David Norton

‘I’ll Be a Husky Forever’

Morgan Tuck (Nathan Oldham/UConn School of Business)
UConn women’s basketball player and management major Morgan Tuck (Nathan Oldham/UConn School of Business)

Basketball Star, Management Major Morgan Tuck Bids Adieu to UConn, Prepares for WNBA

For fans of UConn women’s basketball player Morgan Tuck, the moment that brought tears to their eyes happened with less than two minutes remaining in the Husky’s NCAA Championship game Tuesday night.

Tuck and her basketball sisters, Breanna Stewart and Moriah Jefferson, exited the court together—their fourth consecutive, record-breaking championship assured—and embraced each other. A look of pure joy splashed across Tuck’s face. Continue Reading

What Makes Us Tick?

Behavioral lab at UConn School of BusinessNew Behavioral Lab Expected to Fuel Surge in Research at UConn

Marketing Professor David Norton has a theory he just can’t wait to test, and it involves two things most people love:  coffee and their own names.

“One idea that I’m currently pursuing is whether having the name on your morning coffee cup spelled incorrectly can impact your evaluation of that cup of coffee,” Norton said. “Essentially, the idea is that we like ourselves, and pretty much anything associated with ourselves, so when we are reminded about “me” we get positive feelings toward the object that does the reminding.”Continue Reading

Faculty Attend Workshop on Brain, Learning; Dartmouth Prof Offers Suggestions on Retaining Knowledge

Faculty Workshop
Many people think of the human brain as like a giant filing cabinet. Just open the right drawer, pull out a folder, and it will be loaded with all the information you need.

In fact, retrieving information is more like going on an archaeological dig, said G. Christian Jernstedt, professor emeritus of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College.

“We find fragments and we assemble them into something meaningful,” he said. “That’s why we rummage around in our brains for the answers. Sometimes there isn’t even a correct answer. It’s the thinking that is the important part.”

Jernstedt spoke to 60 faculty and graduate students Oct. 31 at a workshop titled, “Perspectives on Learning, Teaching and the Brain.” Jernstedt specializes in human learning and speaks around the world about cognitive, social, behavioral and educational neurosciences.

During the full-day workshop, he talked about emerging research on increasing the ability to learn, building effective learning habits, and different ways to evaluate what has been learned.

Management Professor Travis Grosser said the lecture was fascinating. “I wanted to learn more about how the brain works and how to apply that knowledge in the classroom,” he said. “I appreciate that the School of Business is helping us become better teachers and helping us grow and develop our professional skills.”

Some 150,000 articles and books have been written about the human brain in recent years, Jernstedt said. Among his findings is that the more engaged a person is, the more active their learning becomes.

“Memory is constructed, it isn’t a passive situation. If it is an active process, it works,” he said. “The person who is ‘doing’ is the person who is learning.”

That’s why taking notes is more effective than listening; why talking to others is better than learning alone, he said.

What happens when you use an area of the brain a great deal? Before GPS was widely used, London cabbies had to study maps of the city until they knew every road. For them, the centers of the brain that learn place, direction and navigation blossomed. “When you use the brain, it changes,” he said.

But while some changes are universal, every individual learns differently. In fact, the human brain is a bit like a novelist, Jernstedt said.

“Our brain makes up stories about reality,” he said. “Our stories vary by experience. We all see things differently.”

For an example, he showed an abstract picture of a man and woman engaged in an embrace. When the same picture was shown to young children, they saw porpoises in the photo because their frame of reference is different, he said.

“So when we develop courses, programs and schools, it is important to recognize that how people code and retain information varies, depending what’s happened to them,” Jernstedt said.

The human brain contains 20 billion cells just for thinking, he said, yet we are most successful when we tackle one task at a time. “People who say they ‘multitask’ either do it poorly, or are really shifting between tasks,” he said.

Research by a jam-and-jelly company also indicates that too many options are overwhelming. On the days when customers could sample 20 or more types of jam, only 3 percent bought the product. When offered only five varieties, 30 percent of the customers purchased jam. Too many choices leads to indecision, he said.

In another analogy, Jernstedt noted that the tiger beetle runs about 5 1/2 miles per hour, but it does so in bursts, and then freezes, because its brain is filled up and it needs to rest it. Likewise, it is important for humans to take intellectual breaks in the classroom, and for faculty to build in time for students to process and reflect, he said.

The human brain is a powerful tool, he said. “This organ can do extraordinary things when we find out how to use it,” he said. With practice, people can even change the speed at which the brain operates.

Marketing Professor David Norton said he attended the workshop because he was interested in strategies to help his students. “We are asking them to learn a great deal in a rather short amount of time,” he said. “I’m interested in anything that helps to communicate that information more efficiently.”

“The biggest opportunity is to bridge science with practice,” said Management Professor Kevin Thompson, noting that students tend to retain only about 10 or 15 percent of what they hear in a lecture. “I’m here to find out what we can take away to help or improve learning for our students.”

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Marketing Department Newsletter, Winter 2014


Marketing Department NewsletterAs 2014 enters with the BIG CHILL, we are excited to share news from Fall 2013!

On the faculty front, we bid farewell to Subhash Jain, who received the American Marketing Association’s 2013 Significant Contributions to Global Marketing Award, and retired in December. We welcomed three scholars with expertise in digital marketing and analytics. Jane Gu, Ph.D, works in digital marketing and distribution channels; Jane is teaching New Media Marketing Strategies. David Norton, Ph.D., is a recent graduate from University of South Carolina’s Darla Moore School of Business; Dr. Norton’s research focuses on consumer behavior in the digital marketing environment; he is teaching Introduction to Marketing Management. Hee Mok Park, Ph.D., a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, focuses on empirical modeling of marketing problems, and will be teaching Marketing and Data Analytics.

Our students continue to make us proud! Josh Lagan ’14 was named one of the Top 10 Student Sports Business Leaders, Caitlin Taylor ’14 shares her internship experiences in marketing and social media, and Pi Sigma Epsilon, our sales and marketing fraternity, hosted the 2013 Northeast Regional Conference!

Our alumni continue to be important partners! John Fodor, Executive Vice President of American Funds Distributors, Inc., Capital Research Management Company, was named our 2012-13 Outstanding Alumnus. John is our keynote speaker at the Department’s Student and Alumni Networking Reception on February 10(register at uconn.biz/mktg2014). We hope to see you there! We greatly appreciate the creation of scholarship funds for our students and gifts to the Marketing and Business Law Endowment for Excellence.

Each newsletter highlights contributions of our faculty. Please read more about Bill Ross award winning article, “Individual Differences in Brand Schematicity” and Robin Coulter’s recent work on the effects of automatic color preference on consumer choice. At the 2013 American Business Law Conference, our Business Law faculty were revered, “their research, teaching, and service to the academy makes the UConn business law faculty one of the most prominent cohorts in the discipline,” and Mark DeAngelis was again honored as one of four national Master Teacher finalists for the Charles M. Hewitt Master Teacher Competition.

Our best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014!

Best regards,

Robin Coulter

Robin Coulter
Department Head
Professor of Marketing
Marketing Department

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