Rebecca Walker Reczek is Associate Professor of Marketing and Dean’s Faculty Fellow at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. Dr. Reczek’s research focuses on the area of consumer behavior. Specifically, her research has explored consumer lay theories, inference making, and social influence. Given her interest in consumer well-being, she has explored these theoretical interests in the substantive domains of food and health decision making, consumer response to sustainable products, and consumer disposal practices. Current projects continue to explore these areas, as well as consumers’ online behavior and consumer-to-consumer persuasion.
Dr. Reczek’s research has been published in numerous academic journals, and she has taught in all of Fisher’s academic programs, including the undergraduate, MBA, and Ph.D. programs. She has received awards for both her teaching and research, including the Fisher College of Business Pace Setters Faculty Research Award, selection as a Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar, and the 2014 Early Career Award from the Society for Consumer Psychology.
What do you do best?
First and foremost I’m a consumer psychology researcher. I come up with creative ways to conduct experiments in order to characterize how people make decisions in the marketplace. I then analyze the data from these studies to figure out what I have discovered about the underlying psychology that’s driving the behavior of consumers. I think what sets me apart from other researchers is my ability to tell an engaging story from the patterns of behavior I uncover. It’s not enough to get interesting results – you have to write well to communicate your discoveries to others. That ability to communicate complex information to an audience – and to get them excited about it – helps me be a better teacher too. Whether I am teaching a handful of Ph.D. students, 30 MBA students, or a huge lecture hall filled with 250 undergraduates, teaching is all about communicating information in a way that connects with your audience and turning something that could be boring and abstract into something concrete and mesmerizing.
What makes you the best?
A mix of focus, efficiency, and creativity. I have multiple research projects active at once, as well as demands on my time from teaching and service. I allocate my time as efficiently as possible, making a plan of attack for each day, and I stay laser focused on my task at hand (ignoring the temptation of email) as much as possible. At the same time, though, I also try to keep my eyes open for the next exciting research idea. My next “big idea” can come from anywhere - a casual conversation, watching someone’s behavior in a store, a question from a student, an article I read, or even my own experience as a consumer, when I find myself wondering “why did I just do that?”.
How will you stay the best?
I’m always looking to learn new things, whether it’s a new research methodology or a new way to use technology in the classroom. It can be far too easy for professors to get stuck in a rut of always doing the same thing – I try to be very conscious about finding proactive ways to innovate. This is an important piece to staying relevant in an ever-evolving research field and staying energized personally.
What are your aspirations?
Personal: Figuring out what work-life balance looks like as I become a first-time mom to a baby girl due at the end of October.
Business: Better integrating technology into both my classroom teaching and my research.
What fascinates you?
Psychology, literature, and history. But all three of those come down to the same thing: People! When I read – whether it’s fiction or history - I feel like I am doing the same thing I do in my job as a consumer psychologist, trying to understand people and what makes them tick, only in a broader context.
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
My brilliant organic chemist husband, Joe Reczek, and my favorite living author, Margaret Atwood.
I like to go somewhere new every time I travel, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. A recent favorite is Costa Rica – beaches, volcanoes, and jungles all in one trip!
My favorite product these days is a service, actually: Stitch Fix. They’re an online styling company that sends you five pieces of clothing per box (or “fix”) after you fill out a profile about your style and preferences. I like the idea of a planned surprise. I know the box is coming, but I don’t know what I’m going to get!
Travel, trying cuisine from around the world (escargot while pregnant in France this summer? Yes, please!), and anything that gets me outside.