Mary Steffel Assistant Professor of Marketing firstname.lastname@example.org 617.373.3859 Expertise consumer behavior, marketing, social psychology Mary Steffel in the Press Article Gift giving: Is it really the thought that counts? Psychologists weigh in. Still, the desire to be thoughtful can lead to pitfalls, such as overthinking, said Mary Steffel, an associate professor of marketing at Northeastern University who has studied gift giving. “Givers often end up overshooting, getting things that are maybe more unique or more narrow than what the receiver might want.” Article The Conversation Why people feel guilty about using effort-saving products when taking care of loved ones Mary Steffel Assistant Professor of Marketing, Northeastern University Article Opinion: How to give a fitness gift without becoming the Peloton husband Mary Steffel is an assistant professor of marketing at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. Article The Conversation ‘Default’ choices have big impact, but how to make sure they’re used ethically? The power of defaults to guide people’s choices has made them an extremely popular way for policymakers and marketers alike to nudge people toward a particular decision. But it has also raised questions about how to ensure that defaults are used ethically and responsibly. Article Quartz Psychology explains why so many leaders pass the buck—and who is really to blame Leaders know all too well that with great power comes great responsibility. This mantra has been echoed by luminaries including Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and even Spiderman. It is the great charge of a leader to shoulder responsibility for making decisions that will have profound implications for many. But that doesn’t come […] Article The Perfect Gift? It’s the One They Asked For Mary Steffel, a psychologist at Northeastern University, and colleagues have found that the more specific a gift card is, the less likely it is to be redeemed. “If you’re not sure what your recipient wants,” Dr. Steffel advised, “give them the gift of flexibility.” Above all, remember this: The thought usually doesn’t count. This counterintuitive […] Article How to nudge your customers without pushing them away Designing decisions in a way that nudges but does not force consumers to make better choices offers a way to alleviate many of society’s problems. Defaults are one way to nudge consumers. They can automatically enroll people in a designated option unless someone makes an active decision to opt out, or they can nudge people […] Article Academic Minute: Passing the Buck Today on the Academic Minute, Mary Steffel, assistant professor of marketing at Northeastern University, examines why people pass the buck when it comes to making decisions. Learn more about the Academic Minute here. Article Research on delegating shows how uncomfortable we are making choices for others People can be notoriously reluctant to give up control. Managers often hesitate to delegate tasks and decision making to others, even when they would benefit from doing so. Yet anyone who has worked in a large organization will tell you that, just as often, decisions can get passed from person to person, making it difficult […] Article Science explains why people pass the buck when making a tough decision Don’t you hate it when people pass the buck on important decisions? They’re supposed to come up with an answer, and instead they bow out and delegate. But people with this annoying habit might actually be looking out for your best interests as much as they are trying to avoid responsibility. New research into buck-passing […] Mary Steffel for Northeastern Global News This holiday season, stop putting too much thought into ‘thoughtful’ gifts: Think gift cards This holiday season, stop putting too much thought into ‘thoughtful’ gifts: Think gift cards Three simple tips for giving awesome holiday gifts this year Three simple tips for giving awesome holiday gifts this year New research explores why people ‘pass the buck’ New research explores why people ‘pass the buck’ People are more likely to delegate decisions when faced with choices that affect others than when those decisions only affect themselves.