Faculty in the News: Dec. 1, 2009

Daniel Howard

Faculty in the News: Dec. 1, 2009

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about Houston Mayor Bill White’s ability to rekindle Democrats’ hopes for 2010 success in Texas with The Houston Chronicle Nov. 28, 2009.

Eva Oberdörster, Biological Sciences, Dedman College, discussed the potential pitfalls of nanotechnology with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Nov. 28, 2009.

David Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, discussed a report by The National Council on Teacher Quality that is critical of teacher education in Texas for an article that appeared in The Houston Chronicle Nov. 23, 2009.

Jean Kazez, Philosophy, Dedman College, wrote about the ethics of what we eat in a letter to The New York Times published Nov. 23, 2009.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, talked with the Associated Press about the multilevel marketing behind Donald Trump’s decision to put his name on a vitamin and health products business. The resulting article appeared in several publications, including The Reading Eagle on Nov. 22, 2009.

Steven Dennis, JC Penney Center for Retail Excellence, Cox School of business, discussed with Agence France Presse the possibility that 2009 holiday price cuts will be deep but not broad. The resulting article appeared in Yahoo! News Nov. 21, 2009.

December 1, 2009|Faculty in the News|

Faculty in the News: May 27, 2009

Brian Stump on Fox 4 NewsMaria Minniti, Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Cox School of Business, provided expertise for a BusinessWeek story on her research with Moren Levesque of the University of Waterloo and Dean Shepherd of Indiana University, which uses a mathematical model to weigh the risks and benefits of entering the market early. The article appeared in the May 19, 2009 edition.

Brian Stump (left), Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, talked with Fox 4 News about an earthquake that hit North Texas May 16, 2009. video

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, talked about the chances of success for Hallmark’s new singing envelopes for greeting cards with The Cleveland Plain Dealer May 15, 2009.

Fred Moss, Dedman School of Law, provided expertise to The Dallas Morning News for a story about a Frisco man being tried on assault charges for allegedly knowingly infecting women with HIV. The article was published May 19, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, discussed why Texas Republican politicians are unlikely to switch to the Democratic Party to hold onto elected office in an article published in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram May 10, 2009.

May 27, 2009|Faculty in the News|

Faculty in the News: April 20, 2009

Mike Polcyn, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, provided expertise for a story on students at Plano West Senior High School who found rare fossil bones of the mosasaur Platecarpus that have been brought to SMU for further study. The article appeared in The Dallas Morning News April 17, 2009.

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, talked with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the possibility of entertainer Kinky Friedman making a second Texas gubernatorial run for a story that appeared in the April 14, 2009 edition. He also discussed the political messaging behind the recent tax-day “tea party” protests with the Star-Telegram April 12, 2009.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, discussed with The Dallas Morning News the potentially unfortunate timing of Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s launch of a new and more expensive disposable diaper made with natural materials. The article appeared April 14, 2009.

Robin Lovin, Cary Maguire University Professor of Ethics, and Matthew Wilson, Political Science, Dedman College, discussed the moral issues behind creating and passing on a huge federal debt in “Texas Faith,” a discussion forum of The Dallas Morning News, April 4, 2009.

Tom Mayo, Dedman School of Law, director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, talked about a North Texas woman’s decision to harvested her dead son’s sperm in the hope of finding a surrogate and one day raising her son’s child with MSNBC April 14, 2009.

April 20, 2009|Faculty in the News|

Faculty in the News: Winter Break 2008-09

Cal Jillson, Political Science, Dedman College, provided expertise for several political stories, including:

  • how Republicans in Congress may be playing a high-risk game by snubbing Barack Obama, who has publicly sought their support, in Forbes magazine, Jan. 29, 2009
  • how a new bill that would boost health care coverage for children would cost and benefit Texans, in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 15, 2009
  • the continuing influence of West Texas in the state legislature as Tom Craddick is replaced as speaker, in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Jan. 3, 2009
  • Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, and the Illinois governor’s scandal, in The Washington Examiner, Dec. 28, 2008

Dennis Simon, Political Science, Dedman College, talked about the challenges Barack Obama will face as president, including the challenge of expectations, with The Austin American-Statesman Jan. 18, 2009.

