I explore linguistic aspects of consumer behavior, as well as phenomena in cognitive and social psychology of consumers, and of "regular people".
In consumption contexts language can unconsciously influence decisions and consumer behavior.
My aim is to identify linguistic phenomena in consumption contexts and to explain these behaviors via theories of language, using field and laboratory experimental design.
For example, I look at the language people use when writing their product reviews online and find that when people write about fun products they tend to use more figurative language (metaphor, word play). In fact, the use of figurative language in product reviews can make people believe the product is more hedonic (more fun). All this happens because of the psychological link between people's emotional states and their use of language, or between language and its influence on our emotions. Another example is the prominent use of assertive communication in marketing and social messages, as in "Save our planet!" or Nike's "Just Do It!". In several works I explain why marketers use this language, despite its natural tendency to evoke resistance in people, and when can it actually be more convincing than more gentle language. Finally, I examine how the sounding of a brand name can affect attitudes towards the brand name, even before the meaning of the name crosses our mind.
To read research ideas and projects under development, please visit my Work in Progress page.
For working papers, papers under review and published work, please visit my Papers page.
Assistant Professor of Advertising and Marketing Communication, Michigan State University