Troy Campbell - University of Oregon. Eugene, OR, US

Troy Campbell Troy Campbell

Department of Marketing | University of Oregon

Eugene, OR, US

Expert in consumer behavior, marketing social psychology, political psychology, and scientific communication

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Philip Menchaca & Troy Campbell (full conversation) Testing At Scale: The Sports Fan Experience Troy Campbell: 7 Minutes in Heaven

Audio:

Social

Biography

Troy Campbell is an expert in consumer behavior, marketing social psychology, political psychology and scientific communication. He is an assistant professor of marketing in the Lundquist College of Business. Troy’s research focuses on what makes people happy, how social movements can be effective, the power of advertising, what makes a good experience (like a music festival) and consumerism. His paper on solution aversion is the most-viewed research press release in Duke University history. Troy’s expertise can be used to weigh in on three large areas: politics, including social movements and climate change; fandom and enjoyment from sports to nerd culture to Stars Wars to Disney to the Coachella Music Festival; and the general psychology of identity. While politics and Disney may seem very different, Troy says, “many of same types of ideas underlie them from identity, group psychology, fantasies and a sense of purpose." Troy is also a former Disney Imagineer with projects in park and theater design.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Consumer Behavior Marketing Social Psychology Political Psychology Scientific Communication

Media Appearances (7)

‘Is truth overrated?’ What the experts say

The Conversation  online

2017-09-08

Scholars from a variety of disciplines to answer the question: “Is truth overrated?”

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How GOP secrecy on the health bill plays into our psychological biases

Vox  online

2017-06-20

“It’s like if Godzilla showed up in the middle of San Francisco right now, and just sat there doing nothing,” says Troy Campbell, a behavioral scientist who studies consumer attention at the University of Oregon. “We have these things that come up, and they become threatening to us; they feel immediately threatening. But then if they don’t lead to a negative immediate consequence, they don’t actually feel threatening.”

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Taking Politics Out of Climate Change

PBS Nova  online

2017-05-17

A growing body of research shows that the way in which people interpret scientific results can change depending on whether those results support policies that bolster or undermine an individual’s moral and political beliefs. Troy Campbell, a social psychologist at the University of Oregon, has seen this reflected in liberals and conservatives alike. A few years ago, Campbell, along with Duke University psychology and neuroscience professor Aaron Kay, conducted a series of experiments to understand why the two groups interpret scientific information so differently.

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Who Are You Calling Anti-Science?

Scientific American  

2017-04-06

Those who reject vaccines or the climate consensus often embrace other legitimate areas of research.

People’s relationship with science is much more complex and nuanced than "pro-science" or "anti-science." We need to correct some of the misconceptions we have and show that what is often labeled as "anti-science" or “science denial” is often better understood as isolated incidents of motivated bias. In general, trust in science is much higher than we often realize, in part because it includes a lot of people we might often consider “anti-science.”

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Influencer Marketing

Oregon Public Radio  radio

2017-02-23

Influencer marketing is the new frontier for many advertisers — but how does it actually work? We talk to marketing professor Troy Campbell and social influencer Nesrin Danan...

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Psychologists ask: What makes some smart people so skeptical of science?

Los Angeles Times  online

2017-01-21

”We’re asking, ‘What are these biases leading people to resist science? Where do they come from? How do they operate and what can be done about them?’” said University of Oregon social psychologist Troy H. Campbell, who will be speaking at the symposium...

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Lights up on happier holidays

Jefferson Public Radio  radio

2016-12-09

How to avoid the negatives? Troy Campbell of the University of Oregon has some ideas in this month's installment of "Curious: Research Meets Radio."

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Articles (5)

Passion exploitation: The legitimization of exploiting other people’s passion for work Academy of Management Proceedings

2016

The pursuit of passion for work is touted in contemporary discourse. Reflecting this norm, research on passion has largely focused on documenting its benefits, paying relatively little attention to its undesirable outcomes. Drawing on qualitative studies on work meaning and the models of compensatory justice, we demonstrate an important negative consequence of passion for work: passion exploitation. We define passion exploitation as taking advantage of passionate workers and/or the legitimization of such managerial practices. Specifically, we hypothesize and show that people legitimize the management’s exploitation of passionate workers based on the beliefs that (1) passionate workers are likely to sacrifice a life outside work for the work they love and (2) enjoyment in work is its own reward. Four experimental studies and a meta-analysis find consistent support for our hypotheses. The implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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The psychological advantage of unfalsifiability: The appeal of untestable religious and political ideologies Journal of personality and social psychology

