Gavan J Fitzsimons


My research interests fall broadly in the domain of understanding the psychology of consumers.  I am particularly interested in how much of consumer decision making occurs outside conscious awareness. Traditional views of consumer behavior have assumed that consumers are largely deliberative, conscious, thinking machines. Over the years my research has shown that this is, generally speaking, a terrible assumption. In domains as widely varied as eating, social connection, emotion, relationships with brands, making choices for and with others, etc. we have found that the realm of the unconscious often plays a more substantial role than do conscious processes. A particular domain that I find myself drawn to is the domain of reactions to threatened freedoms. While it is often a reasonable response to fight hard if someone or thing threatens to take away a valued freedom, our research shows that there are many domains where this reactant response may result in non-optimal outcomes.


EDWARD S. & Rose K. Donnell Professor of Marketing and Psychology

Duke University

Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business
100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708