Catching up with Kathleen Vohs

Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 9:15am

Kathleen Vohs is a consumer psychology expert and holder of the Land O’Lakes Chair in Marketing at the Carlson School of Management. Her work is aimed at helping firms understand consumers, starting from the fundamentals of what drives human behavior. What’s happening with her this semester?

Research she’s excited about: “One of my projects aims to understand why people assume that human behavior is driven by self-interest, greed, and personal gain. We found that when people feel disrespected, they become more cynical over time and that holding cynical beliefs leads people to be disrespected by others, resulting in a vicious cycle. … In another project, I’m looking at mothers’ use of luxury products, which we find is linked to an underlying motivation to gain benefits for their children."

Currently teaching: “I am teaching a Carlson School course called Harnessing Consumer Irrationality, which I have long taught to the M.B.A. students and have now expanded to the undergrads.”

Visibility: “I have a lot of conference talks coming up, and recently received the Society for Consumer Psychology Distinguished Scientific Contributions Award, which recognizes a career of significant contributions.”

“I tout my relationship with Land O’Lakes and my gratitude for the chair position at every turn. The chair position has given me more time and resources to pursue new endeavors. I’m able to visit coauthors, fund research, and develop new initiatives, both in teaching and research.”