College of Media | News

Research Group Invites Participants

12/11/2012  8:00 am

The Illinois Social and Behavioral Sciences Research Committee provided seed funding to facilitate a multi-disciplinary research initiative that focuses on consumers.That funding is supporting the Consumer Sciences Initiative (CSI).

An initial planning meeting will be held this Friday, December 14, from 11:30 until 12:30 in room 3001 BIF. Lunch will be provided.

The areas that CSI will focus on are:

1. One perspective that we plan to use in investigating consumer behavior is the impact of the visual medium. Do the visuals on a package bias attention towards or away from important information? What are the implied messages that are conveyed by the visuals on a product? In a world of ever increasing availability of data, how can visuals guide and enhance consumer's understanding of a product? For instance, can we visualize nutrition information in a graphical manner to help consumers make better informed decisions about the quality of products that they are buying?

 We hope to bring together experts from domains like Advertising, Design, Nutrition Sciences, Psychology, Visualization and possibly others to collaborate on these topics. 


2. A second area of focus is on the impact of resource scarcity on consumer behavior and, in particular, consumer welfare. Much of the established knowledge in areas related to consumer science is based on insights from consumers of ordinary means. What new challenges do consumers who are poor in money, time or other necessary resources face in the marketplace? How does resource scarcity influence our ability and motivation to process relevant (or irrelevant) product information? To what extent (and under what conditions) do resource-scarce consumers display fundamentally different decision-making and consumption tendencies than do those who do not face scarcity? What are the implications of these and other tendencies on resource poor consumers’ economic and psychological well-being? What factors stand to mitigate potentially detrimental effects of resource scarcity? We hope to collaborate with diverse scholars who are interested in characterizing challenges faced by resource-scarce consumers and designing solutions to these challenges.

We hope to bring together experts in areas such as Psychology, Advertising, Communication, Marketing and Informatics. Faculty affiliated with the Illinois Family Resiliency Center might also seek to collaborate on research in this area.



If you are interested in participating in – or learning more about - the CSI, you can click the link below. You will be asked to indicate whether you can attend the initial planning session and a few more details to help us plan for the subsequent brownbag sessions in Spring 2013.





Brittany Duff (Advertising)

Alejandro Lleras (Psychology)

Tiffany Barnett White (Business)