Cait Lamberton

Ben R. Fryrear Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Business Administration
Marketing and Business Economics
364 Mervis Hall

Social Science Research Network:


PhD in Business Administration, Marketing, University of South Carolina, 2008
MBA, University of South Carolina, 2006
BA, English Literature, Wheaton College, 1999


Professor Lamberton's research focuses on consumer behavior, from both an individual and socially-embedded perspective. Beginning with her dissertation work, Cait and her coauthors have researched the ways in which consumers respond to varying assortment sizes and organizations. She has also conducted research on consumers' own categorization tendencies, studying the ways in which they may be motivated to categorize items differently in the interest of their own restriction or indulgence goals. New research explores consumer behavior at an interpersonal and societal level. This work includes consideration of consumers' responses to online and offline social presence, decision-making in dyads, willingness to share products, experiences of interpersonal envy, the consequences of cooperation or competition, and satisfaction with contribution to the support of public goods.

Her work has appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer PsychologyJournal of Retailing and Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. Cait serves on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Consumer Research, and International Journal of Research in Marketing, and is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Consumer Psychology. In 2013, she was selected as a Young Scholar by the Marketing Science Institute and received the Association for Consumer’s Research’s Early Career Award for distinguished scholarly contributions.

Cait teaches consumer behavior and leads project courses at the undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. levels. She is also a member of the faculty in the Behavioral Health Fellows program, conducted by the Katz Center for Health and Care Work. She has been awarded the prize for the best teaching in the Marketing major in multiple academic years and has been named Teacher of the Year for the business school.

Professor Lamberton was an affiliated researcher in the inaugural year of the US White House’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, and is currently retained as a consultant by the US Department of Education and US Department of Labor. Prior to joining academia, Cait worked in marketing research and analytics in the commercial vehicle OEM, transportation consulting, and fragrance industries. 

Research Interest Areas

Assortment size and structure, self-regulation, sharing behaviors, and envy.


Haws, Kelly and Cait Poynor (2008), "Seize the Day! Encouraging Indulgence for the Hyperopic Consumer," Journal of Consumer Research, December, 680-691.

Poynor, Cait and Kelly Haws (2009), "Lines in the Sand: Implementation Intentions, Categorization, and Choice in Pursuit of Self-Control Goals," Journal of Consumer Research, February.

Diehl, Kristin and Cait Poynor (2010), "Great Expectations?! Assortment Size, Expectations and Satisfaction," Journal of Marketing Research, (April), 312-322.

Poynor, Cait and Stacy Wood (2010), "Smart Subcategories: How Assortment Formats Influence Consumer Learning and Satisfaction," Journal of Consumer Research,(37), 159-175.

Naylor, Rebecca Walker, Cait Poynor Lamberton, and David A. Norton (2011), "Seeing Ourselves in Others: Reviewer Ambiguity, Egocentric Anchoring, and Persuasion," Journal of Marketing Research, 48 (June), 617-631.

Lamberton, Cait Poynor and Randall L. Rose (2012), "When is Ours Better than Mine? A Framework for Understanding and Altering Participation in Commercial Sharing Systems," Journal of Marketing, 76 (4), 109-125.

Naylor, Rebecca Walker, Cait Poynor Lamberton, and Patricia M. West (2012), "Beyond the 'Like' Button: The Impact of Mere Virtual Presence on Brand Evaluations and Purchase Intentions in Social Media Settings," November, Journal of Marketing.

Lamberton, Cait Poynor, Rebecca Naylor and Kelly Haws (2013), "Same Destination, Different Paths: The Influence of Divergent Reasoning on the Persuasive Effects of Others," January, Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Lamberton, Cait Poynor (2013), "A Spoonful of Choice: How Allocation Increases Satisfaction with Tax Payments," Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 32 (2), 223-238.

Norton, David A., Cait Lamberton and Rebecca Walker Naylor (2013), "The Devil You (Don’t) Know: Interpersonal Ambiguity and Inference Making in Competitive Contexts," August, Journal of Consumer Research.

Lamberton, Cait and Kristin Diehl (2013) “Retail Choice Architecture: The Effect of Benefit and Attribute-Based Assortment Organization on Similarity Perceptions and Strength of Preference,” Journal of Consumer Research, 40 (3), 393-411. (Lead article)

Lamberton, Cait, Carrie Leana and John Williams (2014), “Measuring Empathetic Care: Development and Validation of a Self-Report Scale,” The Journal of Applied Gerontology.

Dzoghleva, Hristina and Cait Lamberton (2014), “Should Birds of a Feather Flock Together? Understanding Self-Control Decisions in Dyads,” Journal of Consumer Research, 41 (2), 361-380.

Liu, Peggy, Kelly L. Haws, Cait Lamberton, Troy Campbell and Gavan Fitzsimons (2015), “Vice-Virtue Bundles,” forthcoming, Management Science.

Diehl, Kristin, Erica van Herpen and Cait Lamberton (2015), “Organizing Products with Complements versus Substitutes: Effects on Store Preferences as a Function of Effort and Assortment Perceptions,” forthcoming, Journal of Retailing.