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Bentley University Associate Professor Dipayan Biswas Wins Best Research Paper Award at the American Marketing Association Annual Summer Conference
August 26, 2010
Bentley University faculty member Dipayan Biswas received an award from the American Marketing Association (AMA) at their Annual Summer Marketing Educators' Conference held August 13 to 16, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. Biswas received the Award for Best Paper in the Consumer Behavior Track at the AMA Conference for his research on how consumers might make erroneous judgments when trying to compute mathematical averages.
The research paper, "Evaluating Ratio Data and the Role of Consumer Processing Mode: Can Analytical Processing Bias Judgments?" examines how consumer judgments might be biased when attempting to analyze commonly used ratios, such as loads per container for laundry detergent or calories per minute for fitness equipment. The research was co-authored with Patricia Norberg of Quinnipiac University, Hamden and Donald Lehmann of Columbia University, New York.
"Understanding how consumers process ratio information is a relatively unstudied topic," Biswas explains. "Ultimately, the goal of our larger research project was to uncover how figuring out ratio data influences consumers' true understanding of a product's effectiveness."
Biswas, Norberg, and Lehmann's research included three specific studies focusing on consumers' analysis of fitness machines based on calories burned per minute, speed data for choosing between routes based on miles per hour, and laundry detergent based on loads per container. The research results found that in general, most marketers currently use data metrics, labeling methods and information formats that tend to lead to inaccurate consumer judgments, and that commonly used ratio formats do, in fact, bias consumer judgments when consumers are left to compute averages in their head. However, they found that that the bias can be corrected if the data are presented in alternative, easier-to-compute formats.
Biswas et al. found that correcting consumer judgment bias can lead to more efficient use of resources. For instance, buying a more efficient detergent not only saves money but also reduces overall impact on the environment. Similarly, knowing the accurate average calories burned per minute across multiple exercise routines or fitness equipments can lead to healthier exercise patterns.
BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit www.bentley.edu.
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