Kathleen Vohs, PhD is featured in this week’s cover story “Recession Culture” in New York Magazine.
From the article, It turns out there are people who study our brains on money. Kathleen Vohs, a consumer psychologist at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, is preeminent among them, and for the sake of better understanding both the past and the future of our city, it’s useful to start by looking at what she’s found. Just thinking about money made her subjects less likely to help strangers struggling with their belongings. Just handling money made her subjects less sensitive to physical pain. My favorite experiment of hers, though, was one in which she divided her subjects into groups, one of which stared at a screensaver of floating dollar bills and another at a screensaver of exotic fish. Subjects were then asked whether they’d like to work on a task alone or with a partner. Eighty percent of those who’d been staring at the dollar bills chose to work alone. Eighty percent of those who’d been staring at the fish wanted to collaborate. (One wonders if the offices of AIG couldn’t have benefited from an aquarium or two.)
For the entire article, please click here.
For more information about The Market Research Event, please visit the event’s website.
Over the past month, we’ve been introducing you to the speakers of The Market Research Event. With the event next month in California, we’d like to give you a rundown of some of the keynote speakers and podcasts we’ve been working on for you:
Read an excerpt from her book: Part 1 and Part 2
Colleen Fahey Rush
A guest post by speaker Greg Heist
A podcast with speaker Tom Brailsford of Hallmark
A podcast with speakers Greg Heist of Gongos Research and Bill Eisele of Hallmark
A podcast with keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen Vohs
A podcast with conference producer Krista Vazquez.
For more information on The Market Research Event, check out the http://www.themarketresearchevent.com.
Yesterday we posted an excerpt from The Market Research Event keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen’s Vohs’s book ‘Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? A Hedgefoxian Perspective.’ As promised, here’s the 2nd portion of the excerpt from the book. Enjoy! Of course the foxes are right; each of these polar positions is simplistic in its extremity. But that observation doesn’t take us far. In the waning hours of the emotion research party, we have arrived at the point where debates between extreme and obviously untenable positions are not as productive as they once were. In short, we need answers to the when question. When do emotions or cognitions predominate? When are moral judgments driven by reflexive emotional reactions and when by logical thought? And, when are emotions helpful or harmful? The chapters of this book provide nuanced, synthetic, answers to these types of questions. Decision making is the other half of our topic. It too has seen explosive growth in research interest in recent years. As with emotion, its few early hedgehogs (e.g., groupthink, rational choice, framing) have had to withstand a stampede of foxes. Some decision-making researchers are starting to think that their field’s destiny is merely to develop lists of departures from rationality, without much prospect of integrative theory. Yet others are confident that new grand theories will emerge. The time is ripening for hedgefoxes to impose limited order on decision theory also. Are hedgefoxes born or made? Most likely, the latter. What emerges from reading this book is common language, a shared understanding of a number of issues, and most characteristically of hedgefoxism, a nuanced theoretical perspective that makes sense of, what had previously appeared to be contradictions. So what is the answer to the question of whether affect helps or hurts decision making? The hedgehog would argue either that it helps or that it hurts decision making. The fox would argue that both are true, or that the question doesn’t make sense. The hedgefoxes who make up the authors of the chapters in this book will tell you, however, that the correct answer is “it depends.” If you want to know what it depends on, read on.
Last Friday, we profiled The Market Research Event keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen Vohs. Now we have the opportunity to bring you an excerpt from her book Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? A Hedgefoxian Perspective. Here is Part One of the excerpt from her book. Look for part two later this week. In a perhaps overused metaphor, academics are sometimes classified as hedgehogs and foxes. Playing on a famous, albeit somewhat mysterious, statement by 7th century B.C. philosopher Archilochus that “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing,” the prototypical hedgehog is a “system addict” on a quest for a unified theory of everything. Foxes, in contrast, have an appreciation of the complexities of reality that prevents them from even entertaining the possibility of any grand unifying scheme. Belying their physical image, hedgehogs are the life of the party. They take outrageous positions and push their arguments to the limit, generating heated debate. Foxes, despite their slyness, are party duds; they stand on the sidelines shaking their heads and rolling their eyes at the naivety of the hedgehogs’ wild speculations. One more strike against foxes. As the party extends into the waning hours, however, the frantic repartee of the hedgehogs can wear thin, even to the hedgehogs themselves. That’s when the host begins to long for the arrival of a third species of party animal: the hedgefox. Hedgefoxes combine the best properties of their two mammalian relatives. Like the hedgehog, the hedgefox is a synthesizer, but like the fox the hedgefox cares about, and advances theories that take account of, and make sense of, the complexities of reality. If research on emotions is a party (and the explosive growth of the topic over the past few decades has lent the topic something of a party atmosphere), the time is ripe for the entry of the hedgefox. Research on emotions has made enormous strides, stimulated by debates between researchers who have taking extreme stands on a variety of central issues. There are hedgehog emotion researchers who argue for the primacy of emotions over cognition, and others who argue, instead, that all emotions are derivative of cognition. There are advocates of the idea that moral judgments are the product of emotion, perhaps justified ex post by reasons, and those who argue that morality is a matter of logic. And, most central to the basic theme of this book, there are hedgehogs whose research focuses almost exclusively on the destructive effects of emotions and others who focus as selectively as the first group on the vitally beneficial functions that emotions serve.
With the The Market Research Event quickly approaching, we would like to begin to introduce you to the keynote speakers we will have this year at our event. This year, The Market Research Event will take place from October 13 – 16, 2008 in Anaheim, California at the Disneyland Hotel. This week, we would like to introduce you to Kathleen Vohs, PH.D. Vohs is a McKnight Land-Grant Professor at the University of Minnesota in the Carlson School of Management. Kathleen Vohs specialties include: self regulation, self process, effects of making choices on self regulatory ability, the mere presence of money, heterosexual relations as predicted by the economy. She has published over 70 scholarly publications including: : Do Emotions Help or Hurt Decision Making? A Hedgefoxian Perspective, Self and Relationships: Connecting Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Processes ,and Making Choices Impairs Subsequent Self-Control: A Limited-Resource Account of Decision Making, Self-Regulation, and Active Initiative.
Find the results of some of Voh’s studies here. Humans and ability to make decisions The Purpose of Pranks Behavior: An Absence of Free Will, a Tendency to Cheat On A Diet? Don’t Go Shopping. We invite you to come see Kathleen Vohs at The Market Research Event as she presents his keynote speech on Thursday, October 16th, Money Talks: Even Small Reminders of Money Change People. (Source: Carlson School of Management)