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Sauder professor co-chairs world’s largest consumer research conference

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Ever wonder why you enter a store to buy one thing, but leave with five? Or, why you get a moral lift when you purchase healthy food?


Thanks in large part to Sauder School of Business Associate Professor Juliet Zhu, Vancouver is now abuzz with the world’s top minds exploring these kinds of questions.

As co-chair of the Association for Consumer Research (ACR) annual conference, Zhu is welcoming more than 1,000 consumer behaviour researchers to the city from universities worldwide from October 4 to 7.

“The ACR conference is a tremendous opportunity for Sauder to share its leading consumer behaviour research on the world stage, while learning about the latest developments from international colleagues,” says Zhu.

The ACR conference showcases research that explores all facets of consumer activities. Conference attendees will delve into how consumers react to advertising and brands; how social groups shape consumer desires; how food presentation alters eating habits; and how living in a consumption-oriented culture influences emotional and financial well-being.

“This year’s conference theme is Appreciating Diversity, which allows us to share some truly diverse areas of research. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase a variety of studies stemming from experiments carried out by some of the best consumer researchers in the world,” said Zhu.

Sauder consumer behaviour researchers will play a prominent role at the conference, presenting on diverse findings from how people view the morality of others based on their food choices to how room temperature can affect the purchases people make.

Presentations by Sauder marketing professors include:

Associate Professor Juliet Zhu, conference co-chair

“Environmental Disorder Leads to Self-Regulatory Failure”
Reveals how the messiness of physical space affects consumer choices.

“Warmer or Cooler: Exploring the Influence of Ambient Temperature on Cognitive Performance” 
Shows how temperature influences how a consumer processes information and makes choices

Professor Darren Dahl, Senior Associate Dean Faculty and Research

“Created Equal? The Morality of Food and the People Who Eat It”
Demonstrates how consumers ascribe morality to others based on the food they eat.

“(Secretly) Blowing out Candles to Make Ours Burn Brighter: The Relationship between Self-Esteem, Malicious Envy, and Interpersonal Behaviors”
Reveals that people with high self-esteem may be overtly kinder to those they envy, but are more likely to covertly sabotage them.

“Mix It Baby – the Effect of Self-Creation on Perceived Healthiness”
Demonstrates that the act of selecting one’s own ingredients in a consumer food product decreases its perceived healthiness.

“Being Mean to Keep ‘Em Keen: Retail Rejections Increases Aspiring Consumers’ Desire for the Rejecting Brand”
Shows that when a person feels rejected by a brand they desire, they are more likely to want to consume it.

Assistant Professor Joey Hoegg

“Consumer Reactions towards Preferential Treatment”
Reveals that preferential treatment in a public setting is not always positive and can cause consumers to experience discomfort.

“The Impact of Sales Team’s Perceived Entitativity on Customer Satisfaction”
Demonstrates how creating a sales team with increased commonality in appearance can enhance customer satisfaction.

Associate Professor Katherine White

“Construing Charity: Consumer Construal Level and Charitable Contributions of Time vs. Money,”
Reveals that when charities want to raise money it’s better to communicate using specific details of the cause. When they want to generate contributions of time, it’s better to use abstract ideas.