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About Our Research


Professor Peter Caprariello conducts research on consumer relationship processes. Specifically, he is interested in various processes affecting how consumers can best spend money pursuing happiness for themselves and for those with whom they interact. These processes includes spending money on shared life experiences and possessions, buying gifts that reflect care and thoughtfulness versus obligation or duty, and interpreting the intentions of gift-givers when receiving gifts, especially during gift-giving holidays and for couples who are distressed.

The Consumers' Affiliative Processes Lab is ideal for students interested in learning about research on consumer relationships, consumer psychology, and well-being. Students should have an interest in developing research skills and knowledge, a flexible schedule, a smartphone, and the motivation to do good work. A typical first-semester involves carrying out the day-to-day activities of the lab, including running lab sessions, cleaning and coding data, and working with data collection tools such as Qualtrics, Medialab, SurveyGizmo, and  SONA.  A typical first-semester also involves preparing an independent research project of one's own design, which includes reading and summarizing original published research, presenting these summaries in lab meetings, and proposing a research study to be carried out in semester two. Students of the lab can expect to learn:

  • How to make decisions and solve problems.
  • How to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the lab organization.
  • How to obtain and process information.
  • How to plan, organize, and prioritize multiple ongoing projects.
  • How to analyze quantitative data. 

Lab members receive 3 credits per semester for their involvement in the lab.  Lab members should expect to be available at least 9 hours per week. Lab meetings are held on Fridays from 12-1pm and attendance is required. Ideally, students who apply to work in the lab should plan to commit at least two semesters.