Neda is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the department of Psychology, Harvard University after receiving her PhD from Stockholm University and a working at Uppsala University. Her research interests include decision-making, happiness, risk as well as human-computer interaction. She’s also the news editor for the European Association for Decision Making. Besides being a self-confessed technology geek, she loves useless facts and futurist science.
I’m working on InDecision because…Someone has to do it! Ever since my PhD studies I have been involved with different scientific societies, and I noticed that especially in JDM, a forum for early career researchers did not exist. In addition, there is just so much graduate programs or conferences can teach you. We wanted to create a forum where people can discuss the science itself and everything else that we all go through during our academic careers. We get so much satisfaction from running the blog that we have decided it’s well worth the time and energy.
I’m most passionate about…Knowledge and people! I love learning, especially if it helps me to understand humans better. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a science geek in heart and soul (indeed, 90% of my conversations start “I read an article about a study…..”). In addition, I am passionate about understanding the core of human mind, whatever that may be. Don’t know if we will ever have a grand theory of the human mind but we are learning new things everyday. I am also passionate about how we can use knowledge and scientific progress for the greater good (more on that in upcoming future indecisionblog.com series).
At a conference, you’ll most likely find me in a session with key words like… Financial JDM, social JDM, and technology. More or less anything that can please my tech-geek and JDM-geek identities. For me conferences are not solely about the talks but also an opportunity to connect with new people and reconnect with those that I seldom see in person. So I might skip a few talks just to get the time to chat with an old friend or a new friend.
How I ended up doing research in this field… I started in IT and studied psychology alongside with my full-time job, but I soon realized I wanted to pursue my Phd in psychology. Being a bad decision maker (I couldn’t even decide where to eat lunch), it came naturally to me to immerse myself in the science of decision making. Fortunately, a PhD in the subject has actually made me a better decision maker. However, I can’t say how much of it should be credited to my PhD or to the fact that I have gained more experience in making decisions.
My personal research heroes are… so many that it is not worth mentioning names. For me, a research hero is more than someone who has come up with a ground-breaking theory – it’s also about the person. I have been incredibly lucky to meet so many people who, despite their fame and prominence, have taken the time to meet or chat with me, which I find hugely inspiring. I especially admire the many female researchers who lead the way for other women to progress in the field. The scientific community has traditionally been male-dominated, and I am pleased to see that is changing, and it is because of the excellent work than many female researchers do.
What I find most challenging is… not losing focus! I feel that research has become so much fiercer and competitive than before. The currency in our field is publications and citations and whether one get a job or a funding relies on the number of publications and citations (which I do not see as a good currency). I guess my challenge is to focus on what gets me going and not be affected by the stress and pressure that come with working in academia. Another challenge for me is to say no to projects. I get overly excited about everything that has to do with the human mind and science and want to run a project on it. It is a challenge, but I am getting better at it.
What I’d be doing if I wasn’t a researcher… I would most likely work with psychology or technology (maybe both?) in one way or another. I actually think more scientists should embark a career outside academia. We need to share the valuable knowledge and experience we have with also non-academics.
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