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.

Sullivan, NJ, Fitzsimons, GJ, Platt, ML, and Huettel, SA. "Indulgent Foods Can Paradoxically Promote Disciplined Dietary Choices." Psychological Science 30.2 (February 2019): 273-287. Full Text

Gaustad, T, Samuelsen, BM, Warlop, L, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "Too much of a good thing? Consumer response to strategic changes in brand image(Accepted)." International Journal of Research in Marketing (January 1, 2019). Full Text

Gaustad, T, Samuelsen, BM, Warlop, L, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "The perils of self-brand connections: Consumer response to changes in brand meaning." Psychology and Marketing 35.11 (November 1, 2018): 818-829. Full Text

Brick, DJ, Fitzsimons, GM, Chartrand, TL, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "Coke vs. Pepsi: Brand compatibility, relationship power, and life satisfaction." Journal of Consumer Research 44.5 (February 1, 2018): 991-1014. Full Text

"Erratum." Journal of Consumer Research 44.5 (February 1, 2018): 1174-1174. Full Text

Acikalin, MY, Watson, KK, Fitzsimons, GJ, and Platt, ML. "Rhesus macaques form preferences for brand logos through sex and social status based advertising." Plos One 13.2 (January 2018): e0193055-null. Full Text

Gaustad, T, Utgård, J, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "When accidents are good for a brand(Accepted)." Journal of Business Research (January 1, 2018). Full Text

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 1, 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 1, 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 1, 2017): 257-263. Full Text


Breazeale, M, Fournier, S, Avery, J, Aaker, D, Deighton, J, Fitzsimons, G, Kozinets, RV, MacInnis, D, McGill, AL, John, DR, and Schroeder, J. "Contemplating the futures of branding." 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.

Moore, SG, and Fitzsimons, GJ. "Ptolemy vs. Copernicus: Self-Construal and Social Consumption." 36th Annual Conference of the Association-for-Consumer-Research. October 23, 2008 - October 26, 2008. San Francisco, CA.: ASSOC CONSUMER RESEARCH, January 1, 2009.

Zemack-Rugar, Y, Bettman, JR, and Fitzsimons, GJ. ""Effects of Specific, Nonconscious Emotion Primes on Behavior"." 2007.

Zemack-Rugar, Y, Fitzsimons, GJ, and Lehmann, DR. "Reducing Reactance Induced Backlash Responses to Recommendations." 34th Annual Conference of the Association-for-Consumer-Research. September 28, 2006 - October 1, 2006. Orlando, FL.: ASSOC CONSUMER RESEARCH, January 1, 2007.

Posavac, SS, Fitzsimons, GJ, Kardes, FR, and Sanbonmatsu, DM. "Implications of selective processing for marketing managers." July 27, 2005. Full Text

Selected Grants

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