to answering these questions and others in order to help people live more sensible – if not rational – lives. His interests span a wide range of behaviors, and his sometimes unusual experiments are consistently interesting, amusing and informative, demonstrating profound ideas that fly in the face of common wisdom.

In addition to appointments at the Fuqua School of Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, and the School of Medicine at Duke University, Dan is also a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight, and the author of the New York Times bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth About Dishonesty.

Dan is no stranger to the startup scene—he has applied behavioral economics in the business world by advising companies large and small, and through Irrational Labs, a nonprofit behavioral consulting firm he founded with Kristen Berman. Irrational Labs also hosts the Startuponomics conference, a summit that brings together the world’s leading behavioral change experts to discuss topics of product adoption and growth, increasing addictive usage, cultivating loyal customers, payment strategies, team building, measuring what matters, and testing approaches and best practices. Dan has also co-founded Timeful, a time management app that was acquired by Google in May 2015, and has joined fintech startup, Qapital, and peer-to-peer insurance startup, Lemonade, as a Chief Behavioral Economist.