Sam Swift

Sam Swift
PhD, Organizational Behavior and Theory

Data Scientist

About Sam Swift

Sam Swift received his bachelors from Carnegie Mellon University in Decision Science as part of the first class in that new field which combines psychology and economics. He gained three years of entrepreneurial business experience as part of a software development and consulting start-up focusing on decision support software for mid-size to large businesses.

Sam returned to Carnegie Mellon to complete a PhD in Organizational Behavior where he focused on decision making and negotiation. His research on negotiation shows how the process of making persuasive arguments during a negotiation often unintentionally influences one’s own beliefs about the deal. Some of his additional work in negotiation includes the use of humor in bargaining, the dynamics of group negotiation, and the lessons we may learn about avoiding costly impasses from the balance of threat and concession we observe in the animal world.

Outside of negotiation, Sam has focused on the biases in hiring and admissions decision making, and wisdom-of-the-crowds forecasting while at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business as a Postdoctoral Scholar. Sam has experience in the classroom teaching negotiations at Carnegie Mellon with both undergraduates and MBAs, earning an average teaching rating of 4.75 out of 5. Sam is currently helping design the behaviorally informed automated investing platform at Betterment in New York city.

Areas of Expertise

  • Negotiation
  • Behavioral economics 
  • Managerial decision making
  • Organizational behavior
  • Machine learning and statistical programming
  • Personal finance and investing


PhD, Organizational Behavior
Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Master of Industrial Administration, Organizational Behavior
Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

Bachelor of Science, Decision Science
Carnegie Mellon University


  • Post-doctoral scholar at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business in collaboration with University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.
  • Visiting scholar at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business


Published in Psychological Science, PLoS ONE, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Oxford Handbook of Economic Conflict Resolution, Social Psychology and Organizations

Research has been covered by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Glob, Business Week and others.

Alumni Service Award