Dee Warmath, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Principal Research Scientist, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Georgia-Athens

From my 28-year career in consumer insights and retail strategy, I developed a strong interest in the outcomes of decisions for consumers. One area of particular interest for me is financial well-being, specifically the ability of consumers to achieve high levels of well-being and to discern those levels accurately. Consumption is one economically important consumer activity that has the potential to foster or derail one’s sense of financial well-being. Materialism has long been blamed for low levels of well-being, and yet is a key ingredient of our standard of living. Reconciling these divergent views of materialism to understand how material acquisition can both raise and lower well-being is another area of research for me. Finally, my belief is that well-being does not have to be a zero-sum game in which only consumers or brands can win. Use value can be designed into products via a true, empathetic understanding of consumer needs and how to meet them. To examine this belief, my research explores the reaction instance or how the value consumers realize from the adoption and continued use of new products in turn creates long-term value for the brand.