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Kelly Haws Anne Marie and Thomas B. Walker, Jr. Professor of Marketing

Expert in food consumption choices, dieting, financial decision making, and self-control in consumption.


A prolific researcher with a focus on consumer behavior, Kelly Haws' work on food decision-making has garnered significant attention from marketers and consumers alike. Haws was named a Young Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute (MSI) in 2009, and in 2013, she was awarded the Early Career Award by the Association of Consumer Research. In 2018, she was recognized as an MSI Scholar. She was previously a Vanderbilt Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow, and now holds the Anne Marie and Thomas B. Walker, Jr. Chair. Haws is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science and an editorial review board member for the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Retailing, the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Marketing Letters, and the Journal of Business Research. She is the co-chair of the Society of Consumer Psychology 2019 conference. Haws' work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Management Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Appetite, the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, and others. Haws teaches Consumer Analysis at the graduate level and Principles of Marketing at the undergraduate level.

Media Appearances

How Ugg is making a major comeback 20 years after its heyday

Today December 14, 2020
"Times of uncertainty often drive us toward products that provide comfort and even nostalgia. Although the Ugg brand has worked hard to extend its product lines and refresh its brand, ultimately, the brand is associated with warmth, comfort and durability," said Kelly Haws, a professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University. "Add to the turbulence, uncertainty, casualwear of the home office of 2020 and the changing seasons, and you have a recipe custom made for increased demand for Uggs."

How to balance eating to live and living to eat | Opinion

Tennessean January 05, 2021
Few of us have escaped the stress and anxiety of our lives being disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic. And for many of us, that has led to a reckoning with food. We might seize this moment in time by consoling ourselves with food or instead take the opportunity to develop new, healthier habits.

7 common shopping mistakes to avoid on Amazon Prime Day

CNBC October 11, 2020
According to consumer psychology expert Kelly Haws, like Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the idea with Prime Day is that Amazon “tries to throw a lot at a consumer to get them excited about this very limited time opportunity,” the Vanderbilt University marketing professor says.

From air purifiers to holiday gifts: Experts say these are the products to buy before fall and winter

CNBC September 19, 2020
It’s likely that people will return to a similar shopping patterns that they developed early in the pandemic, Kelly Haws, a marketing professor at the business school at Vanderbilt University who specializes in consumer psychology, tells CNBC Make It. Beyond feeling prepared, there’s a psychological reason why we tend to “panic-shop” in times of crisis. “Covid-19 has forced many of us into circumstances where we feel out of control and uncertain about the future,” Haws says. “Buying stuff that we need in our daily lives is a very easy form of regaining some control.”

Constant dieters might be choosing the wrong way to lose weight

The Conversation August 25, 2020
Dieters looking for a healthier substitute of their favorite high-fat food – such as a bag of potato chips – typically have two choices in the grocery aisle: a smaller package of the exact same food or a larger portion of a “light” version. In a series of studies, we put this choice to consumers and found that people who frequently try to cut back on their eating or are essentially always on a diet – known as “restrained eaters” – prefer the larger portion size of the light version, even though both contained the exact same number of calories. Participants who indicated that they rarely dieted tended to pick the smaller size with the full flavor.

‘I’ll have what she’s having’ – how and why we copy the choices of others

The Conversation September 06, 2019
Imagine you’re dining out at a casual restaurant with some friends. After looking over the menu, you decide to order the steak. But then, after a dinner companion orders a salad for their main course, you declare: “I’ll have the salad too.” This kind of situation – making choices that you probably otherwise wouldn’t make were you alone – probably happens more often than you think in a wide variety of settings, from eating out to shopping and even donating to charity. And it’s not just a matter of you suddenly realizing the salad sounds more appetizing.

Does a healthy diet have to come at a hefty price?

The Conversation January 02, 2017
Here we go again, you think: You have to empty your wallet to buy the “healthy” stuff. If this describes how you think about the relationship between food health and price, you’re not alone. This belief is so pervasive that tips on how to eat healthy on a budget are everywhere, implying that most consumers think this is a truly difficult task. Who hasn’t heard Whole Foods’ nickname, “Whole Paycheck,” or seen incredibly cheap pricing on unhealthy fast food?