Daniel Todd Gilbert was born on November 5, 1975 in America. He is an American social psychologist as well as a writer. He is working as the Edgar Pierce Professor in the Psychology department at Harvard University. He is also known for his research on affective forecasting in collaboration with Timothy Wilson of University of Virginia.
He wrote the international bestseller ‘Stumbling on Happiness’, which has been further translated into more than 30 languages worldwide. It also won the 2007 Royal Society Prizes for Science Books. He has also given three very popular Ted Talks.
When Gilbert was 19 years old, he dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of being a science fiction writer. He had a clear goal ahead of him and to take stepping stones towards he, he thought of improving his writing skills. For the same, he went to a local community college to enroll himself in a creative writing class.
Unfortunately, the class was already full. So he enrolled in the only class that was available to him – Introduction to Psychology. He eventually graduated from the University of Colorado, Denver, with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in the year 1981. He then completed his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the Department of Psychology, Princeton University in the year 1985. He was appointed as a faculty member in the Harvard University in 1985 and he has been employed there ever since.
Daniel Gilbert married Marilynn Oliphant and together they have a son and two grandchildren. They currently live in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Gilbert wrote a book in 2006, namely ‘Stumbling on Happiness’, which was the New York Times bestseller and has been translated into more than 30 languages worldwide. It also won the 2007 Royal Society Prizes for Science Books and was also included by Tom Butler-Bowdon in the fifty key books in psychology in 50 Psychology Classics (2006).
Gilbert has also written many non-fiction essays that have been published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, the TIME magazine and many other coveted publications. He has also written many short stories that have appeared in the Amazing Stories and Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine and other anthologies.
He has been invited as a special guest in a lot of television shows, some of them being 20/20, The Today show, Charlie Rose and the Colbert Report.
He has co-written and hosted the 6-hour NOVA television series “This Emotional Life”, which was aired on PBS in 2010 and has won several Telly Awards.
He has been invited on TED talks and has delivered three popular lectures, one of which is among the 20 most viewed TED Talks of all times.
During 2013, he was a part of a television commercial series based on prudential finances that incorporated the concept of data visualization to make the Americans think about the benefits of saving up for their retirement from the very beginning of their careers.
He also has a Guinness World Record to himself for starting a chain reaction by toppling a 9 m domino in order to explain the power of compound interest.
Awards and Honors
Daniel Gilbert has won numerous awards for his contribution to teaching and research. He received the Guggenheim Fellowship, Harvard College Professorship and has also been awarded the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for his contribution to psychology. He received an honorary degree from Bates College, Maine, in 2016.
He has also won the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize.
However, Gilbert always believed that his greatest accomplishment is being on the list of Most Famous High School Dropouts.