Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Gavan J. Fitzsimons

Edward and Rose Donnell Professor

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Columbia University 1995

  • M.Phil., Columbia University 1994

  • M.B.A., University of Western Ontario (Canada) 1991

  • B.S., University of Western Ontario (Canada) 1988


Gavan J. Fitzsimons is the R. David Thomas professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. His research focuses on understanding the ways in which consumers may be influenced without their conscious knowledge or awareness by marketers and marketing researchers, often without any intent on the part of the marketer. His work has been published in numerous academic journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Management Science, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Psychological Science. His ideas have also been featured in many popular press outlets such as NPR, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, Oprah Magazine and Time Magazine, amongst many others.

Wu, F, Samper, A, Morales, AC, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "It’s Too Pretty to Use! When and How Enhanced Product Aesthetics Discourage Usage and Lower Consumption Enjoyment." Journal of Consumer Research 44.3 (October 2017): 651-672. Full Text

Zemack-Rugar, Y, Moore, SG, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "Just do it! Why committed consumers react negatively to assertive ads." Journal of Consumer Psychology 27.3 (July 2017): 287-301. Full Text

Brick, DJ, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "Oppositional brand choice: Using brands to respond to relationship frustration." Journal of Consumer Psychology 27.2 (April 2017): 257-263. Full Text

Leander, NP, vanDellen, MR, Rachl-Willberger, J, Shah, JY, Fitzsimons, GJ, and Chartrand, TL. "Is Freedom Contagious? A Self-Regulatory Model of Reactance and Sensitivity to Deviant Peers." Motivation science 2.4 (December 2016): 256-267. Full Text

Zemack-Rugar, Y, Rabino, R, Cavanaugh, LA, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "When donating is liberating: The role of product and consumer characteristics in the appeal of cause-related products." Journal of Consumer Psychology 26.2 (April 2016): 213-230. Full Text

Yang, LW, Chartrand, TL, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "The influence of gender and self-monitoring on the products consumers choose for joint consumption." International Journal of Research in Marketing 32.4 (December 2015): 398-407. Full Text

Cavanaugh, LA, Gino, F, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "When doing good is bad in gift giving: Mis-predicting appreciation of socially responsible gifts." Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 131 (November 2015): 178-189. Full Text

McClelland, GH, Lynch, JG, Irwin, JR, Spiller, SA, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "Median splits, Type II errors, and false–positive consumer psychology: Don't fight the power." Journal of Consumer Psychology 25.4 (October 2015): 679-689. Full Text

Shepherd, S, Chartrand, TL, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "When Brands Reflect Our Ideal World: The Values and Brand Preferences of Consumers Who Support versus Reject Society’s Dominant Ideology." Journal of Consumer Research 42.1 (June 2015): 76-92. Full Text

Liu, PJ, Haws, KL, Lamberton, C, Campbell, TH, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "Vice-Virtue Bundles." Management Science 61.1 (January 2015): 204-228. Full Text


Breazeale, M, Fournier, S, Avery, J, Aaker, D, Deighton, J, Fitzsimons, G, Kozinets, RV, MacInnis, D, McGill, AL, John, DR, Schroeder, J, Escalas, JE, and Bettman, JR. "Contemplating the futures of brandingBrand relationships and self-identity: Consumer use of celebrity meaning to repair a compromised identity (PublishedPublished)." Strong Brands, Strong Relationships. June 12, 2015. 395-414. Full Text

Fitzsimons, GJ, Cutright, KM, and Samper, A. "We Are What We Buy?." Identity and Consumption. Ed. R Belk and A Ruvio. London: Routledge, 2012.

Chartrand, TL, Fitzsimons, G, and Ferraro, R. "The effects of incidental brand exposure on consumption." Handbook on Brand and Experience Management. Ed. BH Schmitt and DL Rogers. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Press, 2009. 163-173.

Fitzsimons, GJ, and Machin, JE. "Marketing by Mistake: The Unintended Consequences of Consumer Research." Applying Social Cognition to Consumer-Focused Strategy. Ed. FR Kardes, PM Herr, and J Nantel. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 81-95.

Posavac, SS, Fitzsimons, GJ, Kardes, FR, and Sanbonmatsu, DM. "Implications of selective processing for marketing managers." 2005.

Selected Grants

Understanding Information Processing During Consumer Choice awarded by Red Ventures (Co-Mentor). 2014