My research focuses on pro-social marketing. In other words, I explore how marketing can be used for good in society. I approach research questions primarily from an experimental perspective and aim for ‘A’ journals initially, gaining valuable feedback, and then often landing my work in quality ‘A-’ journals. Within this domain, I have two main streams of research – one that explores the influence of religion on consumer behavior and another that explores how priming influences pro-social decisions (e.g., judgments of health and sustainability).
Stream 1: Religion & Consumer Behavior – There has been very little research exploring religion’s influence on consumer behavior, despite 70% of the world’s population being religious. I investigate this relationship from several theoretical perspectives including belief congruence theory, inoculation theory, self-determination theory, values-attitudes-behavior hierarchy, and the persuasion knowledge model.
Stream 2: Pro-Social Decisions – Research examining pro-social behavior is becoming increasingly important with the current obesity epidemic and degradation of our natural environment. I am particularly interested in how small changes in marketing cues can prime consumers to engage in societally/environmentally-beneficial behaviors or alter product evaluations. Specifically, I examine how to encourage healthy and sustainable consumption using such theories as spreading activation, compound cue theory, and Kelman’s functional theories.
In general, my motivation behind my research is to make a difference in the lives of consumers, businesses, and policy alike. I seek out opportunities to communicate my research findings with the press, consumer advocacy groups, and at conferences that foster integration between academia and practice/policy. I feel a sense of satisfaction when I see my research somehow bettering the lives of people in this world and actively encourage my doctoral students to do the same - not just conducting experiments for the purposes of finding effects or getting publications, but instead pursuing interesting research questions that have the potential to actually make a difference in the business world and in the lives of consumers in some way.