I received my PhD in Social Psychology, but I have transitioned into the field of marketing. What ties these two fields together for me is my interest in the ways in which people make decisions in their daily lives.

Below you will find examples of how that interest has led to published papers, and some hopefully-soon-to-be published ones, as well. Please see my CV for my other ongoing research projects, and don’t hesitate to contact me with questions about them.



Steffel, Mary, and Elanor F. Williams (2017), “Delegating Decisions: Recruiting Others to Make Difficult Choices,” Journal of Consumer Research, forthcoming.

Williams, Elanor F., and Joyce Ehrlinger (2017), "Failures to Learn from Feedback: Intra- and Interpersonal Roadblocks to Autonomous Learning," in Autonomous Learning in the Workplace, ed. Ray Noe and Jill Ellingson, New York: Taylor and Francis, 263-286.

Steffel, Mary, Elanor F. Williams, and Ruth Pogacar (2016),  "Ethically Deployed Defaults: Transparency and Consumer Protection Via Disclosure and Preference Articulation," Journal of Marketing Research, 53 (5), 865-880.

Galak, Jeff, Julian Givi, and Elanor F. Williams (2016), " Why Certain Gifts Are Great to Give But Not to Get: A Framework for Understanding Errors in Gift Giving," Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25 (6), 380-385.

Steffel, Mary, Elanor F. Williams, and Jaclyn Perrmann-Graham (2016), "Passing the Buck: Delegating Choices to Others to Avoid Responsibility and Blame," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 135, 32-44.

Williams, Elanor F., David A. Pizarro, Dan Ariely, and James D. Weinberg (2016), "The Valjean Effect: Visceral States and Cheating," Emotion, 16 (6), 897-902.

Williams, Elanor F., and Mary Steffel (2014), “Double Standards in the Use of Enhancing Products by Self and Others,” Journal of Consumer Research, 41 (2), 506-25.

LeBoeuf, Robyn A., Elanor F. Williams, and Lyle A. Brenner (2014), "Forceful Phantom Firsts: Framing Experiences as 'Firsts' Amplifies Their Influence on Judgment," Journal of Marketing Research, 51 (4), 420-32.

Williams, Elanor F., David Dunning, and Justin Kruger (2013), "The Hobgoblin of Consistency: Algorithmic Strategies Underlie Inflated Self-Assessments of Performance,"Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 104 (6), 976-94.

Alba, Joseph, and Elanor F. Williams (2013), “Pleasure Principles: Current Research on Hedonic Consumption,” Journal of Consumer Psychology, 23 (1), 2-18.

Williams, Elanor F., and Thomas Gilovich (2012), “The Better-Than-My-Average Effect: The Relative Impact of Peak and Average Performances in Assessments of the Self and Others,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48 (2), 556-61.

Williams, Elanor F., Thomas Gilovich, and David Dunning (2012), “Being All That You Can Be: The Weighting of Potential in Assessments of Self and Others,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38 (2), 143-54.

Williams, Elanor F., and Thomas Gilovich (2008), “Conceptions of Self and Other Across Time,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34 (8), 1037-46. 

Williams, Elanor F., and Thomas Gilovich (2008), “Do People Really Believe They Are Above Average?Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44 (July), 1121-8.

Williams, Elanor F. (2007), “Naïve Cynicism,” in Encyclopedia of Social Psychology, ed. Roy F. Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs, San Diego, CA: Sage Publications. 

Williams, Elanor F. (2007), “Three-Dimensional Model of Attribution,” in Encyclopedia of Social Psychology, ed. Roy F. Baumeister and Kathleen Vohs, San Diego, CA: Sage Publications.



Williams, Elanor F., and David Dunning. “From Formulae to Faith: A “Consistency Heuristic” in Assessments of Self-Performance.” Under invited revision for Social Psychological and Personality Science.

 Williams, Elanor F., and Robyn A. LeBoeuf. “Starting My Diet Tomorrow: Consumers Believe They Will Have More Control Over the Future Than They Did Over the Past.” Under invited revision for Journal of Consumer Research.

Steffel, Mary, Elanor F. Williams, and Robyn A. LeBoeuf. "Overly Specific Gift Giving: Givers Choose Tailored but Less-Versatile and Less-Preferred Gifts." Under invited revision for Journal of Consumer Research.




Giver and recipient preferences for hedonic and utilitarian gifts (with Emily Rosenzweig).

Consumer coordination: Encouraging consumers to consider others' perspectives helps them optimize consumption timing (with On Amir and Alicea Lieberman). 

Utilitarian splurges (with Emily Rosenzweig).

Fairness perceptions of fees for service (with Yoel Inbar).

Ironic persistence at choices between interchangeable options (with Ayelet Gneezy and David Armor).

Increasing the subjective ease of medical decisions to increase patient participation (with Mary Steffel).

Do our choices tell us who we are? It depends on how easy they were to make (with Mary Steffel).

Sunk savings: When saving begets more saving (with Robyn LeBoeuf).

Seeing animism in oneself and the world: A meaningful mode of thought (with Erik Helzer).