Michel has authored more than 40 articles in major scientific journals in the fields of consumer research, marketing, decision making, and psychology. His research is widely cited, and has appeared in leading journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Marketing Research, International Journal of Research in Marketing, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Psychological Science, and Personality and Social Psychology Review. He is best known for his pioneering research on the role of feelings and emotions in judgments and decisions. Below are examples of Michel's many research projects.
Relaxation Increases Consumers' Willingness to Pay
We found across six experiments that consumers who are relaxed are willing to pay more for a variety of products than consumers who are less relaxed. This is because relaxed consumers perceive the value of products at a more abstract ("big picture") level than do less relaxed consumers.
Featured in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CBS News.com.
Pham, Gorn, & Hung (2011), Relaxation Increases Monetary Valuations, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 48, 814-826.
Trusting Your Feelings Often Increases Your Ability to Predict Future Events
Contrary to popular wisdom that subjective feelings provide a poor basis for judgment, we found across eight studies that people who are made to trust their feelings are better able to predict a variety of future events, such as the winner of American Idol, the results of an election, and movie successes, compared to people who do not trust their feelings as much. This is because feelings provide powerful summaries of the vast amount of information that people learn consciously and unconsciously about their environment.
Featured in Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, Wired, MSN, Forbes.
Pham, Lee, and & Stephen (2012), Feeling the Future: The Emotional Oracle Effect, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 39, 461-477.
Influencing Customer Satisfaction Through Self-Awareness
According to standard marketing theory, customer satisfaction can be improved by either (a) increasing product/service quality, which is usually difficult, or (b) lowering customers' expectations, which is often risky. This research identifies another way to influence customer satisfaction: by raising the customer's level of self-awareness, which can be done by things as innocuous as exposing them to a mirror or addressing them by their names. Raising customers' self-awareness tends to reduce their dissatisfaction in case of product/service failures. This is because self-awareness makes customers accept some of the blame for these failures. However, high self-awareness can also attenuate customers' satisfaction with product/service successes, because self-aware customers tend to take more credit for these successes.
Pham, Goukens, Lehmann, & Stuart (2010), Shaping Customer Satisfaction through Self-Awareness Cues, Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 47, 920-932.
Why Consumers Often Confuse the Source of Marketing Promotions and the Sponsors of Various Sports Events
Much of marketing is about conveying something positive about specific products, brands, or companies. However, consumers often confuse the source (or originator) of product claims, promotional messages, or event sponsorships. For example, even though the official athletic goods sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics was actually adidas, many consumers may mistakenly believe that it was Nike. Our research shows that source confusion often arises because consumers identify the source of various promotional claims and sponsorships based on educated guesses. Such guesses are often based on (a) whether a brand is prominent or not, and (b) whether the brand seems logically related to the nature of the claim or the event being sponsored. Random guesses are common as well.
Johar, Pham, & Wakesfield (2006), How Event Sponsors Are Identified. A (Baseball) Field Analysis, Journal of Advertising Research, Vol. 46, 183–198; Johar & Pham (1999), Relatedness, Prominence, and Constructive Sponsor Identification," Journal of Marketing Research, Vol. 36, 299-312. Pham & Johar (1997), Contingent Processes of Source Identification, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 23, 249-265.