About Me

Ravi Iyer occupies a unique space at the intersection of data science and moral psychology. He is the chief data scientist for Ranker, a crowdsourced list website that collects millions of monthly consumer opinions, and the executive director of Civil Politics, a non-profit that uses technology to bridge the divide between practitioners and researchers in moral psychology. He is an applied data science consultant for Zenzi Communications, NewReleaseNow, the Institute for the Bio-Cultural Study of Religion, and Siemer & Associates. He holds a PhD in Psychology from the University of Southern California and remains an active researcher, having published 20+ articles in leading peer-reviewed psychology journals over the past few years, most of which concern the empirical study of moral and political attitudes. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, South by Southwest, NPR, the BBC, and in numerous other books, conferences, and press listed below. He is the co-founder of numerous academic social science projects that leverage technology to collect larger, more diverse datasets, including BeyondThePurchase.org (a consumer psychology data site), YourMorals.org (which focuses on moral psychology), ExploringMyReligion.org (which focuses on the scientific study of religion), PsychWiki.com, and VoteHelp.org.

One of my enduring focuses is to help ideas from social sciences reach non-academic audiences. I also believe that methods from technology, including both new ways of collecting data (e.g. YourMorals.org has educated and collected data from hundreds of thousands of participants in the past few years), new ways of analyzing that data (e.g. the application of data science to values – see this presentation I gave at South by Southwest), and new ways of disseminating that data (e.g. the numerous blogs I contribute to and the rise of data journalism) can transform our understanding of how we can fulfill our higher order needs. While some may see academic psychology and the technology industry as separate career paths, it is my view that they are converging as technology companies increasingly serve psychological needs and psychology departments seek to use more real world data that produces real world value.

Here is a link to my academic publications. Below are links to selected press on my work, selected classes I’ve taught, and selected presentations I’ve given. Many articles on this site are also cross-posted with other blogs that I contribute to.

While I am clearly over-committed, I am still happy to contribute what I can to well-meaning projects that have the potential to make a significant impact on the world. I am probably most able to contribute to projects that leverage techniques across machine learning, traditional database technology, statistics, academic psychology, and internet programming. I am also happy to share my perspective with press or in speaking engagements. Please feel free to contact me at ravi at polipsych dt com if you have such opportunities, though please also be understanding if circumstances do not allow me to respond to every request in a timely manner.

Selected presentations given and classes taught:

Selected press: