Alixandra Barasch joined New York University Stern School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Marketing in July 2016. Professor Barasch’s research examines social aspects of consumption, such as the implications of focusing on oneself versus others, judgments and inferences about others and decisions to share information or resources. One stream of her research explores prosocial behaviors that help us signal our virtue to ourselves and others. In this set of projects, Professor Barasch studies both what motivates people to perform good deeds and how we perceive the motivations of prosocial actors. A second stream of her research investigates how people decide what and when to share with others. In this line of inquiry, she investigates the social motivations and other goals underlying people’s photo-taking behaviors and transmission of information via word-of-mouth. Her research has been published in leading marketing and psychology journals such as the Journal of Consumer Research , Journal of Marketing Research and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Before joining NYU Stern, Professor Barasch worked at MDRC, a non-profit organization dedicated to education policy research. She taught at the University of Macau and conducted research at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as a Fulbright Scholar. She received her B.S. in psychology with a minor in chemistry from Duke University. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
What do you do best?
I like humans. Other people invariably intrigue me and inspire me. I am fascinated by the traits, behaviors, and eccentricities that make people unique, and all my curiosity is rooted in figuring out what makes others tick. So I do my best to learn something from every person I encounter.
One quality that helps me do that is my ability to cross between worlds and bring together people with varying backgrounds, interests, and personalities. Though this is less an ability than something I strive to achieve every day. I feel comfortable with many different sorts of people, so I try to return the favor and make people feel at ease wherever I go.
What makes you the best?
Best doesn’t mean much in this context. There are endless ways to contribute to the world, and the world needs many sorts of talents. All I can do is try to find my own way to contribute. At this point, the one thing I’m sure of is that I draw strength from the people around me. I’m honored to be part of a discipline full of such dedicated and talented people. So I do my best to bring people together and make a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Part of that is being there when I’m called on in unexpected ways, being open to new things, and being willing to leave my comfort zone. I try to take a "never say no" approach to work and life. Hopefully I can keep that going but manage to stay out of trouble!
What are your aspirations?
I aspire to always pursue interesting projects and be a good colleague, mentor, researcher, and friend.
My biggest success comes from all the little achievements that go unnoticed but add up over time. When students or colleagues come to me for advice and I am able to help them. When someone trusts me enough to confide in me and share their challenges and struggles. When I master something new or survive stepping outside my comfort zone. When I gain access into a new community.
Most Challenging Moment?
My most challenging moments have been situations where I realize I cannot control everything in my life and need to just have faith that it will all work out.
“I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.” - Paul McCartney
My favorite people are those who are genuine and forthright, whose sincerity shows through and enables them to connect with all sorts of people. Those who are willing to communicate with everyone regardless of their stature or lack thereof.
Any place I haven't been before. I love visiting new places and understanding the world a little bit better.
My favorite products are experiential. Services like Airbnb that help me gain access to new adventures and products like my smartphone that help me capture and share them.
Dance (hip hop, jazz, pole). Travel. Dogs. Family. Always family. (And always dogs.)