As an experimentalist, I employ a mix of methods including on-line, lab, and field studies, as well as secondary data, to evaluate how consumers make financial and health related decisions. Within these two areas of research, I evaluate how consumers generate financial preferences, make debt financing and debt repayment decisions, set budgets, and respond to advertised financial information to make financial decisions. Additionally, I evaluate how consumers process clean labels as well as COVID-19 communications to make food purchase decisions. Armed with these insights, in my future research, I strive to develop interventions firms can implement to improve consumer well-being. Ultimately, it is my goal to conduct research that advances theory and offers practical implications firms can implement in a timely manner.

When pursuing research ideas, I draw inspiration from firm and consumer behaviors present in society. For instance, over the past few years, consumers have demonstrated an increasing willingness to accrue more debt and agree to longer loan terms. In my dissertation research, I demonstrate how financial institutions may be influencing these behaviors. Moreover, my recent community involvement has provided me opportunities to partner with financial institutions and non-profit agencies to conduct field studies to better understand the role of financial institutions in underrepresented consumer financial decision making. These institutions differ in the marketing problems they face, and offer varying industry insights, which I draw from to inform my research.


Rybak, Garrett, Scot Burton, Alicia M. Johnson, and Christopher Berry (2021), “Promoted claims on food product packaging: Comparing direct and indirect effects of processing and nutrient content claims,” Journal of Business Research, 135, 464-79.

Rybak, Garrett, Alicia M. Johnson, and Scot Burton (2021), “How Restaurant Ad Messaging Can Increase Patronage Intentions During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Serial Mediation and Conditional Effects of Consumer Concern about COVID-19,” Journal of Advertising.


Johnson, Alicia M., Daniel Villanova and Ronn J. Smith (2022), “The Effect of Loan Application Formats on Consumer Loan Decisions,” 2nd round revision at Journal of Consumer Research, (Dissertation Essay 1).

  • Winner: SMA Doctoral Dissertation Competition Best Overall Proposal Award

  • Co-runner up: William O. Bearden Award

Johnson, Alicia M. and Daniel Villanova (2022), “Rethinking Consumer Borrowing Term Preferences: The Roles of Typical and Advertised Terms on Consumer Loan Decisions,” under review, (Dissertation Essay 2).

Johnson, Alicia M., Anastasiya Pocheptsova Ghosh, and Bikram Ghosh (2022) "How Consumers' Pay Frequency Affects Their Budget Setting," under review.


“The Effects of Credit Qualification Disclaimers and Fine Print on Perceived Exclusivity of Financing Offers” Scot Burton and Garrett Rybak

“Using Message Appeals to Reach Underbanked Consumers” with BJ Allen


  • AMA-Sheth Doctoral Consortium Fellow, Indiana University (Aug 2021)

  • Graduate Student Research Council $1,500 Grant (Dec 2020)

  • SMA Doctoral Dissertation Competition Best Overall Proposal Award (Nov 2020)

  • William O. Bearden Award Co-Runner Up (Apr 2020)

  • Bank of America Research Fund honoring James H. Penick $5,000 Grant (Mar 2019)

  • University of Arkansas Distinguished Doctoral Fellow (Jan 2018- Dec 2021)