Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Edward and Rose Donnell Distinguished Professor

External Address: 
Fuqua School, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90120, Durham, NC 27708-0120


Gavan J. Fitzsimons is the R. David Thomas professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. His research focuses on understanding the ways in which consumers may be influenced without their conscious knowledge or awareness by marketers and marketing researchers, often without any intent on the part of the marketer. His work has been published in numerous academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Psychological Science. His ideas have also been featured in many popular press outlets such as NPR, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Oprah Magazine and Time Magazine, amongst many others.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Columbia University 1995

  • M.Phil., Columbia University 1994

  • M.B.A., University of Western Ontario (Canada) 1991

  • B.S., University of Western Ontario (Canada) 1988

Selected Grants

Understanding Information Processing During Consumer Choice awarded by Red Ventures (Co-Mentor). 2014

McFerran, B., et al. “How the body type of others impacts our food consumption.” Leveraging Consumer Psychology for Effective Health Communications: The Obesity Challenge, 2015, pp. 151–67.

Breazeale, M., et al. “Contemplating the futures of branding.” Strong Brands, Strong Relationships, 2015, pp. 395–414. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781315767079. Full Text

Cutright, K. M., et al. “We are what we buy?The Routledge Companion to Identity and Consumption, 2013, pp. 91–98.

Chartrand, T. L., et al. “The effects of incidental brand exposure on consumption.” Handbook on Brand and Experience Management, edited by B. H. Schmitt and D. L. Rogers, Edward Elgar Press, 2009, pp. 163–73.

Fitzsimons, G. J., and J. E. Machin. “Marketing by Mistake: The Unintended Consequences of Consumer Research.” Applying Social Cognition to Consumer-Focused Strategy, edited by F. R. Kardes et al., Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 81–95.

Datta, Nandini, et al. “Meal skipping and cognition along a spectrum of restrictive eating.Eat Behav, vol. 39, Dec. 2020, p. 101431. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2020.101431. Full Text

Kerckhove, A. V., et al. “Monetary scarcity leads to increased desire for assortment.” Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, vol. 5, no. 4, Oct. 2020, pp. 377–90. Scopus, doi:10.1086/709889. Full Text

Wu, E. C., et al. “Erratum: Wine for the table: Self-construal, group size, and choice for self and others (Journal of Consumer Research DOI: 10.1093/jcr/ucy082).” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 46, no. 6, Apr. 2020, p. 1125. Scopus, doi:10.1093/jcr/ucaa004. Full Text

Wu, E. C., et al. “Wine for the Table: Self-Construal, Group Size, and Choice for Self and Others.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 46, no. 3, Oct. 2019, pp. 508–27. Scopus, doi:10.1093/jcr/ucy082. Full Text

Liu, P. J., et al. “A Framework for Understanding Consumer Choices for Others.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 46, no. 3, Oct. 2019, pp. 407–34. Scopus, doi:10.1093/jcr/ucz009. Full Text

Liu, P. J., et al. “The primacy of “what” over “how much”: How type and quantity shape healthiness perceptions of food portions.” Management Science, vol. 65, no. 7, July 2019, pp. 3353–81. Scopus, doi:10.1287/mnsc.2018.3098. Full Text

Gaustad, T., et al. “Too much of a good thing? Consumer response to strategic changes in brand image.” International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 36, no. 2, June 2019, pp. 264–80. Scopus, doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2019.01.001. Full Text

Liu, P. J., et al. “Delicate Snowflakes and Broken Bonds: A Conceptualization of Consumption-Based Offense.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 45, no. 6, Apr. 2019, pp. 1164–93. Scopus, doi:10.1093/jcr/ucy051. Full Text

Sullivan, Nicolette J., et al. “Indulgent Foods Can Paradoxically Promote Disciplined Dietary Choices.Psychol Sci, vol. 30, no. 2, Feb. 2019, pp. 273–87. Pubmed, doi:10.1177/0956797618817509. Full Text

Liu, P. J., et al. “The sales impact of featuring healthy foods, indulgent foods, or both: Findings from a large-scale retail field study.” Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, vol. 3, no. 3, July 2018, pp. 346–63. Scopus, doi:10.1086/698329. Full Text


Moore, Sarah G., and Gavan J. Fitzsimons. “Ptolemy vs. Copernicus: Self-Construal and Social Consumption.” Advances in Consumer Research, Vol Xxxvi, edited by A. L. McGill and S. Shavitt, vol. 36, ASSOC CONSUMER RESEARCH, 2009, pp. 744–45.

Zemack-Rugar, Yael, et al. “Reducing Reactance Induced Backlash Responses to Recommendations.” Advances in Consumer Research Vol Xxxiv, edited by G. J. Fitzsimons, vol. 34, ASSOC CONSUMER RESEARCH, 2007, pp. 263–64.

Zemack-Rugar, Yael, et al. “"Effects of Specific, Nonconscious Emotion Primes on Behavior".” Advances in Consumer Research Vol Xxxiv, edited by G. J. Fitzsimons, vol. 34, ASSOC CONSUMER RESEARCH, 2007, pp. 583–84.

Machin, J. E., and G. J. Fitzsimons. Marketing by mistake: The unintended consequences of consumer research. 2005, pp. 81–95. Scopus, doi:10.4324/9781410613271. Full Text