Katie S. Mehr
I am a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Decision Processes group in the Operations, Information, and Decisions (OID) department at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. I am on the marketing job market this summer/fall.
My research focuses on understanding consumer behavior. Thus far, I have pursued two broad research streams.
In my primary stream of research, I explore how consumers rate products and experiences, and how they draw inferences from other consumers’ ratings. For example, my job market paper explores how consumers’ overall ratings of an experience change depending on whether they asked to rate specific attributes of that experience. And in a different project I explore the conditions under which consumers prefer products that are associated with higher variance ratings. I also have several projects in progress, including one that explores how attribute ratings are influenced by the order in which those ratings are made and another that investigates how viewing products with an extra feature alters consumers' perceptions of that feature's importance.
In another stream of research, I study interventions that help consumers increase their motivation and achieve their goals. In one project, we found that consumers benefit from “copy-paste prompts” that encourage consumers to mimic a goal-achievement strategy used by an acquaintance. In another project, we found that consumers are more motivated by “streaky” incentives – those that increase with consecutive behaviors – than by larger but constant incentives. I am also planning a field experiment that explores the benefits (and/or costs) of encouraging people to achieve streaks.