Outside of teaching, our faculty member, Professor Kelley Wight, dedicates her time to research. She collaborates with Jacqueline Rifkin from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Keisha Cutright from Duke University, on examining gift-giving, and more specifically, self-gifting. As a colleague of the Marketing Department, Professor Wight is focused on determining how consumers can get the most from a purchase. Therefore, she studies customer decisions when buying items for themselves and what stops them from making a purchase.
From her analysis, Professor Wight has determined that when consumers are mentally constrained, they are less likely to buy things that could improve themselves. These restrictions come from everyday life, such as financial strain, economic hardships, social aspects, etc. However, self-gifting has proven to reduce stress, boost mood, and elevate mental health, leaving Professor Wight with the conclusion that self-gifting is an important aspect of consumer behavior.
Gifting is not always about buying something, instead, it can also be about taking time for yourself. Professor Wight describes the act of self-gifting as mentally regrouping to better your emotional wellbeing, even for a few minutes. Taking a walk, savoring an apple, applying a face mask, are other examples of ways to tune out and focus on oneself. She emphasizes the importance of being intentional with our acts of self-care by mentally committing to the action of improving.
Self-gifting is very accessible because one does not need too much money or time. Personally, Professor Wight enjoys eating chocolate and watching YouTube videos to relax and destress. She is intentional in her actions to take a break, do something she enjoys, and better her mental health. Understanding the reasons behind a consumer’s purchasing decisions has proven to be significant and should be considered when creating and marketing products/services.
Join Professor Wight and the Marketing Department in self-gifting by focusing on yourself and taking steps to improve your lifestyle.