Matthew Tom, PhD


Dr. Matthew Tom is an Associate in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and a Research Data Analyst at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Dr. Tom received his PhD in statistics from Cornell University in 2003. After graduating, Dr. Tom taught mathematics and statistics at The University of Montana in Missoula and then at Emmanuel College.

At the Division on Addiction, Dr. Tom is working on a Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment-funded study to predict the behavioral patterns of problematic gamblers.

Dr. Tom is interested in gambling behavior, both from the points of view of economics and psychology. His primary research project is studying the strategies and playing tendencies of online poker players, particularly those who have problems with gambling. His plan is to use descriptive statistics derived from players’ actions at the virtual poker tables to identify players who are at risk of developing problems with gambling in the future.

Current Projects

An Evidence-based Approach to Understanding Fantasy Sports Activities

Evaluation and Training for Gambling Prevention and Treatment Services

Clinical Research & Training Collaboration between the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Integrated Center for Addiction Prevention and Treatment (ICAPT) and the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance

Selected Publications

Nelson, S.E. , Edson, T.C., Singh, P., Tom, M., Martin, R.J., LaPlante, D.A., et al. (2018). Patterns of daily fantasy sport play: Tacking the issues. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1-24. doi: 10.1007/s10899-018-09817

Shaffer, H. J., Tom, M. A., Wiley, R. C., Wong, M. F. Y., Chan, E. M. L., Cheng, G. L. F., Lo, C. K. M., Ma, E. K. Y., Wong, R. H. Y., & Lee, M. (In Press). Using the Syndrome Model of Addiction: A Preliminary consideration of psychological processes. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., Tom, M. A., Kleschinsky, J. H., & Shaffer, H. J. (2017). Already at the table: Patterns of play and gambling involvement prior to gambling expansion. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10899-017-9711-5

Shaffer, H. J., Tom, M., Wong, M. F. Y., Chan, E. M. L., Cheng, G. L. F., Lo, C. K. M., . . . Wong, R. H. Y. (2017). Treating Addiction as a Syndrome: Bridging Research and Clinical Practice. Trends in Medicine, (April). Retrieved from Trends in Medicine website:

Shaffer, H. J., Tom, M. A., & Braverman, J. (2016). When criticizing others it is helpful to focus on actual behavior: A comment about Auer and Griffiths. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi:10.1007/s10899-016-9667-x

Tom, M. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2016).Devil in the details: A critical review of “Theoretical Loss”. Journal of Gambling Studies, 32(3), 865-875. doi:10.1007/s10899-015-9584-4

Braverman, J., Tom, M., & Shaffer, H. J. (2015).Tilting at windmills: a comment on Auer and Griffiths. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31(2), 359-366. doi:10.1007/s10899-013-9428-z

Gray, H. M., Tom, M. A., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2015). Using opinions and knowledge to identify natural groups of gambling employees. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31(4), 1753-1766. doi:10.1007/s10899-014-9490-1

Braverman, J., Tom, M. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2014). Accuracy of self-reported versus actual online gambling wins and losses. Psychological Assessment, 26(3), 865-877. doi:10.1037/a0036428

Tom, M. A., LaPlante, D. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2014). Does Pereto rule Internet gambling? Problems among the “Vital Few” & “Trivial Many”. Journal of Gambling Business & Economics, 8(1), 73-100.