Anne Hamby, assistant professor in the Department of Marketing, and coauthor Cristel Russel, professor of marketing at Graziadio Business School, published their paper, “How does ambivalence affect young consumers’ response to risky products?” in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.
Hamby’s research focused on the relationship between ambivalence about risky products (like tobacco, energy drinks or cognitive enhancers) and the willingness to pay for those products. Through a series of six studies, she found that adolescents and young adults who were ambivalent about a risky product were more likely to take interest in or buy that product.
Hamby’s work has immediate implications for public health. She writes: “Although communicators in the public interest may present ‘both sides’ of an issue or product in an effort to appear credible, […] these efforts may undermine their broader goals and unintentionally increase consumers’ inclination to try these products.”