Kathleen Cooper, Tower Center for Political Studies, Dedman College, discussed how Texas will be affected as investments based on high oil prices fall on hard times in an op-ed published in The Houston Chronicle, Jan. 10, 2009.

Robin Lovin, Maguire University Professor of Ethics, discussed whether there is a place for “divine certainty” in the White House in The Dallas Morning News‘ Texas Faith blog Jan. 27, 2009. He also wrote about President Obama and the nature of historical moments for National Public Radio website Jan. 21, 2009.

SMU Theology Dean William LawrenceWilliam Lawrence, Dean, Perkins School of Theology, talked about the often unusual relationship between presidents and preachers in a commentary on 90.1 KERA-FM Radio Jan. 16, 2009 (listen online or download) audio. He also discussed “firsts and lasts” in American political discourse in a KERA commentary broadcast on Dec. 19, 2008 (listen online or download) audio.

Mike Davis, Finance, Cox School of Business, discussed why most individuals have zero comprehension of $1 trillion, and how to make the amount easier to understand, with The Dallas Morning News Jan. 29, 2009.

Ravi Batra, Economics, Dedman College, discussed the current state of the country and its economy in a feature profile published in The Fort Worth Weekly Dec. 16, 2008.

Karen Thomas, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, wrote about the changes already begun because of President Obama in an article published in The Dallas Morning News Jan. 20, 2009.

Tony Pederson, Journalism, Meadows School of the Arts, provided expertise for a Jan. 4, 2009 Associated Press article on how former competitors in the news business are forging content-sharing deals to mitigate staff cuts and other losses. The article ran in several newspapers in early January, including The Chicago Tribune.

Dan Howard, Marketing, Cox School of Business, talked about Amway’s effort to revive its own brand with The Houston Chronicle Dec. 25, 2008.

SMU Education Dean David ChardDavid Chard, Dean, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, wrote an op-ed about the banning of the book ttyl by the Round Rock (TX) Independent School District. The opinion piece was published in The Fort Worth Star-Telegram Jan. 13, 2009.

Hal Barkley, Counseling, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, talked about how to cope with families and stress during the holidays with The Dallas Morning News Dec. 22, 2008.

Al Armendariz, Environmental and Civil Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering, discussed potential hazards in Houston’s air with The Houston Chronicle Jan. 12, 2009.

David Blackwell, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dedman College, discussed how power from underground “hot rocks” could become the “killer app” of the energy industry with The Christian Science Monitor Dec. 31, 2008.

February 2, 2009|Faculty in the News|

Research Spotlight: Wrapping it up

Holiday gift towerDo recipients like gift-wrapped presents more than unwrapped gifts? It appears so, according to a study published in 1992 by Daniel Howard, professor of marketing in SMU’s Cox School of Business. Howard designed a series of experiments to test the hypothesis that a gift-wrapped item influences the recipient to have a more favorable attitude toward owning the gift itself.

In one experiment, 45 participants were asked to evaluate 4 products in exchange for a free gift – a sheepskin bicycle seat cover. Even though they thought they were evaluating the products, they were actually evaluating the free gift they received in return for their time. Half of the subjects received the seat cover in the manufacturer’s plastic bag, while the other half received it wrapped in blue-and-white paper with a matching ribbon and bow.

The subjects were then asked to rate their gift on three 9-point scales, ranging from undesirable to desirable, from bad to good and from foolish to wise. Those test subjects who received the gift wrapped bicycle seat cover gave it a higher overall approval rating (7.14) than those who received it unwrapped (6.06).

Another experiment tested whether the perceived “quality” of the wrapping paper affected the subjects’ attitudes towards the gift. Sixty participants were given either wrapped, unwrapped or “nontraditionally wrapped” gifts (wrapped in brown packaging paper with neither ribbons nor bows). The nicely wrapped gift was the clear favorite, while the unwrapped gift was the least favorite. Even the gift wrapped in plain brown paper was preferred over the one that was not wrapped at all.

Howard argues that gift wrapping is a visual signal that is associated with a happy event in a person’s life. “Gift wrapping, through repeated pairing with joyous events in people’s lives, has utility in cueing a happy mood which, in turn, positively biases attitudes,” he wrote.

Read more about Howard’s research from the Living the Scientific Life blog.

December 18, 2008|Research|
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