Brent McFerran

Associate Professor, Marketing

W.J. VanDusen Professor


Room: SGL 3265

Phone: 778.782.5214



BCom (University of Manitoba), PhD (University of British Columbia)


Brent McFerran is W.J. VanDusen Associate Professor of Marketing. His research examines social and interpersonal influences in consumer behavior. He examines how the presence and actions of other consumers affect the choices we make ourselves.

His research has been published in leading outlets in both marketing and psychology, and he was awarded the Society for Consumer Psychology (APA Division 23) Early Career Contribution Award. He was also previously named a Young Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute. He is an Associate Editor at Journal of Consumer Research and Journal of Consumer Psychology, and serves on the editorial review boards of Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and Journal of Retailing

He holds a B.Comm(Hons.) from the University of Manitoba and a Ph.D from the University of British Columbia.

For more information, CV, etc., see

Research Interests

Social and interpersonal influences; Moral psychology and prosocial behaviour.

Selected Publications

articles and reports

Liu, P. J., McFerran, B., & Haws, K. L. (2020). Mindful Matching: Ordinal Versus Nominal Attributes. Journal of Marketing Research, 57(1), 134-155.

Haws, K. L., McFerran, B., & Liu, P. (2019, September). 'I'll have what she's having' - how and why we copy the choices of others. The Conversation.

Hagen, L., Krishna, A., & McFerran, B. (2019). Outsourcing Responsibility for Indulgent Food Consumption to Prevent Negative Affect. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

McFerran, B., Moore, S., & Packard, G. (2019). How Should Companies Talk to Customers Online? Sloan Management Review, 60(2 (Winter)), 68-71.

Packard, G., Moore, S., & McFerran, B. (2018). (I'm) Happy to help (you): The impact of personal pronoun use in customer-firm interactions. Journal of Marketing Research, 55(4), 541-555.

Ahuvia, A., Garg, N., Batra, R., McFerran, B., & de Diesbach, P. B. L. (2018). Pride of ownership: An identity-based model. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 3(2), 216-228.

Karnani, A., McFerran, B., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (2017). Corporate leanwashing and consumer beliefs about obesity. Current Nutrition Reports, 6(3), 206-211.

Haws, K. L., McFerran, B., & Redden, J. P. (2017). The satiating effect of pricing: The influence of pricing on enjoyment over time. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 27(3), 341-346.

Wang, W., Krishna, A., & McFerran, B. (2017). Turning off the lights: Consumers' environmental efforts depend on visible efforts of firms. Journal of Marketing Research, 54(3), 478-494.

Moore, S. G., & McFerran, B. (2017). She said, she said: Differential interpersonal similarities predict unique linguistic mimicry in online word of mouth. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2(2), 229-245.

Kristofferson, K., McFerran, B., Morales, A. C., & Dahl, D. W. (2017). The dark side of scarcity promotions: How exposure to limited-quantity promotions can induce aggression. Journal of Consumer Research, 43(5), 683-706.

Hagen, L., Krishna, A., & McFerran, B. (2016). Rejecting responsibility: Low physical involvement in obtaining food promotes unhealthy eating. Journal of Marketing Research.

Karnani, A., McFerran, B., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (2016). The obesity crisis as market failure: An analysis of systemic causes and corrective mechanisms. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 1(3), 445-470.

Olson, J. G., McFerran, B., Morales, A. C., & Dahl, D. W. (2016). Wealth and welfare: Divergent moral reactions to ethical consumer choices. Journal of Consumer Research, 42(6), 879-896.

Lin, L., & McFerran, B. (2016). The (Ironic) Dove Effect: Use of Acceptance Cues for Larger Body Types Increases Unhealthy Behaviors. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 35(1), 76-90.

McFerran, B., Aquino, K., & Tracy, J. L. (2014). Evidence for two facets of pride in consumption: Findings from luxury brands. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 24(4), 455-471.

Kamani, A., McFerran, B., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (2014). Leanwashing: A hidden factor in the obesity crisis. California Management Review, 56(4), 5-30.

Gu, J., McFerran, B., Aquino, K., & Kim, T. G. (2014). What makes affirmative action-based hiring decisions seem (un)fair? A test of an ideological explanation for fairness judgments. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(5), 722-745.

McFerran, B., & Argo, J. J. (2014). The entourage effect. Journal of Consumer Research, 40(5), 871-884.

McFerran, B., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (2013). Lay theories of obesity predict actual body mass. Psychological Science, 24(8), 1428-1436.

Aquino, K., McFerran, B., & Laven, M. (2011). Moral identity and the experience of moral elevation in response to acts of uncommon goodness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(4), 703-718.

McFerran, B., Dahl, D. W., Gorn, G. J., & Honea, H. (2010). Motivational determinants of transportation into marketing narratives. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 20(3), 306-316.

McFerran, B., Dahl, D. W., Fitzsimons, G. J., & Morales, A. C. (2010). Might an overweight waitress make you eat more? How the body type of others is sufficient to alter our food consumption. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 20(2), 146-151.

McFerran, B., Dahl, D. W., Fitzsimons, G. J., & Morales, A. C. (2010). I'll have what she's having: Effects of social influence and body type on the food choices of others. Journal of Consumer Research, 36(6 (April)), 915-929.

Freeman, D., Aquino, K., & McFerran, B. (2009). Overcoming beneficiary race as an impediment to charitable donations: Social dominance orientation, the experience of moral elevation, and donation behavior. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(1), 72-84.

McFerran, B., Aquino, K., & Duffy, M. (2010). How personality and moral identity relate to individuals' ethical ideology. Business Ethics Quarterly, 20(1), 35-56.

books chapters and monographs

Olson, J. G., McFerran, B., Morales, A. C., & Dahl, D. W. (2019). Identity-Based Perceptions of Others' Consumption Choices. Mark Forehand and Americus Reed II (Eds.) Handbook of Research on Identity Theory in Marketing. (pp. 448-461). Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar.

McFerran, B. (2015). "Social Norms, Beliefs, and Health". In Roberto, C. A., & Kawachi, I. (Eds.), Behavioral Economics and Public Health (pp. 133-161). Oxford, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

McFerran, B., Dahl, D. W., Fitzsimons, G. J., & Morales, A. C. (2011). How the body type of others impacts our food consumption. In Batra, R., Keller, P. A., Strecher, V. J., Batra, R., Keller, P. A., & Strecher, V. J. (Eds.), Leveraging Consumer Psychology for Effective Health Communications: The Obesity Challenge. Armonk, New York, United States: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.