A Closer Look

Div. 23 (Society for Consumer Psychology) is encouraging psychologists and psychology doctoral students interested in learning more about or initiating research collaborations on consumer behavior, "undercover" marketing, word-of-mouth marketing--and its 21st century equivalent "word-online" marketing--to attend the division's 12th annual winter conference, to be held Feb. 24-26 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. The meeting will also include keynote speeches by social psychology researchers Hazel Markus, PhD, of Stanford University, and Janet Helms, PhD, of Boston College, who will each address how ethnicity and identity relate to consumer psychology.

"Unlike other areas of psychology, consumer psychology has been relatively silent on issues of race and identity and to some extent, culture," says conference co-chair Geraldine Rosa Henderson, PhD, of the University of Texas at Austin. Henderson and fellow co-chair, Anne Brumbaugh, PhD, of Wake Forest University, hope that connecting consumer psychology to current research in areas such as social psychology and multicultural psychology will begin to address that gap within the division, whose members are primarily housed within university business and communications schools.

Other conference highlights include 10 sessions of three papers each on topics from consumer decision-making to persuasion. The session themes and their chairs are:

  • "Predicting, encouraging and improving consumer decisions through product assortments." Chair: Andrea C. Morales, PhD, of the University of Southern California.

  • "Subjective experiences of remembering." Chair: Barbara Kahn, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.

  • "New perspectives on context effects: The role of intuition and resource depletion in consumer choice." Chair: Alexander Chernev, PhD, of Northwestern University.

  • "How and when hedonic beliefs trump actual experiences." Chair: Nathan Novemsky, PhD, of Yale University.

  • "How do I interfere with thee? Let me count the ways." Chair: H. Rao Unnava, PhD, of Ohio State University.

  • "Persuasion knowledge and its effects on marketing communications." Chair: Barbara Bickart, PhD, of the State University of New Jersey, Rutgers-Camden.

  • "Time, materialism, and (self) love: Three perspectives on consumer self-regulation." Chair: Wendy Liu, PhD, of Stanford University.

  • "Temporal effects in judgment and choice: A construal level theory approach." Chairs: Sucharita Chandran, PhD, of Boston University, and Manoj Thomas, PhD, of New York University.

  • "Consumers' evaluation of time." Chairs: Lance-Michael Erickson, PhD, and Narayan Janakiraman, PhD, of the University of Arizona.

  • "Oil and water or peas and carrots: Mixed emotions and consumer responses." Chairs: Patti Williams, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Andrea C. Morales, PhD, of the University of Southern California.

In addition, Div. 23 President Dawn Iacobucci, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, will speak about the effect the division's Journal of Consumer Psychology has had on marketing, advertising and consumer psychology.

The meeting will also offer an additional 20 sessions on topics such as viral marketing--the "you tell a friend, and she tells a friend" phenomenon--the use of "undercover" marketing by companies, branding, price sensitivity, and how consumers respond to couponing and discounting.

Brumbaugh particularly encourages researchers who are looking to form new collaborations or share ideas to attend the conference. "A lot of new research comes out of this conference each year," she adds. "People always come away from this meeting really energized...It's a place where people who haven't worked together before connect."

Further Reading

For more information on the conference, visit http://www.consumerpsych.org.

Div. 23 at a glance

Psychologists who are members of Div. 23 (Society for Consumer Psychology) investigate consumer behavior, and the majority teach within marketing departments in business schools or advertising departments in communications programs. The division---formed in 1960--sponsors the Journal of Consumer Psychology, published six times a year, and the quarterly online newsletter The Communicator. In addition to the annual midwinter meeting, the division sponsors the Advertising and Consumer Psychology Conference each spring in conjunction with advertising agencies or companies. To join, contact Div. 23 Executive Officer Larry D. Compeau, PhD, via e-mail. For more information, visit http://www.consumerpsych.org.