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 numerous organizations including Zenzi Communications and Carhub. 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:
- The Moral Psychology and Big Data Singularity at South by Southwest
- Data Science at General Assemb.ly
- Crowdsourcing Objective Answers to Subjective Questions Online at Human Computation (see video from a similar presentation at Nerd Nite Los Angeles).
- Using Graphs to Understand Your Customers, Users, and Employees at O’Reilly Strata & Hadoop World.
- Leveraging Graphs of Data to Understand Your Customers’ Values at The Market Research Event.
- Using Big Data to Reveal Consumer Values and Inform Storytelling at FutureM
- Crowdsourcing Objective Answers to Subjective Questions at the Big Data Innovation Summit
- The Justice Motive in Libertarians at the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of The Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
- Understanding Libertarian Morality: The psychological roots of an indivudalist ideology at Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting.
- Moral Beauty at 2011 Meeting of the Association for Moral Education. (see video here)
- The Science of Happiness at USC
- Understanding Libertarian Morality: The psychological roots of an indivudalist ideology at International Society of Political Psychology Annual Meeting.
- A Comprehensive Taxonomy of Human Goals: Providing a Principled Basis for the Motives of Intelligent Agents at International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents.
- Creating the Ideal Online Gratitude Intervention at European Conference on Positive Psychology.
- Moral Values from Simple Game Play at Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling, and Prediction.
- Preliminary Analysis of Data on the US Electorate from a Candidate Calculator at the meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology.
- Commentary on French Political Standoff. Tv Interview with BBC Business Edition. July 9, 2014.
- “What Drives Political Polarization“. Radio Interview with Colin McEnroe. The Colin McEnroe Show. NPR. April 26, 2012. (audio available)
- “NYU rated No. 1 in new film school rankings” by DiAngelea Millar, Los Angeles Times, June 1, 2013.
- “The top 25 film schools, ranked by ‘big data’” by John Koetsier, VentureBeat, April 29, 2013.
- “How Science Can Predict Where You Stand on Keystone XL” by Chris Mooney, Mother Jones, April 17, 2013.
- “All about libertarians: Group’s mystique increases as profile is raised” by Emily Esfahani Smith, The Washington Times, October 16, 2012.
- “Inside the Cold, Calculating Libertarian Mind” by Matt Ridley, Wall Street Journal, September, 28, 2012.
- “Finding the Limits of Empathy” by Thomas Edsall, New York Times, April 29, 2012.
- “Can Money Buy Happiness?“. Ryan Howell. Psychology Today. February 22, 2012.
- “Studies: Conservatives are from Mars, Liberals are from Venus” by Thomas Edsall, The Atlantic, February 6, 2012.
- “The Gulf of Morality” by Thomas Edsall, New York Times, November 13, 2011.
- “The Science of Libertarian Morality” by Ronald Bailey, Reason Magazine, November 2, 2010.
- “What Tea Partiers Really Want” by Jonathan Haidt, Wall Street Journal. October 16, 2010.
- “Eagle Co. Teens Ready to Vote for First Time” (VoteHelp.org featured) by Matt Terrell, Vail Daily. September 20, 2008.
- “Forget states – neighborhoods are now red and blue” by Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard/Salon.com, November 13, 2013. (colleague Matt Motyl’s co-authored work featured)