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Research Papers

Research Funded by the Center

Turning-on Dimensional Prominence in Decision Making: Experiments and a Model


Ayala Arad and Amnon Maltz 

Management Science, 2022, forthcoming.

Image by Egor Myznik

Aging impairs inhibitory control over incidental cues: A construal level perspective


Liat Hadar, Yaacov Trope and Boaz M. Ben-David

Psychological Science, 2021, 32(9), 1442-1451.


Could introducing a tiny interest rate on positive balances of checking accounts affect invest- ment decisions? We suggest, counterintuitively, that it might decrease allocations to checking accounts and increase riskless investments with higher returns. This violation of monotonicity is a potential outcome of a novel behavioral phenomenon that we formalize and investigate experimentally. It posits that even a small interest rate highlights or turns-on the safe gains dimension, bumping up its decision weight while shrouding other considerations, such as liquid- ity. Consequently, choices may shift from the most liquid option, the checking account, to safe investments with superior returns. Our exploration of this phenomenon covers three different choice environments: investment decisions, social preferences and choice under uncertainty.


 Age-related changes in decision making have been attributed to deterioration of cognitive skills, such as learning and memory. Based on past research showing age-related decreased ability to inhibit irrelevant information, we hypothesize that these changes occur, in part, due to older adults’ tendency to give more weight to low-level, subordinate, and goal-irrelevant information, compared with young adults. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that young adults are willing to pay more for a product (Study 1, N = 200) and are more satisfied with an experience (Study 2, N = 399) superior on end-attributes than on means-attributes. Young adults are also more satisfied with a goal-relevant than with a goal-irrelevant product (Study 3, N = 201; Study 4, N = 200, pre-registered). Importantly, these effects attenuate with age. Implications for research on construal level and aging and for policymakers are discussed.

Man Shopping for Groceries

Consumer Behavior in the Corona era: What do consumers buy, how much, and what are they persuaded by?


Liat Hadar

Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University

Innovations in Management, 2021, Issue 8.


Shopping in Mall


Have you been thinking about your death more than usual since the start of the Coronavirus crisis? Despite our knowledge of our own mortality, the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has made this knowledge unusually relevant and available in our minds. Studies indicate that thinking about death changes behavioral patterns. This review paper presents two major trends that emerge following thoughts of death - reliance on cultural worldviews and the need to strengthen self-esteem, and the tendency to prioritize emotionally meaningful goals over other goals. In turn, these trends have been found to influence consumption amounts, the tendency to purchase high-status and luxury products, and the tendency to attend to, to recall, and to be persuaded by marketing messages that emphasize emotional goals over other goals. The paper summarizes findings from studies that have examined the implications of these processes for consumer behavior. Based on the results of these studies, the article suggests practical ways in which companies and organizations should address consumers during the crisis.

Me, Myself and I: The Cognitive Cost of Video Chatting on Zoom


Natalia Kononov and Orly Bareket

Coller School of Management, Tel Aviv University

Innovations in Management, 2022, Issue 10.

Online meeting


With the imposition of social distance constraints due to COVID-19, entire areas of life ceased to exist face-to-face,

moving at once into the virtual video space. The main advantage of video calls is that they include a quality

visual dimension and therefore seem to be a worthy substitute for face-to-face interactions. However, unlike the

experience of a routine face-to-face meeting, the virtual experience in zoom conversations is characterized by

a constant reflection of the self across the screen that exposes the speaker to constant feedback about his or

her appearance and behavior, as well as the way he or she is viewed from others' perspectives. We propose that

while in face-to-face conversations we are required to allocate attentional resources to processing information

that mainly concerns the other speaker and the conversation, in a virtual conversation in Zoom we are also forced to process information about ourselves, an experience that may be both unpleasant and cognitively demanding.

Customers driving a firm's responsible innovation response for grand challenges:
A co-active issue-selling perspective

William Degbey, Elina Pelto, Christina Öberg and Abraham Carmeli

Journal of Product Innovation Management, 2023.


Grand challenges vary across industries and call for firms to craft a responsible innovation response to effectively address them. However, key questions concerning why firms embrace responsible innovation and the process by which they respond to grand challenges have yet to be fully answered. We integrate an issue-selling theoretical lens and the customer role from an innovation perspective to theorize about the different influencing motives that customers exert on their corresponding supplying firm to craft a more responsible innovation response to grand challenges. Based on qualitative data collected in almost a 10-year period from multiple respondents across eight customer firms and two supplying firms, we identify three core motives—regulatory, business opportunity, and socio-environmental motives—that propel customers to influence supplying firms to craft different forms of responsible innovation responses. Our research also reveals three vital socio-human capital pathways—human capital, socio-behavioral, and relationship—which, in turn, foster a co-active engagement in addressing grand challenges innovatively and responsibly. In so doing, this research advances novel theorizing on co-active engagement in responsible innovation where the customer acts as the primary champion and the supplier as the implementer. We discuss the important implications for customers and other stakeholders.

Snyre for your nasal congestion:
Using phonesthemes to imbue non-word brand names 
with meaning

Stacey Brennan, Jasmina Ilicic, and Shai Danziger

Journal of Consumer Psychology, 2023.


A brand name is a fundamental component of a brand’s identity. This research introduces a novel linguistic tool for brand name creation: phonesthemes — sound and spelling letter clusters that are associated with one dominant meaning. For instance, sn, one of over 140 phonesthemes in English, consistently appears in words related to the nose or breathing (sneeze, sniff, snort). Six experiments reveal positive effects of phonesthemic non-word brand names (e.g., Glif; gl-; e.g., glow, glimmer; meaning ‘light’) on consumer preference, attitude, purchase intent, and choice when the dominant meaning activated by the phonestheme is semantically congruent with the product category or product attribute (e.g., luminant car wax), due to enhanced processing fluency. Phonological (sound) and orthographic (spelling) priming are eliminated as alternative explanations for the phenomenon. This research advances psycholinguistic research in marketing and the emerging area of brand linguistics by broadening the focus beyond brand name phonology.

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