This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

The Moral Psychology and Big Data Singularity

#sxsw #moralpsych


Moral psychology and data analysis will eventually converge because successful organizations no longer serve physical, but psychological needs. This presentation will show how, in an age where consumption is about values (e.g. Whole Foods) and happiness (e.g. Zappos) rather than survival, moral psychology is essential knowledge for any organization. Leveraging our work at, I will present research showing: 1) why emotional profiles are more important than demographic profiles, 2) how social networks form from moral agreement, and 3) why the ideological identification of employees and customers is important knowledge. Organizations will both use and contribute to the world's knowledge of moral psychology. Leveraging my dual experience as a data scientist for and as a moral psychologist at USC, I will illustrate how you can use recent moral psychology research to better help your customers and employees understand and live up to their values.



Ravi Iyer Founder/Data Scientist &

I am a 13 year veteran of the technology industry who also holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Southern California, where I am currently a post-doctoral researcher, focusing on issues concerning morality and values. I bring technology to academia where our educational platform (, has educated hundreds of thousands of individuals about their moral profile, while simultaneously providing data for numerous journal publications. As the Director of Data Science for, I use my academic methods and statistical training to power recommendation algorithms. I am specifically interested in how applied moral psychology can improve the human condition, and how technology can improve moral psychology, especially given the volume of data that technology companies collect and the promise of the semantic web to make that data more accessible. My academic research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Reason Magazine, Good Magazine, and the New York Times. Much of my published research concerns the psychological dispositions of liberals, conservatives, and libertarians, with an eye towards increasing inter-ideological understanding. I blog regularly about my research at

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