Payton graduated with a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychopathology from Harvard University in 2021. He currently works as a Data Scientist.

His academic publications relate to the development of statistics for complexity science in mental health, including network analysis. This includes using networks of observable symptoms to explain the emergence and maintenance of psychopathology without relying on latent categories (e.g., symptoms as the disorder, rather than symptoms being caused by the disorder). His dissertation focused on the concept of a neurotic treadmill: as life gets less dangerous, our psychological systems of threat detection may become increasingly sensitive. The dissertation used experiments to explore the possibility that vulnerability to PTSD may be increasing over time, especially in developed nations. 

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