Gavan J. Fitzsimons

F.M. Kirby Research Fellow and Professor of Marketing and Psychology; Faculty Fellow, Center for Child and Family Policy

Gavan Fitzsimon's research interests fall broadly in the domain of understanding the psychology of consumers. He is particularly interested in how consumers may be influenced by marketers and marketing researchers without their conscious knowledge or awareness, often without any intent on the part of the marketing researcher.

The traditional view of marketing and marketing research is that the former seeks to persuade the consumer to choose or behave in a certain way, and the latter seeks to assess consumer opinions and attitudes. In each case, little attention has focused on unintended effects of marketing or marketing research. Further, traditional views of consumer behavior have assumed that consumers are largely deliberative, conscious, thinking machines. Fitzsimon's research combines examinations of unintended effects of marketing actions with an assertion that much consumer decision-making occurs outside conscious awareness.

Research Interests:

  • Children and Marketing


  • M.B.A. Marketing and Finance The Ivey School, The University of Western Ontario - 2005
  • Ph.D. Columbia University - 1995
  • M.Phil. Columbia University - 1994
  • M.B.A. University of Western Ontario (Canada) - 1991
  • B.S. University of Western Ontario (Canada) - 1988
  • BS Chemistry The University of Western Ontario - 1988

Recent Publications (More Publications)

  • Zemack-Rugar, Y; Moore, SG; Fitzsimons, GJ (2017) Just do it! Why committed consumers react negatively to assertive ads Journal of Consumer Psychology, [doi]
  • Brick, DJ; Fitzsimons, GJ (2016) Oppositional brand choice: Using brands to respond to relationship frustration Journal of Consumer Psychology, [doi]
  • Zemack-Rugar, Y; Rabino, R; Cavanaugh, LA; Fitzsimons, GJ (2016) When donating is liberating: The role of product and consumer characteristics in the appeal of cause-related products Journal of Consumer Psychology, 26, 213-230, [doi]
  • Yang, LW; Chartrand, TL; Fitzsimons, GJ (2015) The influence of gender and self-monitoring on the products consumers choose for joint consumption International Journal of Research in Marketing, 32, 398-407, [doi]
  • Cavanaugh, LA; Gino, F; Fitzsimons, GJ (2015) When doing good is bad in gift giving: Mis-predicting appreciation of socially responsible gifts Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 131, 178-189, [doi]