University of Southern California

Lisa Cavanaugh
Assistant Professor of Marketing

USC Marshall School of Business
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0808

PhD, BA, Duke University


Lisa Cavanaugh is an expert in consumer psychology who studies how emotions and social relationships influence consumption. Her research addresses how momentary emotions, chronically experienced emotions, and emotional cues in consumer environments shape decisions and behavior. Her research demonstrates how specific emotions (e.g., love, hope, pride) predict different behaviors with important consequences for consumers, business, and society (e.g., indulgence, spending, enjoyment, gift-giving and prosocial consumption behavior). Her publications appear in leading academic journals, including Journal of Marketing Research, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Emotion, Cognition and Emotion, and Journal of Consumer Psychology. Professor Cavanaugh has provided commentary to media outlets including The Discovery Channel, PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and NPR. She has also received several awards including the 2015 Dr. Douglas Basil Award for Junior Business Faculty and USC's campus-wide Steven B. Sample Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award. In 2015, Dr. Cavanaugh was named by Poets & Quants as one of “The World’s Best 40 Under 40 Business School Professors.”


Cavanaugh, L. A. (2016) "Consumer Behavior in Close Relationships," Current Opinion in Psychology, 10, 101-106.
Isikman, E., MacInnis, D. J., Ulkumen, G., and Cavanaugh, L. A. (2016) "The Effects of Curiosity-Evoking Events on Activity Enjoyment," Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 22 (3), 319-330.
Cavanaugh, L. A., Bettman, J. R., and Luce, M. (2015) "Feeling Love and Doing More for Distant Others: Specific Positive Emotions Differentially Affect Prosocial Consumption," Journal of Marketing Research, 52 (5), 218-232.
Cavanaugh, L. A., Gino, F., and Fitzsimons, G. J. (2015) "When Doing Good Is Bad in Gift-Giving: Mis-predicting Appreciation of Socially Responsible Gifts," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 131, 178-189.
Cavanaugh, L. A., MacInnis, D. J., and Weiss, A. (2015) "Perceptual Dimensions Differentiate Emotions," Cognition and Emotion.
Zemack-Rugar, Y., Rabino, R., Cavanaugh, L. A., and Fitzsimons, G. J. (2015) "When Donating is Liberating: The Role of Product and Consumer Characteristics In the Appeal of Cause-Related Products," Journal of Consumer Psychology, In Press.
Cavanaugh, L. A. (2014) "Because I (Don’t) Deserve It: How Relationship Reminders and Deservingness Influence Consumer Indulgence," Journal of Marketing Research, 51 (2), 218-232.
Cavanaugh, L. A., Cutright, K. M., Luce, M. F., and Bettman, J. R. (2011) "Hope, Pride, and Processing During Optimal and Nonoptimal Times of Day," Emotion.
Cavanaugh, L. A., Leonard, H., and Scammon, D. L. (2008) "A Tail of Two Personalities: How Canine Companions Shape Our Relationships and Well-being," Journal of Business Research, 61 (5), 11.
Cavanaugh, L. A., Bettman, J. R., Luce, M. F., and Payne, J. W. (2007) "Appraising the Appraisal Tendency Framework," Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17 (3), 5.