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

Levav, Jonathan, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons. “When questions change behavior: the role of ease of representation.Psychological Science, vol. 17, no. 3, Mar. 2006, pp. 207–13. Epmc, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01687.x. Full Text

Honea, H., et al. “1=2: When a singular experience leads to dissociated evaluations.” Journal of Consumer Psychology, vol. 16, no. 2, Jan. 2006, pp. 124–34. Scopus, doi:10.1207/s15327663jcp1602_3. Full Text

Irmak, C., et al. “The placebo effect in marketing: Sometimes you just have to want it to work.” Journal of Marketing Research, vol. 42, no. 4, Nov. 2005, pp. 406–09. Scopus, doi:10.1509/jmkr.2005.42.4.406. Full Text

Posavac, S. S., et al. “Blissful insularity: When brands are judged in isolation from competitors.” Marketing Letters, vol. 16, no. 2, Apr. 2005, pp. 87–97. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s11002-005-1433-2. Full Text

Williams, P., et al. “When Asking Questions About Health Behaviors Helps versus Hurts.” Social Influences, 2005.

Williams, Patti, et al. “When Consumers Don't Recognize 'Benign' Intention Questions as Persuasion Attempts.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 31, Dec. 2004.

Posavac, S. S., et al. “The brand positivity effect: When evaluation confers preference.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 31, no. 3, Dec. 2004, pp. 643–51. Scopus, doi:10.1086/425099. Full Text

Sengupta, J., and G. J. Fitzsimons. “The effect of analyzing reasons on the stability of brand attitudes: A reconciliation of opposing predictions.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 31, no. 3, Dec. 2004, pp. 705–11. Scopus, doi:10.1086/425105. Full Text

Williams, P., et al. “When consumers do not recognize "benign" intention questions as persuasion attempts.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 31, no. 3, Dec. 2004, pp. 540–50. Scopus, doi:10.1086/425088. Full Text

Sengupta, J., and G. J. Fitzsimons. “The Effects Of Analysing Reasons on the Stability of Brand Attitudes: A Reconciliation of Opposing Predictions.” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 21, no. 3, 2004, pp. 705–11.