International Trade in Heavy Weaponry

This fall my independent study students have chosen to study the international trade in heavy weaponry.  We’ll be focusing on heavy arms (planes, tanks, missiles, etc.) sold by firms in the U.S to customers overseas.  In most cases the sale is to another country but in some cases the sale could be to a group located abroad.  The topic covers the interests of the two independent study students (Anastasia and Jessica) and we can draw upon the expertise of our faculty member John Burrow.  We have data on arms sales from the U.S to others, we’ll be combining that with other metrics to see if we can find patterns in what drives arms sales, where, and when.

Don’t throw away the “incomplete” product

We’ve all done it, something of ours breaks and we throw it away.  The laptop we’re using no longer works unless it’s plugged in, the jacket you love has a broken zipper, or the dresser that you own has a broken drawer.  Instead of fixing the problem or donating the product to someone else you decide to discard it.  It’s easier to discard than it is to fix the problem, or you may be too embarrassed to donate a product that you wouldn’t use yourself to someone else.  However, by discarding the product you contribute to the over 200 million tonnes of garbage that Americans discard each year.  Many products (including the broken glasses on the left) are still useful: http://www.lionsclubs.org/EN/how-we-serve/health/sight/eyeglass-recycling.php.  The key to preventing this waste is to think of products as a collection of independent parts rather than a whole that is reliant on all of the parts.  Dr. Dave Kolar and I recently presented a study at the Marketing and Public Policy Conference in D.C which found that consumers are more likely to donate based on the level of product completeness.  The more we view a product as complete the less likely we are to discard it.  To see a summary of our study please click on the link: MPPC Poster – June 5 2017.

 

Augmented Reality – Merging the physical with the virtual

This semester we are experimenting with augmented reality in our principles of marketing (Mktg 301) class.  Students are taking a static image and then making it come to life using augmented reality.  The idea is to enable our students to use one of the emerging methods of advertising to create advertisements for our clients Dragonfly Yoga Studio, The Agora Coffee Shop, or the College of Business.  If you’re not sure what augmented reality is check out this video.

The integration of psychology and marketing

Two of my independent study students recently returned from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Annual Meeting in San Antonio where they presented our paper on anticipation and how it impacts the evaluation of outcomes.  The study examined the benefits of planning ahead and how it can enhance your overall experiences which in itself is quite interesting.  What’s more noteworthy (for the time being) is that both students are not psychology students.  They’ve taken consumer behavior and they know that psychology influences consumer behavior but they initially treated psychology as a different field.  In some schools, fields like psychology or economics exist in different universes than business, students are exposed to the linkages between them.  We try our best not to exist in our silos but it’s hard not to when we’re preoccupied with the difficult task of publishing quality work in our field.  However, when we diminish the interdisciplinary nature of our fields the students miss out on potential opportunities.  For Kenny and Sara, did presenting a research study at a psychology conference make them better psychologists (not by much), but did it make them better versed in the integration of psychology and marketing, absolutely.

UMW Freshmen Seminar Visits FBI Headquarters

20161121_145324Last month we were fortunate enough to tour the FBI Headquarters in Washington and hear from some of the agents on the work that they’re doing.  The tour was arranged by the father of one of our alumni and from the moment we arrived to five hours afterwards when we left the FBI really went out of their way to give us an inside perspective of the work that the FBI does.  We heard about the billions of dollars that the FBI manages.  We also learned about the work that field agents do, the importance of counter-terrorism, and the fight against white collar crime including the infamous Bank of the Commonwealth case.  The once in a lifetime experience represents the advantage of being part of a school that has such a strong alumni network and is located close to our nation’s capital.

Everybody always says you should live in the moment – but there is something to be said for anticipation.

anticipationPeople always say you should be in the moment but if you do that you may not enjoy things as much as you would if you had planned ahead of time.  Research by myself and two of my students (Sara Armor and Kenny Vukmanic) found that students who had firms plans weeks before spring break enjoyed spring break more than those who were spontaneous.  Why is this?  When we plan ahead we create this sense of anticipation which is a positive feeling, then when the event is over, even if it wasn’t ideal the person still benefited from this sense of anticipation.  Sara and Kenny are going to present their research at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) annual meeting, this Winter in San Antonio.  For a preview of the work I’ve attached the poster here. spsp-poster-anticipation-october-2016.