Skip to main content

Why do we overeat, overspend? Lecture provides insights

April 08, 2011

Arizona State University marketing professor Naomi Mandel will provide insights into how our need to maintain high self-esteem can lead to poor consumption choices during an April 14 lecture on ASU’s West campus. The event is set for 5 p.m. in the Kiva Lecture Hall at 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. It is free and open to the public; visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour.

Mandel’s lecture is entitled “Compensatory Consumption: Situational factors leading to overspending and unhealthy food choices.”

When people’s self-esteem is threatened, they have various ways to compensate, explains Mandel, who teaches graduate-level marketing courses for ASU’s W. P. Carey School of Business. Some people turn to various forms of “compensatory consumption,” such as buying luxury or high-status brands or engaging in escapist behaviors such as overeating or binge drinking.

During her presentation, Mandel will review recent advances in marketing and consumer psychology regarding such compensatory consumption behaviors. She also will offer suggestions for healthier coping strategies.

Mandel, an associate professor of marketing at the W. P. Carey School, holds a doctorate in marketing from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines the social-cognitive factors that influence consumers’ preferences and consumption experiences. Specifically, her findings demonstrate that subtle environmental cues, such as the content of a television program or web page, can activate thoughts in the consumer’s mind, thereby influencing choices and consumption experiences. Mandel has published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Psychology, and Journal of Interactive Marketing. She also serves on the editorial review boards for three top-tier marketing journals, and recently chaired the Society for Consumer Psychology Conference in Atlanta.

The April 14 event featuring Mandel is part of the ThinK (Thursdays in Kiva) series at ASU’s West campus. ThinK is sponsored by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the core college on the campus. This academic year’s theme for ThinK is “Much Ado About Food.”

For more information, call (602) 543-4521 or email