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Hi I'm David

I am an economics profesor living in upstate New York. I study how people decide what to eat. I'm a Mormon.

About Me

I am married with a daughter and three boys. At work, I teach statistical research methods and behavioral economics Behavioral economics combines some aspects of psychology with economics. My research examines how small changes can impact what people decide to eat. For example, in one experiment conducted at an all-you-can-eat pizza restaurant, raising the price lead people to eat a lot more pizza. Moreover, those who didn't like the pizza as much ate more! I suppose it takes more bad pizza to get your money's worth than good. Much of my time is spent on examining how to encourage children to eat healthier foods in their school lunch without making them kids feel like school lunch is their enemy. So instead of removing all the chocolate milk, we could simply place the chocolate behind the white milk in the main cooler, and make the white available in more places on the line. Or we could place the fruit in attractive bowls near the cash register. Such small shifts in convenience can often have big impacts on choice without complaints any from the children. I enjoy spending time with my own children. I often take them to hike the trails of upstate New York, visit a local drive-in movie theater, ski, or other novel activities. I love to make them smile. We try to make time every week to do something fun as a family.

Why I am a Mormon

One of the primary teachings of the Church is that we can have a personal relationship with our Father in heaven and Jesus Christ, our savior. I was raised in the church. But, as a young man, I faced substantial family problems leading me to question God's role in our lives and the truthfulness of the Church's teachings. I needed to know if He was there, and what His intentions for me were. I started studying the Book of Mormon. I prayed many times and asked my Heavenly Father if he was there and if the Book I was reading was true. I have often felt that my prayers to my Heavenly Father were answered, but none so starkly as this one. I was overcome by a peaceful and loving feeling. I knew a loving God had answered me.

How I live my faith

I spend a lot of my time visiting with church members who need help. For example, this week I visited with one elderly lady who has no family nearby. She has many health problems and has difficulty completing some simple tasks. I find that with just a few minutes every couple weeks I can help her accomplish many of the things she could not do for herself. She may benefit from the small amounts of service, but both of us benefit from the conversation and the friendship. In a very real sense she has become a part of our family. My kids have helped make cards and gifts for her at Christmas, and she has now and again given us small gifts that she has made (at great sacrifice). Living the Gospel of Christ has brought us together.