• Meet Baylor’s nationally recognized expert on consumer behavior and wellbeing

    Dr. Meredith David

    There’s a good chance that, at some point in the last few years, you’ve read or discussed Baylor research in “phone snubbing” (or the more headline-friendly term “phubbing”), describing the habits of individuals more preoccupied with their phones than the people around them. The highly-relatable research has been covered by everyone from NBC’s TODAY to Time magazine — even Saturday Night Live‘s “Weekend Update.”

    One of the professors behind that research is Dr. Meredith David, assistant professor of marketing in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business. David is a nationally-recognized consumer behavior expert whose forays into phubbing only scratch the surface of the variety of applications for her research.

    A Baylor professor since 2014, David has already built a national reputation as a leader in consumer behavior, wellbeing, relationships, the interpersonal effects of technology, consumer goods and more. She’s done that through research that leverages common experiences to yield new insights. Examples include:

    • Many diets fail because dieters adopt the wrong strategies, relying too heavily on avoiding favorite foods. David’s research found that dieters should instead focus on eating healthy foods they actually enjoy, while moderating (but still including) occasional treats.
    • Couples who tailgate together stay together, as they interact face-to-face and build connections that are harder to come by in the digital age.
    • While religious people tend to be more charitable, when charity competes with a large desired purchase, giving decreases.
    • The best gift-givers tend to be individuals who are anxious about their interpersonal relationships, as that lack of confidence can deter them from assuming others will like what they enjoy.
    • The fear of missing out (“FOMO”) can actually lead individuals to seek out the more positive connections found on social media.

    Much of David’s research has been done in partnership with Dr. James Roberts, Baylor’s Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing, and their research into phubbing has been a signature focus, covered in outlets like the Washington Post, Women’s Health, and more. Their varied research threads into the phenomenon have found that that phubbing can lead to dissatisfaction in romantic relationships, create a “vicious cycle” in which snubbed partners turn to their own phones to find acceptance, and even lead to depression.

    Sic ’em, Dr. David!

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