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Kelly  Goldsmith - Vanderbilt University. Nashville, TN, US

Kelly Goldsmith Kelly  Goldsmith

Associate Professor of Marketing | Vanderbilt University


Expert in marketing, market research, and consumer behavior focusing on the impact of scarcity and sales on shoppers' mindsets.







Professor of Marketing at Vanderbilt Kelly Goldsmith TEDx Nashville How to Make the Most Out of Not Having Enough | Kelly Goldsmith | TEDxNashville



Goldsmith received the Richard M. Clewett Research Chair and the McManus Research Chair for achievements in research while at the Kellogg School of Management. Additionally, she was the winner of the Levy & Weiss AMA Dissertation Competition and received honorable mention for the SCP-SHETH Dissertation Award.

In addition to conducting her own research, Goldsmith's teaching has received high praise: she received the Sidney J. Levy Award for Excellence in Teaching (2012, 2014). In 2013, she was one of five Professors at the Kellogg School of Management nominated by the graduating students to receive the L.G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, Kellogg's highest teaching honor. Further, in 2014, she was named as one of the "Top 40 Most Outstanding B-School Professors in the World Under 40" (Poets& Quants) and one of "Eight Young B-School Professors on the Rise" (Fortune). In 2017, she was the winner of two Impact Awards for her teaching.

Fun fact: Goldsmith was once a contestant on "Survivor" and says the lessons she learned about scarcity during that experience have impacted her scholarship today.

Areas of Expertise (6)


Consumer Behavior

Market Research




Accomplishments (5)

Faculty Impact Award Winner (professional)

Faculty Impact Award Winner

Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Young Scholar (professional)

Marketing Science Institute (MSI) Young Scholar

Sidney J. Levy Award for Excellence in Teaching (professional)

Sidney J. Levy Award for Excellence in Teaching

Grant Winner (professional)

Provost Research Studio

JCR Outstanding Reviewer Award (professional)

JCR Outstanding Reviewer Award

Education (4)

Yale University: M.Phil.

Yale University: Ph.D.

Yale University: M.S.

Duke University: B.S.

Affiliations (3)

  • Co-Editor, Journal of Consumer Psychology
  • Co-editor, Journal of the Association for Consumer Research
  • Editorial Review Board, Journal of Consumer Psychology

Selected Media Appearances (5)

Should You Spend, or Save, as if You’ll Live Forever?

New York Times  online


“You see people get into binge savings in their 60s,” said Kelly Goldsmith, associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management. “What that suggests to me is as you approach your retirement years, you understand I’m going to be the same person 10 years from now. There is less of a gap between who you are and what you’re going to be.”

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The Four Social Media Horsemen Of The Scarcity Apocalypse

Forbes  online


“I consider Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram to be the four horsemen of the subjective scarcity apocalypse,” says marketing professor Kelly Goldsmith. “I mean, these platforms give us 24/7 access into all of the lives of all of those Joneses who we are so desperate to keep up with.”

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Watch out, uber Uber Eaters: Online food delivery can lead to overspending and isolation

Tennessean  online


"Millennials didn't like cooking before Postmates was a thing," said Kelly Goldsmith, associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University. "Now that they've got some money in their pocket, it's no surprise they're not cooking. People are placing a higher premium on their time and convenience."

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6 Things You Should Know About Groupon

U.S. News & World Report  online


Don't buy any deal vouchers until you've reviewed the redemption requirements. "Every deal has limitations in terms of when its promotional value expires and what the deal can and cannot be used toward," says Kelly Goldsmith, associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management. "It may be associated with a minimum spend at the vendor, and not all vendors within a chain may accept the Groupon."

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Chicken Soup for the Soul? Sure, but Served in a Bowl?

New York Times  online


An entrepreneur has to be sure the brand tells consumers what to expect, said Kelly Goldsmith, associate professor of marketing at Vanderbilt University.

“Häagen-Dazs tells you to expect high-quality ice cream,” she said. “It’s a blessing and a curse. It sets expectations for quality and everyday luxury. But it limits you, because the ice cream association is always there.”

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Selected Articles (5)

Matters of Time (Scarcity): Do Offline Theories Predict Online Effects? SSRN

Jillian Hmurovic, Cait Poynor Lamberton, Kelly Goldsmith


Can past theory about offline marketing tactics be presumed to hold in the contemporary online world? In this paper, we present a systematic approach to answering this question, focusing on theory related to time-scarcity promotions. First, we identify theoretically-important differences between the contexts in which original time-scarcity theories were developed and the current marketplace where they are applied.

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The effects of scarcity on consumer decision journeys Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

Rebecca Hamilton, Debora Thompson, Sterling Bone, Lan Nguyen Chaplin, Vladas Griskevicius, Kelly Goldsmith, Ronald Hill, Deborah Roedder John, Chiraag Mittal, Thomas O’Guinn, Paul Piff, Caroline Roux, Anuj Shah, Meng Zhu


Research in marketing often begins with two assumptions: that consumers are able to choose among desirable products, and that they have sufficient resources to buy them. However, many consumer decision journeys are constrained by a scarcity of products and/or a scarcity of resources.

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A Self-Regulatory Model of Resource Scarcity Journal of Consumer Psychology

Christopher Cannon, Kelly Goldsmith, Caroline Roux


Academics have shown a growing interest in the effects of resource scarcity—a discrepancy between one's current resource levels and a higher, more desirable reference point. However, the existing literature lacks an overarching theory to explain the breadth of findings across different types of resources.

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You Don’t Blow Your Diet on Twinkies: Choice Processes When Choice Options Conflict with Incidental Goals Journal of the Association for Consumer Research

Kelly Goldsmith, Elizabeth Friedman, Ravi Dhar


Consumers often have multiple goals that are active simultaneously and make choices to satisfy those goals. However, no work to date has studied how people choose when all available options serve a goal (e.g., a choice-set goal) that conflicts with another goal they hold (e.g., an incidental goal).

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When Does Altruism Trump Self-Interest? The Moderating Role of Affect in Extrinsic Incentives Journal of the Association for Consumer Research

Uzma Khan, Kelly Goldsmith, Ravi Dhar


Extrinsic incentives play a key role in motivating behavior. However, conflicting findings have been observed with respect to the effectiveness of various extrinsic incentives (eg, a cash reward vs. a donation to charity) in motivation.

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