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10 Q&A with Eugene

Getting to know Eugene Tay: A Researcher of the Laboratory and a Ph.D. Candidate in Behavioral Science

1. Can you tell me more about yourself? I'm a doctoral researcher in the behavioral sciences at Warwick Business School. I will defend my thesis in December 2019, so that's exciting! Prior to my current studies, I completed a Master's Degree in Management Science, specializing in the decision sciences at LSE. Before that, I completed my Bachelor's in Marketing and Management at Newcastle University. So, as you can see, I've been in the UK for a long time!

2. Can you tell me more about your research? My research looks at the psychological and behavioral influences that underlie, govern, and shape social interactions, including the likes of advice-giving/taking, shared/group decision making, and ethical and civil behavior. I do have a stronger knowledge base and preference for studying the role of emotion in advice-giving/taking phenomena, and this is reflected in the nature of my work (e.g., doctor-patient interactions).

3. How do you see Organizational Neuroscience fitting into this? Social interactions govern organizational life. You find them in leader-member exchanges, negotiations, conflict management, and teamwork. For me, organizational neuroscience is about advancing knowledge on the ways in which emotions, values, and beliefs influence decision making at both the individual and inter-individual level. For example, mouse-tracking enables us to develop a more refined understanding on how decision making unfolds across time, revealing subtle traces of the mind and allowing us to elucidate why some actions are felt more strongly than others.

4. What drives your motivation? Using my research to bring changes to organizations and society, with the aim of improving their welfare, motivates my work.

5. What are three qualities that define you?

Sociable, witty, and determined.

6. Name the best city in the UK and your favorite dish from the UK.

Edinburgh and Newcastle are tied for me. Some of that classic Sunday roast with a Yorkshire pudding on the side!

7. On the subject of emotions then, what makes you most happy, sad, anxious and angry?

Happy - When a paper gets published. Sad - When my favorite football team loses. Anxious - Waiting for my food to be served. Angry - Being treated unfairly (Who doesn't?).

8. Complete these: 1) If I could meet one person in the world, I would like to meet... Daniel Kahneman, of course! and, 2) If I could make everybody do something, I would make them... learn about how heuristics, biases, and emotion pervade and shape our lives.

9. What advice would you give to other PhD students and early career researchers?

Start with the end in mind - if you wish to be a management scholar, stick to that narrative, and build a profile around that. Maximize (i.e., drain) the resources that are generously allocated or available to you - it's a rat race out there, so don't be shy to ask for extra funds. And finally, pace yourself and balance your lifestyle-burnout is common and detrimental for your health and wellbeing. Start by developing a time-table that balances research work with some protected time for your own activities and interests.

10. What can we expect from your blog?

A monthly post at a minimum, covering news articles, interesting research papers, and personal reflections that relate to healthcare, emotions, (ir)rational behavior, and social interaction.

Any last comments?

I'm from Singapore! And here's proof of it! (@Marina Bay Sands)


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