~ ALICIA M. JOHNSON ~
Assistant Professor of (Nonprofit) Marketing
UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management
Broadly, my research explores how consumers make financial decisions, both as individuals and as couples, as well as for oneself and for others. Specifically, I evaluate factors that influence how consumers make debt financing and debt repayment decisions, set budgets, utilize financial products to attain their savings goals, and manage household finances. In addition to this line of inquiry on consumer financial decision making, I also explore how consumers respond to marketing communications to make food consumption decisions.
In my future research, I strive to develop interventions firms can implement to improve consumer financial well-being, particularly for marginalized consumers. Prior to joining academia, my work spanned roles in personal finance, business management, and supply chain management. I earned an MBA from Clarkson University and a BBA from SUNY Canton.
~ MOST RECENT PUBLICATION ~
Loan Amount versus Monthly Payments: The Effect of Loan Application Formats on Consumer Borrowing Decisions (2023) Journal of Consumer Research
Do different loan application formats affect consumer loan requests? Six studies show that when consumers are asked to provide a preferred monthly payment (MP) (vs. loan amount [LA]), they request different principal amounts. This is because these loan application formats differ in the scale-compatible information they bring to consumers’ mind. When LAs are elicited, consumers think of and request the cost of the expenditure they seek to finance. When MPs are elicited, however, consumers think of their monthly budget slack to construct and then request MPs they perceive to be affordable. For lower cost loans with a given term and interest rate, the MP (vs. LA) format results in larger principal requests. This effect reverses for higher cost acquisitions because individuals’ budget slack caps out around $500 per month. These studies provide insight into how consumer loan application formats can affect consumer borrowing, as well as the psychological underpinnings responsible for the effect. Theoretical, managerial, and consumer welfare implications of the findings are discussed.