Research Interests: Consumer Behavior, Judgment and Decision Making, Motivation, Prosocial Behavior, Memory
Jackie joined the Wharton Marketing Doctoral Program in Fall 2014. She studies several facets of judgment and decision making and consumer psychology, including the judgments and consequences of repeated behaviors, prosocial actions, memory, and experiential choices.
Her dissertation work examines how patterns in consumers’ behaviors – and in particular, streaks – influence future behavior and predictions. Her research shows that streaks carry special significance for consumers. Maintaining a streak becomes a goal in and of itself, which motivates continuation. Yet a broken streak can be particularly demotivating. Thus, consumers’ awareness of their streaks can be a double-edged sword for their motivation and future behavior. Furthermore, streaks serve as a signal about commitment to a goal. Similar to research on the hot hand belief, people see a recent streak as a meaningful indicator – in this case, of the consumer’s commitment to their goal. These findings are especially relevant to consumers and marketers because technological advancements, like smart devices and phone apps, allow consumers to track their repeated behaviors, leading them to be aware of their streaks.
Jackie received a B.S. in Economics and Environmental Science at the University of Michigan. She previously taught high school science on the west side of Chicago.
Abstract: When do people make optimistic forecasts about goal-directed behavior? In five studies, we examine how an individual’s recent pattern of behavior affects their predictions regarding the likelihood of sticking to their goal. Specifically, we show that even when the overall rate of behavior is identical, a recent streak of goal-consistent behavior increases the predicted likelihood that the individual will persist, compared to a variety of other patterns. This effect is due to a perceived higher level of commitment following a recent streak. In turn, people are less likely to recommend the use of a restrictive goal pursuit strategy, like a commitment device, after a streak because they believe that it is unnecessary. The effect is attenuated in the presence of other diagnostic cues of commitment (i.e., the individual has a high base rate of goal-consistent behavior) and for predictions regarding behaviors that do not require commitment to a goal. Together, these results demonstrate the significance of streaky behavior for judgment and prediction.
Alixandra Barasch, Kristin Diehl, Jackie Silverman, Gal Zauberman (2017), Photographic Memory: The Effects of Photo-taking on Memory for Auditory and Visual Information, Psychological Science.
Abstract: How does volitional photo taking affect unaided memory for visual and auditory aspects of experiences? Across one field and three lab studies, we found that, even without revisiting any photos, participants who could freely take photographs during an experience recognized more of what they saw and less of what they heard, compared with those who could not take any photographs. Further, merely taking mental photos had similar effects on memory. These results provide support for the idea that photo taking induces a shift in attention toward visual aspects and away from auditory aspects of an experience. Additional findings were in line with this mechanism: Participants with a camera had better recognition of aspects of the scene that they photographed than of aspects they did not photograph. Furthermore, participants who used a camera during their experience recognized even nonphotographed aspects better than participants without a camera did. Meta-analyses including all reported studies support these findings.
Jackie Silverman and Alixandra Barasch (Under Revision), Off Track: How Highlighting Streaks Affects Future Behavior.
Abstract: Technology is making it increasingly easy for consumers to track their repeated behaviors over time, leading consumers to be more aware of their streaks of behavior than ever before. But how do streaks of consecutive behaviors (and whether they are broken or remain intact) affect consumers’ subsequent decisions to continue those behaviors in the future? Across seven studies, we show that a broken streak makes an individual less likely to continue a behavior, even when that broken streak is caused by external events outside of their control. This effect occurs because emphasizing streaks encourages consumers to create a goal of maintaining (or not breaking) their streaks. Consistent with this “streaks as goals” theory, making streaks more salient (e.g., through behavioral tracking or the framing of behavior) motivates people to preserve them when they remain intact, but magnifies the negative effects of broken streaks. Furthermore, we find that the effect of a broken streak on future behavior persists regardless of streak length. These findings provide insight into the trade-offs involved in motivating repeated consumption behaviors by increasing the salience of consumers’ streaks.