Our Team

  • Kristen Berman

    Kristen Berman studies how people actually act in the marketplace, as opposed to how they should or would perform if they were completely rational.

    Kristen co-founded Irrational Labs, a behavioral product design company, with Dan Ariely in 2013. Irrational Labs helps companies and nonprofits understand and leverage behavioral economics to increase the health, wealth and happiness of their users.  She also co-founded Common Cents Lab, a Duke University initiative dedicated to improving the financial well-being for low to middle Americans. Under Kristen’s leadership, Common Cents launched over 50 experiments with companies, touching tens of thousands of people. Kristen’s work has been featured in  The Stanford Innovation Review, TechCrunch, and Scientific American.

    She was on the founding team for the behavioral economics group at Google, a group that touches over 26 teams across Google, and she hosted one of the top behavioral change conferences globally, StartupOnomics. She co-authored a series of workbooks called Hacking Human Nature for Good: A practical guide to changing behavior, with Dan Ariely. These workbooks are being used at companies like Google, Intuit, Netflix, Fidelity, Lending Club for business strategy and design work.

    Before designing, testing and scaling products that use behavioral economics, Kristen was a Senior Product Manager at Intuit and startup, Lytro. She built product management and marketing systems for small businesses and consumers, for domestic and international markets. The core thread throughout this all is a deep passion for understanding why people behave the way they do and then building solutions that make their lives better.


  • Evelyn Gosnell

    Evelyn is a Managing Director at Irrational Labs and frequent speaker in behavioral economics and consumer psychology.

    She is an expert in helping companies use the science of decision-making to better understand how real people think and behave, thereby creating better products and services for them.  Evelyn is also the Head of Product Development and Behavioral Science at Shapa, a health startup founded by behavioral scientist Dan Ariely.

    Evelyn’s work spans across a broad array of industries. She has launched major health initiatives with companies such as Aetna, developing and implementing behavioral training programs to be used at scale.  She has worked with Google, Procter & Gamble, The World Bank, Maritz, AARP, CUNA Mutual, among others.  Evelyn also teaches a course on behavioral economics through UCSD Extension and is a frequent guest lecturer at the Rady School of Business at UCSD.

    Evelyn transitioned to the world of behavioral economics from a corporate background in Product Management and Marketing. She started her career at Christian Dior Parfums in Paris and subsequently worked in various product management, marketing, and sales positions in cosmetics and apparel.

    Evelyn holds a B.A. in cultural anthropology from Duke University and graduated summa cum laude. She also completed a Master’s degree in Marketing from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in France. She speaks fluent French and Russian.

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  • Richard Mathera

    Richard is a Managing Director at Irrational Labs.

    He has extensive experience applying behavioral economics in a variety of fields, including finance, health, nutrition, security, education, and international development.  Prior to joining Irrational Labs, Richard was a Senior Behavioral Scientist at the Common Cents Lab, a Duke University initiative which leverages behavioral economics to improve the financial well-being of low and moderate income Americans, where he designed and launched numerous behaviorally-informed products, features, initiatives, and experiments.

    Formerly Richard has applied behavioral economics at ideas42 and developed randomized controlled trials at Innovations for Poverty Action in Morocco. He served as Senior Advisor at USAID’s Office of Development Credit, where he promoted access to finance throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Richard also worked at Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consulting firm specializing in complex commercial litigation. He has consulted for PepsiCo in Chile and USAID’s Office of Education and worked on the trading floor of UBS Investment Bank and at the US Embassy in Mexico.

    Richard holds a Master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he studied Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, where he studied economics, Spanish, and French, graduating Phi Beta Kappa.

  • Lisa Zaval

    Lisa is a behavioral scientist and research consultant with broad expertise in behavioral economics, consumer behavior, and social psychology.

    She holds a Ph.D. in Judgment Decision Making Psychology from Columbia University and completed her post-doctoral training at the Center for Decision Sciences at Columbia Business School. Lisa’s research has been cited over 380 times, been published in leading academic journals, and summarized in a variety of venues, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

    In addition to her academic research experience, she leverages 5 years of applied behavioral science consulting experience, working across a range of sectors and industries (e.g., insurance, health care, energy efficiency) to apply her professional knowledge of behavioral science to solve practical business and policy challenges.

  • Jonathan Hung

    Jonathan is a behavioral designer and strategic thinker who likes to move slow and consider things.

    For over ten years he’s worked on user-centered innovation projects for companies such as T-Mobile, Samsung, Intel, Clover and Westfield Labs. His work spans mediums from responsive webpages to back-end business tools, from wearable technology and information visualization to interactive art.

    Jonathan is a permaculturist, a poker player, a co-op founder, INTP, buddhist, yogi and creative technologist. He is guided by the conviction that design thinking and iterative problem solving are the ultimate social technologies of our era.

    Jonathan received a degree in cognitive psychology from UC Berkeley.

  • Sara Dadkhah

    Sara is a Behavioral Researcher with Irrational Labs. She brings over 10 years of corporate and nonprofit experience focused on developing innovative and actionable client solutions.

    Previously, Sara worked at the International Rescue Committee as the Senior Program Officer overseeing resettlement operations in 26 cities. At the environmental consulting firm of D-Max Engineering, Sara assisted 18 municipalities with water quality improvement projects and served as the company’s financial officer.

    Sara conducted research at the UC San Diego Center for Brain and Cognition, as well as the California Neuropsychopharmacology Research Institute. Sara holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from UC San Diego and is fluent in Persian.

  • Meghan Kelly

    Meghan Kelly is Program Manager for Irrational Labs. She has over 15 years of experience in environmental sustainability, education, and behavior change fields.

    Through her consultancy, Green Motivate, Meghan works with organizations to design, implement, and evaluate environmental outreach programs with a goal of encouraging sustainable behaviors. Meghan specializes in program management, research design and strategy, effective communication, and messaging.

    Previously, Meghan was an Environmental Projects Specialist for the City of Oakland, California. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Social Marketing Association of North America. Meghan also holds an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment with a focus on Behavior, Education, and Communication from the University of Michigan.