Travelers Refusing Upgrades to Sit Near Loved Ones Illustrates New Consumer Behavior Findings

This article, by Dean’s Professor of Marketing Rebecca Ratner and co-researchers Ximena Garcia-Rada and Michael Norton, was originally published at The Conversation.

Do This Before You Hang Out With Friends To Have More Fun.

We know goal-setting meetings can help teams be more productive in the workplace, and, according to research from Maryland Smith’s Rebecca Ratner, they can also help you get the most out of activities in your personal life.

Table for One: Research Reveals the Power of Solitude

SMITH BRAIN TRUST – Does food actually taste worse when we're dining alone? Recent research suggests solitude negatively affects our enjoyment of food, but finds we can counter the effect by positioning a mirror or a photo of ourselves where we can see it. The findings, from researchers at Japan's Nagoya University, will be published in a forthcoming edition of the journal Physiology

Fearless Idea 19: Ditch Your 'Wingman'

SMITH BRAIN TRUST — If you want to meet new people, leave your “wingman” at home and go out alone. People will think you are more open-minded, curious and interested in the world and be more likely to strike up a conversation with you. That’s the finding of new research from Rebecca Ratner at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and Smith marketing PhD student Yuechen Wu. 

Toy Craze in an Egg: Why the Hatchimal Is Hot

SMITH BRAIN TRUST — Why do we want the things we can't have? In the toy market, especially in the holiday season, it's sometimes because demand just takes off like a flying reindeer, surprising Santa, and toy makers and everyone in between. We're referring, of course, to the Hatchimal, the small, furry, motorized creature that pecks its way out of its colorful plastic egg and sings "Happy Birthday." Store shelves and online retail sites have been widely cleared of the little coveted creatures, leaving

A Critical Skill: Critical Thinking

Smith student Philip Peker ’18 writes about the Critical Thinking Workshop on Oct. 17, 2016, at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Solo Consumerism Study Reaches Millions

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.

Small Cans of Soda? You May Not Drink Less

SMITH BRAIN TRUST — For years, soda servings have been ballooning. For its first half-century, Coke's main product was a 6.5 ounce bottle. Later came the reign of the 12-oz. can. In recent years, you couldn't get anything smaller than a 20-oz. behemoth-bottle from many vending machines.

Why You Should Dine Out Alone

Why are so many people reluctant to go to the movies or dinner alone? The existence of this inhibition is widely known, but its underpinnings have been subjected to surprisingly little scientific scrutiny — until now. Research by Rebecca Ratner, a marketing professor and assistant dean for academic affairs at the Smith School, sheds new light on the psychology of solo consumerism.

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