Julie Irwin - The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business. Austin, TX, US
The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

Julie Irwin Julie Irwin

Professor, Department of Business, Government and Society & Department of Marketing | The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business

Austin, TX, US
Psychology of consumer behavior, decision-making, ethical consumption, green marketing, and corporate social responsibility

Social

Areas of Expertise (12)

Consumer Perception of Labor Practices Sustainable Products Consumer Decision Making Csr Corporate Social Responsibility Consumer Psychology Ethical Consumption Green Marketing Consumer Behavior Environmental Studies Public Policy Marketing Communication Ethical Decisions

Industry Expertise (7)

  • Advertising/Marketing
  • Business Services
  • Consumer Goods
  • Market Research
  • Corporate Leadership
  • Consumer Services
  • Public Policy

Biography

Julie R. Irwin is an educator and researcher examining how human psychology impacts consumer behavior and consumption, the marketing of green products, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and marketing strategy. Her discoveries are often surprising and counter-intuitive to prevailing wisdom, helping us better understand the hidden motivations that drive behavior within our organizations, society and marketplaces.

Irwin is a professor in the department of marketing and the department of business, government and society at the McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin. Her previous faculty appointments were at the Stern School of Business at New York University, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Irwin serves on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, and Journal of Economic Psychology. She served as a Guest Editor at Journal of Consumer Psychology in 1999 and recently served as an Associate Editor at Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

She has published over thirty refereed journal articles and book chapters and has served as a Principle Investigator on two National Science Foundation grants. Her primary research interest is in consumer decision making, especially about issues invoking emotion, ethics, and/or risk. She also has an ongoing research interest in methodology and scaling.

Media

Publications:

Documents:

Photos:

Julie Irwin Photo Julie Irwin Photo

Videos:

Audio:

Testimonials (2)

David Wenger, Director of Communications | McCombs School of Business

Julie Irwin is a scholar working in the most relevant and fascinating areas of human behavior, consumption, and marketplace decision making. Her work is often surprising, and always illustrative of how often "conventional wisdom" is wrong. A frequent speaker and expert commentator, she is always willing to share her insights with others.

Erin Whalen, "Shark Tank" Entrepreneur | Grease Monkey Wipes

Whalen says her experience working on marketing cases at McCombs was invaluable as they prepared for the pitch. “I still draw upon the lessons learned from my marketing professors at UT, like Susan Broniarczyk, Raji Srinivasan, and Julie Irwin, who taught my favorite class at UT.”

Education (3)

University of Colorado: Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology

University of Colorado: M.A., Cognitive Psychology

College of William and Mary: B.A., Psychology/English

High honors.

Media Appearances (15)

Uber versus Cities: Let’s Discuss Without Forcing into Political Silos

Huffington Post  online

2016-05-12

Last Monday Uber and Lyft left Austin because they lost an election on a proposition that would have allowed them to use their own background checks instead of using the city’s fingerprint-based system.

view more

Experts: Whole Foods was right to counterattack on cake claims

Austin American Statesman  online

2016-04-22

Whole Foods had formed a crisis team to go after attacks with a level of fervor and speed previously absent. Whole Foods “would have benefited from this sort of activist and straightforward response to earlier controversies,” said Julie Irwin, marketing professor. “People will think twice now before accusing the brand of something, especially when — as it appears in this case — the accusation is untrue.”

view more

Irwin: Ethical companies can get consumers to vote with their wallets

Austin American Statesman  online

2016-04-16

Julie Irwin, professor of marketing at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin has conducted research showing products that make no ethical claims vastly outsell their more ethical cousins.

view more

Ethical Shoppers Don’t Inspire Us—They Bug Us

Harvard Business Review  online

2016-03-22

Our pretests show that people do think ethical attributes are important. So it’s not that they don’t care about them. If they know that something has been made under terrible labor conditions, they probably won’t buy it. It’s just that they would rather not find out. Julie Irwin did groundbreaking work on this idea. She found that people will use ethical information if it’s right in front of them, but they won’t seek it out.

view more

Irwin: Nevermind the insults; Donald Trump is your friend

Austin American Statesman  online

2016-02-03

Donald Trump is among the leaders for the Republican nomination for president. The majority of media reports about why this is happening have been about how a person could be so liked when his primary method of communication appears to be insulting people. On the other hand, if you understand the social psychology of insults, it becomes easier to explain the Trump phenomenon.

view more

Why Companies Are Blind to Child Labor

Harvard Business Review  online

2016-01-28

Major companies such as Apple and Samsung claim to adhere to strict policies about child labor. A recent report by Amnesty International shows that suppliers linked to major technology chains utilize child labor in the mining of cobalt in the Dominican Republic of Congo. This suggests while companies do care about the ethics of their operations, they’re not actively investigating their supply chains to seek out this information.

view more

Irwin: Colleges favor men — but no one suggests they go to lower schools

Austin American Statesman  online

2015-12-10

The University of Texas is at the center of an affirmative action case currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The details can be better found elsewhere, but basically they concern whether the university’s system of admissions — which sometimes includes race — is constitutional

view more

UT professor: Financial security a good gift for the holidays

NewsOK  online

2015-11-27

The idea that Christmas is about overspending because overspending is love is so ubiquitous we barely notice it anymore. To add to the problem, we are told that going into debt to pay for Christmas is no big deal. It's easy to find a lender, too, but most of them are bad news. A payday loan store near where I work offers a 14-day holiday loan with annual percentage rates up to 664.29 percent — a ridiculously high number that is not unusual

view more

Do People Care About Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption?

