Basic Info

Magda Osman
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Career Info

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Personal Career Headline:
Associate Professor of Experimental psychology, Queen Mary University of London

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Career Snapshot:

Magda Osman is an Associate Professor of Experimental psychology at Queen Mary University of London and is currently on secondment to the government working on subjects that help inform policy issues around risk and behavioural insights around food policy. She heads up a research lab ( as well as head of Centre for Mind in Society, and is author of over 70 peer reviewed research articles on subjects that range from understanding the role of the unconscious in our cognition, as well as the efficacy of nudges, and decision making in real world contexts under risk and extreme uncertainty. She is also author of three books, the most recent of which “Future-minded: The psychology of agency and control” presents work from psychology on the way in which we make decisions in our daily lives, and asserts that we have more agency and control over things than we often give ourselves credit for.

She regularly writes for ‘Psychology Today’ and gives talks on subjects that range from free-will and consciousness, behavioural finance and behavioural economics, to using psychology to help address social policy issues. Her recent research projects have been features in national and international newspapers (e.g., Guardian, Times, New York Post, Swedish Daily Newspaper, BBC online), magazines (e.g., New Scientist, Discover, Smithsonian) and TV/Radio interviews (e.g., BBC world Service).

What Else To Know

My Goal of the Day:

To maintain balance, and to make sure that I regulate my emotions in ways that I don’t get too stressed, or react negatively to the various difficulties that might occur in the day.

My Thought of the Day:

I don’t have any particular thought of the day, but my motivation for the day, in my professional life, is to make sure that I think about things in ways that contribute meaningfully and usefully to the people that I work with.

My Action of the Day:

To enjoy the company I keep and laugh.

My Deed of the Day:

Doing something that helps people make better decisions in their lives; this is what the bulk of my research is designed to do, as well as to understand the processes that under pin how we make decisions.

My Tip of the Day:

To find a way of clearing the decks, so that by the time I get home I’ve left work behind me. A clear separation between work and personal life is an absolutely necessity.

Tell Us More:

I know my city well, so I like the fact that I can walk around it and I can feel that it is my own. Also, I don’t take it for granted, so I always take the time to see the beauty in it, even though I have lived in it for years.

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

I don’t have a favourite place to go, since where I like going will change. I tend to like adapting my preferences by taking account of the recommendations of others, particularly those that know me well, because I trust their tastes and their suggestions.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – I wake up just before 7 on a week day, and try to get up before my alarm goes off. Then I look forward to my morning coffee, which I always make sure that I make time to enjoy. I won’t rush that. While I’m doing that I read the news of the day.

10:00 AM – By this point I’m in meetings, though if I can avoid them, then I will.

12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal?

I tend to eat lunch later in the day, and usually on my own, and save up combining socializing and eating for dinner time.

7:00 PM –  I’m either out, depending on the schedule in the week, in which case I’m with colleagues/friends for dinner, or else home.

11:00 PM – Relaxing at home, when I can.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

I can’t go through the day without having my morning coffee, and then drink tea throughout the day.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

I avoid social media, so I don’t have a twitter, facebook, Instagram or other type of account, and, where possible, avoid spending long periods of time on my phone.

What should everyone try at least once?

Dedicating some time in one’s life to reflect on what one actually wants. While it seems obvious, and even trivial, it seems to me that all of us would benefit from taking time out from our busy lives and trying to answer “what do I really want?”

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

I don’t really like getting lost, but there are places where walking in amongst nature and following trails, such as in the Highlands in Scotland, is restorative and revitalizing.

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