News at Smith

Solo Consumerism Study Reaches Millions

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

Apr 20, 2016

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 Smith School marketing professor Rebecca Ratner reached millions of news consumers with her study on the upsides of solo consumerism. Overall, Ratner’s research generated more than 100 media placements, earning her the inaugural Research Communicator Impact Award from the University of Maryland's Division of Research.

Announced on Oct. 7, 2015, the award highlights scholarly insight disseminated via “outstanding op-ed style articles.”

Ratner’s Los Angeles Times op-ed, “Why You’re Better Off Going Alone Than Not at All,” reached more than one million readers.

Outlets ranging from the Washington Post, the Guardian, Cosmopolitan, Esquire and New York Magazine also reported on the findings, and NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don't Tell Me!” program referenced the research in its popular Limericks segment.

“People are afraid of going out to do an activity alone in public because they worry about how others will perceive them,” Ratner told viewers during an appearance on CBS Morning News. “The truth is, research on the spotlight effect shows that people pay less attention to us than we think.”

The study, “Inhibited from Bowling Alone” was published in the Journal of Consumer Research. /GM/