Michael R. Solomon, Ph.D.


Areas Taught: Marketing

Expertise: Avatars, Consumer Behavior, Psychology of Fashion, Marketing Strategies and Consumer Choice

View full faculty profile

Probing the Psychological Intersection of Marketing and Consumer Choice

If you are what you eat, Michael Solomon, Ph.D., would add that you are also what you wear, what you buy, and the television programs you choose to watch.

An authority on consumer behavior and the marketplace, he studies the complex relationship between marketing strategies and consumers' preferences for everything from fashion to the foods on their supermarket shelves, the sofas in their living rooms and the music they download on their iPods.

"Brands, like people, have personalities," says Dr. Solomon, whose research interests include lifestyle issues; branding strategy; the psychology of fashion, decoration, and image; avatars and e-commerce; and the symbolic aspects of products.

"People don't buy things because of what they do; they buy things because of what they mean. Our choices of products and services, whether food, furniture, or fax machines, reflect a pattern of consumption that jointly defines a lifestyle."

Dr. Solomon received the Cutty Sark Men's Fashion Award for his research on the psychological aspects of clothing. He is editor of The Psychology of Fashion and co-editor of The Service Encounter: Managing Employee/Customer Interaction in Service Businesses. His textbook, Consumer Behavior: Buying, Having and Being (Prentice Hall), is now in its seventh edition and has been translated into several languages.

In addition to his academic activities, Dr. Solomon is a frequent contributor to mass media. His feature articles have appeared in magazines such as Psychology Today, Gentlemen's Quarterly and Savvy, and he has been quoted in numerous national magazines and newspapers, including, Elle, Glamour, The New York Times, Self, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. His appearances on television and radio to comment on consumer behavior issues include "The Today Show" and "Good Morning America," among others.