Professor Liu’s research focuses on consumer behavior, particularly as it relates to consumer welfare and well-being. She primarily conducts research in three substantive areas, with a common theoretical focus on quality versus quantity aspects of consumption (e.g., "what" vs. "how much" to consume).
Health: Factors that shape the healthiness of consumers' choices and consumption, especially in the food domain. Dr. Liu's focus is on how food type versus food quantity changes are differentially perceived and preferred, and the impact of jointly varying both food type and food quantity.
Social: Factors that shape consumers' social connections. Dr. Liu's focus is on (i) how consumers make choices for each other and the impact of these choices and (ii) when and why consumption acts are a source of offense to other consumers. For instance, when and why do consumers favor product quality versus quantity when choosing for others?
Health & Social: How consumers jointly manage their personal and interpersonal goals.
Her research has appeared in Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Management Science, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, and multiple public health and medical journals.
She has also won the Katz Excellence in Teaching award.
As part of her research on food decision-making, Professor Liu has worked with multiple members of the food industry, ranging from large, national food companies to small restaurants, to help design win-win solutions that promote healthier eating while also addressing company profit goals. She has also co-authored op-eds in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog about her research on public policy issues.
- Health Domain: Food Type and Quantity, Goal Pursuit, Labeling
- Social Domain: Choices for Others, Consumption as a Source of Offense, Social Connections
- Theoretical: Quantity and Non-Quantity Dimension Trade-Offs
Professional Service and Activities
- American Public Health Association
- Association for Consumer Research
- Association for Psychological Science
- Society for Consumer Psychology
- Society for Judgment and Decision Making
- Society for Personality and Social Psychology
- PhD in Business Administration (Marketing), 2016, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University
- BS in Psychology with Distinction (Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa), 2011, Yale University
Liu, Peggy J., Cait Lamberton, James R. Bettman, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (forthcoming), “Delicate Snowflakes and Broken Bonds: A Conceptualization of Consumption-Based Offense,” Journal of Consumer Research.
Liu, Peggy J., Kelly L. Haws, Karen Scherr, Joseph P. Redden, James R. Bettman, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (forthcoming), "The Primacy of 'What' Over 'How Much': How Type and Quantity Shape Healthiness Perceptions of Food Portions," Management Science.
Dallas, Steven K.*, Peggy J. Liu*, and Peter A. Ubel (forthcoming), “Don’t Count Calorie Labeling Out: Calorie Counts on the Left Side of Menu Items Lead to Lower Calorie Food Choice,” Journal of Consumer Psychology.
Rim, SoYon, Kate E. Min, Peggy J. Liu, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Yaacov Trope (forthcoming), "The Gift of Psychological Closeness: How Feasible Versus Desirable Gifts Reduce Psychological Distance to the Giver," Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
Liu, Peggy J., Steven K. Dallas, Matt Harding, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (forthcoming), “The Sales Impact of Featuring Healthy Foods, Indulgent Foods, or Both: Findings from a Large-Scale Retail Field Study,” Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.
Williams, Andrew M., Peggy J. Liu, Kelly W. Muir, and Evan L. Waxman (2018), “Behavioral Economics and Diabetic Eye Exams,” Preventive Medicine, 112 (1), 76-87.
Liu, Peggy J.* and Stephanie C. Lin* (2018), “Projecting Lower Competence to Maintain Moral Warmth in the Avoidance of Prosocial Requests,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 28 (1), 23-39.
Min, Kate E.*, Peggy J. Liu*, and Soo Kim* (2018), “Sharing Extraordinary Experiences Fosters Feelings of Closeness,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44 (1), 107-121.
Haws, Kelly L., Peggy J. Liu, Joseph P. Redden, and Heidi J. Silver (2017), “Exploring the Relationship Between Varieties of Variety and Weight Loss: When More Variety Can Help People Lose Weight,” Journal of Marketing Research, 54 (4), 619-635.
Haws, Kelly L. and Peggy J. Liu (2016), “Combining Food Type(s) and Food Quantity Choice in a New Food Choice Paradigm Based on Vice-Virtue Bundles,” Appetite, 103 (1), 441-449.
Haws, Kelly L. and Peggy J. Liu (2016), “Half-Size Me? How Calorie and Price Information Influence Ordering on Restaurant Menus with Both Half and Full Entrée Portion Sizes,” Appetite, 97 (1), 127-137.
Liu, Peggy J., Kelly L. Haws, Cait Lamberton, Troy H. Campbell, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons (2015), “Vice-Virtue Bundles,” Management Science, 61 (1), 204-228.
Liu, Peggy J., Cait Lamberton, and Kelly L. Haws (2015), “Should Firms Use Small Financial Benefits to Express Appreciation to Consumers? Understanding and Avoiding Trivialization Effects,” Journal of Marketing, 79 (3), 74-90.
Liu, Peggy J., James R. Bettman, Arianna R. Uhalde, and Peter A. Ubel (2015), “How Many Calories Are in My Burrito? Improving Consumers’ Understanding of Calorie Range Information,” Public Health Nutrition, 18 (1), 15-24.
Dallas, Steven K., Peggy J. Liu, and Peter A. Ubel (2015), “Potential Problems with Increasing Serving Sizes on the Nutrition Facts Label,” Appetite, 95 (1), 577-584.
Liu, Peggy J., Jessica Wisdom, Christina A. Roberto, Linda J. Liu, and Peter A. Ubel (2014), “Using Behavioral Economics to Design More Effective Food Policies to Address Obesity,” Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 36 (1), 6-24 (lead article).
Liu, Peggy J., Troy H. Campbell, Gavan J. Fitzsimons, and Gráinne M. Fitzsimons (2013), “Matching Choices to Avoid Offending Stigmatized Group Members,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 122 (2), 291-304.
Bragg, Marie A., Peggy J. Liu, Christina A. Roberto, Vishnu Sarda, Jennifer L. Harris, and Kelly D. Brownell (2013), “The Use of Sports References in Marketing of Food and Beverage Products in Supermarkets,” Public Health Nutrition, 16 (4), 738-740.
Hawley, Kristy, Christina A. Roberto, Marie A. Bragg, Peggy J. Liu, Marlene B. Schwartz, and Kelly D. Brownell (2013), “The Science on Front-of-Package Food Labels,” Public Health Nutrition, 16 (3), 430-439.
Williams, Andrew M., R. Rand Allingham, Harrison S. Beckwith, Peggy J. Liu, Cecilia Santiago-Turla, and Kelly W. Muir (2013), “Patient and Family Attitudes about an Eye Donation Registry for Research,” Current Eye Research, 38 (9), 945-951.
Liu, Peggy J., Christina A. Roberto, Linda J. Liu, and Kelly D. Brownell (2012), “A Test of Different Menu Labeling Presentations,” Appetite, 59 (3), 770-777.