Journal to Spotlight Financial Behavior

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The Journal of Marketing Research (JMR) will devote a special issue to interdisciplinary research on the hot topic of financial decision–making and behavior.

The November issue is a smorgasbord of 15 articles on behavioral, marketing, economic, and psychological research on various financial activities, from borrowing money to establishing trust in financial transactions.

The issue’s guest editor-in-chief, John G. Lynch, a psychologist who “wandered into marketing and consumer decision-making,” said the interdisciplinary approach advances everyone’s understanding of complex financial decisions.

“A given field understands a part of the answer. But we’re missing the larger whole,” he said. The special issue “would bring people together to read each other’s work and have an effect of causing more cross-fertilization.”

Squared Away plans to cover some JMR articles in a series of blog posts in coming weeks. Here’s a preview:

  • Misunderstandings about Savings Growth: Because people don’t understand that savings in a money-earning account grows exponentially over time, they don’t grasp why it is critical to begin saving early.
  • The Psychology of Debt Management: Behavioral economist Daniel Ariely and others show that people do, indeed, pay off their smallest debts first – financial advisors sometimes coach them to do so. But this works against their goal of paying off all their debts.
  • Investor Emotions. Research previously covered in Squared Away shows that investors become emotional about individual stocks. They are more likely to buy a stock if they made money on it in the past and reluctant to buy it if they lost money.

Credit for the idea of publishing the special JMR issue goes to behavioral finance pioneer Shlomo Benartzi, one of its co-editors, Lynch said.

The issue is temporarily available online. Christopher Bartone, JMR managing editor, said the print version will be available in October.

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