2015

We propose that people may gain certain “offensive” and “defensive” advantages for their cherished belief systems (e.g., religious and political views) by including aspects of unfalsifiability in those belief systems, such that some aspects of the beliefs cannot be tested empirically and conclusively refuted. This may seem peculiar, irrational, or at least undesirable to many people because it is assumed that the primary purpose of a belief is to know objective truth. However, past research suggests that accuracy is only one psychological motivation among many, and falsifiability or testability may be less important when the purpose of a belief serves other psychological motives (e.g., to maintain one’s worldviews, serve an identity). In Experiments 1 and 2 we demonstrate the “offensive” function of unfalsifiability: that it allows religious adherents to hold their beliefs with more conviction and political partisans to polarize and criticize their opponents more extremely. Next we demonstrate unfalsifiability’s “defensive” function: When facts threaten their worldviews, religious participants frame specific reasons for their beliefs in more unfalsifiable terms (Experiment 3) and political partisans construe political issues as more unfalsifiable (“moral opinion”) instead of falsifiable (“a matter of facts”; Experiment 4). We conclude by discussing how in a world where beliefs and ideas are becoming more easily testable by data, unfalsifiability might be an attractive aspect to include in one’s belief systems, and how unfalsifiability may contribute to polarization, intractability, and the marginalization of science in public discourse. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

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Feeling like an expert: Subjective expertise and consumption enjoyment of exploiting other people’s passion for work NA-Advances in Consumer Research

2015

This research examines the impact of subjective expertise on evaluations. We find that subjective expertise affects enjoyment through personal identity, perceived understanding, and increased engagement, and that these factors are moderated by the perceived quality of the consumption items. This effect varies across types of enjoyment and changes behaviors.

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The psychological advantage of unfalsifiability: The appeal of untestable religious and political ideologies Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

2015

We propose that people may gain certain “offensive” and “defensive” advantages for their cherished belief systems (e.g., religious and political views) by including aspects of unfalsifiability in those belief systems, such that some aspects of the beliefs cannot be tested empirically and conclusively refuted. This may seem peculiar, irrational, or at least undesirable to many people because it is assumed that the primary purpose of a belief is to know objective truth. However, past research suggests that accuracy is only one psychological motivation among many, and falsifiability or testability may be less important when the purpose of a belief serves other psychological motives (e.g., to maintain one’s worldviews, serve an identity). In Experiments 1 and 2 we demonstrate the “offensive” function of unfalsifiability: that it allows religious adherents to hold their beliefs with more conviction and political partisans to polarize and criticize their opponents more extremely. Next we demonstrate unfalsifiability’s “defensive” function: When facts threaten their worldviews, religious participants frame specific reasons for their beliefs in more unfalsifiable terms (Experiment 3) and political partisans construe political issues as more unfalsifiable (“moral opinion”) instead of falsifiable (“a matter of facts”; Experiment 4). We conclude by discussing how in a world where beliefs and ideas are becoming more easily testable by data, unfalsifiability might be an attractive aspect to include in one’s belief systems, and how unfalsifiability may contribute to polarization, intractability, and the marginalization of science in public discourse.

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Solution aversion: On the relation between ideology and motivated disbelief Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

2014

There is often a curious distinction between what the scientific community and the general population believe to be true of dire scientific issues, and this skepticism tends to vary markedly across groups. For instance, in the case of climate change, Republicans (conservatives) are especially skeptical of the relevant science, particularly when they are compared with Democrats (liberals). What causes such radical group differences? We suggest, as have previous accounts, that this phenomenon is often motivated. However, the source of this motivation is not necessarily an aversion to the problem, per se, but an aversion to the solutions associated with the problem. This difference in underlying process holds important implications for understanding, predicting, and influencing motivated skepticism. In 4 studies, we tested this solution aversion explanation for why people are often so divided over evidence and why this divide often occurs so saliently across political party lines. Studies 1, 2, and 3—using correlational and experimental methodologies—demonstrated that Republicans’ increased skepticism toward environmental sciences may be partly attributable to a conflict between specific ideological values and the most popularly discussed environmental solutions. Study 4 found that, in a different domain (crime), those holding a more liberal ideology (support for gun control) also show skepticism motivated by solution aversion.

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