AFK Insider  online

2015-05-01

In a series of experiments offering Americans choices between “standard” and ethically produced products, Irwin found that most won’t opt for the ethical option unless they have extensive background information about it.

view more

Ethical Consumerism Isn't Dead, It Just Needs Better Marketing

Harvard Business Review  online

2015-01-12

Pessimism about ethical consumerism rests firmly on the assumption that consumers have one, stable utility structure and they express that utility in their purchasing. The problem is, human psychology does not work like that—people do not have only one value for things and they do not have a stable and consistent utility structure.

view more

7 Things Great Leaders Do to Be Courageous

Inc. Magazine  online

2014-12-17

In the Harvard Business Review, Julie Irwin, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin's McCombs School of Business, examines the dangerous myth of absolute loyalty to a leader.

view more

Loyalty to a Leader is Overrated, Even Dangerous

Harvard Business Review  online

2014-12-15

Unethical behavior in organizations almost always is caused by belief in and too much loyalty to a “great leader” who turns out to be morally compromised.

view more

The Psychology of Sweatshop Labor

Huffington Post Business  online

2013-07-10

Julie Irwin and her colleagues from the University of Texas have found that people...prefer to remain willfully ignorant about the labor conditions behind their products.

view more

Is Happiness Tied to Emotions or Material Gifts?

PsychCentral  online

2009-02-25

Bad experiences lead to more lasting unhappiness than do bad material purchases. Experiences ‘stay with’ us longer than material purchases, whether good or bad.

view more

What Older Women Want: A Female President

Huffington Post  online

2016-03-08

Irwin explains that millennial women are less likely to vote for Hillary Clinton because real change will take real fighting, and most people will not fight to the extent necessary unless they have experienced the inequities first-hand and have internalized them in a deep and personal way.

view more

Event Appearances (4)

Understanding the Psychology of Market Behavior

Knowledge to Go Webinar  McCombs School of Business

2015-03-11

That's Not How I Remember It: Willfully Ignorant Memory for Ethical Product Attribute Information

Behavioural Decision Research in Management  St. Louis, Missouri

2014-07-16

The Sustainability Liability: Potential Negative Effects of Ethicality on Product Preference

Carlson School Conference on Sustainability  Minneapolis MN and other locations

2010-01-01

Psychology and Nuclear Waste Siting

Illinois State Geological Survey  Illinois

1994-03-16

Sample Talks (1)

Willful Ignorance and Ethical Values

Julie Irwin and her colleagues from the University of Texas have found that people prefer to remain willfully ignorant about the labor conditions behind their products.

Style

Availability

  • Keynote
  • Moderator
  • Panelist
  • Workshop Leader

Articles (6)

Julie R. Irwin Citations
Google Scholar

2015-01-01

Listing of top scholarly works by Julie R. Irwin.

view more


The Same Old Song: The Power of Familiarity in Music Choice
Marketing Letters

2014-01-01

We show that although consumers say they would prefer to listen to unfamiliar music, in actuality familiarity with music positively predicts preference for songs, play lists, and radio stations.

view more


The Sustainability Liability: Potential Negative Effects of Ethicality on Product Preference
Journal of the American Marketing Association

2010-09-01

In this research, the authors demonstrate that consumers associate higher product ethicality with gentleness-related attributes and lower product ethicality with strength-related attributes.

view more


Happiness for Sale: Do Experiential Purchases Make Consumers Happier than Material Purchases?
Journal of Consumer Research

2009-08-01

Previous theories have suggested that consumers will be happier if they spend their money on experiences such as travel as opposed to material possessions such as automobiles. We test this experience recommendation and show that it may be misleading in its general form.

view more


Negative Consequences of Dichotomizing Continuous Predictor Variables
Journal of Marketing Research

2002-12-31

The authors present historical results on the effects of dichotomization of normal predictor variables rederived in a regression context that may be more relevant to marketing researchers.

view more


Product Category Familiarity and Preference Construction
Journal of Consumer Research

1997-12-31

Marketers often base decisions about marketing strategies on the results of research designed to elicit information about consumers' preferences. We examine the effect of familiarity in two preference‐elicitation tasks, choice and matching judgments.

view more


Contact Julie Irwin