Timothy C. Edson, PhD is an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a Research & Evaluation Scientist at the Division on Addiction, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital. Dr. Edson joined the Division in January of 2017. Prior to joining the Division, Dr. Edson had previously worked for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security as a research and policy analyst. He received his PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2014.

Dr. Edson’s primary research interest is understanding the causes and consequences of risky human behavior, especially in the addiction sciences. At the Division, he is involved with several projects, which include serving as project lead and co-investigator on several research projects related to public health analysis of customer gambling records from major gambling operators such as DraftKings. He has collaborated on several studies related to self-harm, including its relationship to DUI offending and gambling. His responsibilities also include evaluating service data for guiding strategic approach to medical assisted treatment (MAT) for high-risk opioid patients.

In addition to his research, Dr. Edson serves as a voting member on the Cambridge Health Alliance Institutional Review Board.

Current Projects

Principal Investigator: Assessing Cultures of Recovery in Tribal Communities (NARCH XII) 

Principal Investigator: Multidimensional Loss Chasing in Online Gambling: Considering the Importance of Optimal Cutpoints, Temporal Reference Points, and Coming in Hot for Improving Predictive Ability

Responsibility, Research, and Resources: 2024 Plan for Responsible Gambling Activities

Using Blackjack Hand Histories to Extrapolate Players’ Strategies: Creating a Novel Simulation Program to Inform Online and Land-based Gambling Risk Detection

Selected Publications


Nelson, S. E., Louderback, E. R., Edson, T. C., Tom, M. A., & LaPlante, D. A. (2024). Overtime: Long-term betting trajectories among highly-involved and less-involved online sports bettors. Journal of Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-024-10294-7


Edson, T. C., Louderback, E. R., Tom, M. A., McCullock, S. P. & LaPlante, D. A. (2023). Exploring a multidimensional concept of loss chasing using online sports betting records. International Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2023.2276741

Edson, T. C., Louderback, E. R., Tom, M. A., Philander, K. S., Slabczynski, J. M., Lee, T. G. & LaPlante, D. A. (2023). A large-scale prospective study of big wins and their relationship with future involvement and risk among actual online sports bettors. Computers In Human Behavior, 142, 107657. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2023.107657

Edson, T. C., Slabczynski, J. M., Lee, T. G., McAuliffe, W. H. B., & Gray, H. M. (2023). A meta-analytic investigation of problem gambling and self-harm: A causal inference perspective. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 37(7), 946–960. https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000858


Edson, T. C., Tom, M. A., Louderback, E. R. Nelson, S. A., & LaPlante, D. A. (2022). Returning to the virtual casino: A contemporary study of actual online casino gambling. International Gambling Studies, 22(1), 114-141. https://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2021.1985581

McAuliffe, W., Louderback, E. R., Edson, T. C., LaPlante, D. A., & Nelson, S. E. (2022). Using “Markers of Harm” to track risky gambling in two cohorts of online sports bettors. Journal of Gambling Studies, 38(4), 1337–1369. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-021-10097-0

Nelson, S. E., Edson, T. C., Grossman, A., Louderback, E. R., Gray, H. M., & LaPlante, D. A. (2022). Time out: Prediction of self-exclusion from daily fantasy sports. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 36(4), 318-332. https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000829

Tom, M. A., Edson, T. C., Louderback, E. R., Nelson, S. E., Amichia, K. A., & LaPlante, D. A. (2022). Second session at the virtual poker table: A contemporary study of actual online poker activity.  Journal of Gambling Studies, 39(3), 1295–1317. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-022-10147-1


Edson, T. C., Tom, M. A., & LaPlante, D. A. (2021). Examining player engagement with and attitudes toward a gambling play management system. Journal of Gambling Studies, 37(4), 1313-1334. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-021-10002-9

Edson, T. C., Tom, M. A., Philander, K. S., Louderback, E. R., & LaPlante, D. A. (2021). A large-scale prospective study of big wins and their relationship with future financial and time involvement in actual Daily Fantasy Sports contests. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 35(8), 948-960. https://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000715

Gray, H. M., Edson, T. C., Nelson, S. E., Grossman, A. B., & LaPlante, D. A. (2021). Association between gambling and self-harm: A scoping review. Addiction Research & Theory, 29(3), 183-195. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2020.1784881

McAuliffe, W. H. B., Edson, T. C., Louderback, E. R., LaRaja, A., & LaPlante, D. A. (2021). Responsible product design to mitigate excessive gambling: A scoping review and z-curve analysis of replicability. PloS one, 16(4), e0249926. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0249926

Nelson, S. E., Edson, T. C., Louderback, E. R., Tom, M. A., Grossman, A., & LaPlante, D. A. (2021). Changes to the playing field: A contemporary study of actual European online sports betting. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 10(3), 396-411. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.2021.00029


Edson, T. C., Gray, H. M., Nelson, S. E., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Prevalence and correlates of self-harm among a sample of repeat DUI offenders. Addiction Research & Theory, 28(3), 231-239. https://doi.org/10.1080/16066359.2019.1622685

Edson, T. C. & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Longitudinal playing trends among daily fantasy sports players. Computers in Human Behavior, 104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.106165

Tom, M. A., Williams, P. M., Edson, T. C., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Understanding the relation between social behaviors and daily fantasy sports risk behavior. Journal of Gambling Studies, 36(3), 921-935. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09911-7

Wiley, R. C., Tom, M. A., Edson, T. C., & LaPlante, D. A. (2020). Behavioral markers of risky daily fantasy sports play. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 44(4), 356-371. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193723520919819


Nelson, S. E., Edson, T. C., Singh, P., Tom, M., Martin, R. J., LaPlante, D. A., Gray, H. M., & Shaffer, H. J. (2019). Patterns of daily fantasy sport play: Tackling the issues. Journal of Gambling Studies, 35(1), 181-204. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-018-09817-w