Yanping Tu


Research Interests

Judgment and Decision Making, Consumption in Interpersonal Contexts, Experience and Desire, Goal Pursuit


University of Chicago, USA
     Ph.D., Marketing, 2010-2015 (Expected)
     M.B.A. 2012-2015 (Expected)

Peking University, China
     B.A., Economics, 2006-2009
     B.S., Psychology, 2005-2009


Contact:  ytu@chicagobooth.edu

Yanping Profile

PhD Candidate in Marketing,
Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Research Papers

Tu, Yanping and Dilip Soman (2014), "The Categorization of Time and Its Impact on Task Initiation," Journal of Consumer Research. [view]

[Abstract]: It could be argued that success in life is a function of a consumer’s ability to get things done. The key step in getting things done is to get started. This research explores the effect of the categorization of time on task initiation. Specifically, we theorize that consumers use a variety of cues to categorize future points in time (events) into either events that are like the present event, or those that are unlike the present event. When the deadline of a task is categorized in a like-the-present category, it triggers the default implemental mindset and hence results in a greater likelihood of task initiation. A series of field and lab studies among farmers in India and undergraduate and MBA students in North America provided support to this theorizing. Our findings have implication for goal striving strategy and choice architecture.

*Hsee, Christopher K., *Yanping Tu, Zoe Y. Lu, and Bowen Ruan (2014), "Approach Aversion: Negative Hedonic Reactions Toward Approaching Stimuli," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 106(5), 699-712. [view]
* The first two authors contributed equally.

[Abstract]: We live in a dynamic world, surrounded by moving stimuli—moving people, moving objects, and moving events. The current research proposes and finds an approach aversion effect—individuals feel less positively (or more negatively) about a stimulus if they perceive it to be approaching rather than receding or static. The effect appears general, occurring whether the stimulus is initially negative or nonnegative and whether it moves in space (toward or away from “here”), in time (toward or away from “now”), or in probability (toward or away from “sure”). This research complements extensive existing research on perceived static distance of stimuli (near vs. far) by exploring perceived dynamic movement of stimuli (approaching vs. receding), showing that the effect of movement is distinct from the effect of distance.

[Selected media article]: Harvard Business Review ("Defend your research" section; Oct 2014)

Zhang, Ying and Yanping Tu (2011), "The Impact of Associative Strength on Performance in Goal Pursuit," Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47(6), 1088-1095. [view]

[Abstract]: The present research explored the hypothesis that strengthened attainment means–goal association leads to enhanced performance in goal pursuit. We hypothesize that because of the instrumental nature of means–goal association, strengthened associative strength leads to greater instrumentality expectancy of the means, which elicits greater motivation in the pursuit and hence better actual performance. We demonstrated in four studies that when the means is believed to facilitate goal attainment, a strong (vs. weak) means–goal association leads to greater performance in goal pursuit. Conversely, when the means is perceived to undermine goal attainment, a strong (vs. weak) association results in worse performance in goal pursuit.

Tu, Yanping, Alex Shaw, and Ayelet Fishbach (invited revision), "The Friendly Taking Effect: When Interpersonal Closeness Leads to Seemingly Selfish Choice," Journal of Consumer Research. (Dissertation essay 2) [Email for copy]
* Job Market Paper.

[Abstract]: This research documents the “friendly taking effect”: Interpersonal closeness leads to a preference for a self-benefiting consumption package when this package also offers greater benefit in total. This taking behavior is driven by a friendly intention (i.e., concern for the total benefit), rather than a selfish intention (i.e., concern for self-benefit). In six studies, we show that the effect occurs even if there is no possibility of future reciprocity and that people are cognitively tuned in to (e.g., acquire, remember) information about the total benefit more when considering benefits given to a close (vs. distant) other. Indeed, the focus on the total benefit mediates the impact of closeness on preference for self-benefiting packages. Importantly, people are also more likely to give their resources to close as opposed to distant others when doing so increases the total benefit. We discuss implications for marketers of consumption packages.

Tu, Yanping and Ayelet Fishbach (invited revision), "Words Speak Louder: Conforming to Words More Than Actions," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. (Dissertation essay 1) [Email for copy]

[Abstract]: People generally conform to others’ choices. This research documents that conformity decreases once others have their chosen options, which suggests that words speak louder than actions: people conform to others’ preference more than actions. Specifically, people follow another person’s food choice less if the person eats his or her selected food (Study 1), and people follow others’ household items choices less if these choices are framed in terms of action (“others want to have”) rather than preferences (“others like;” Studies 2 and 3). We find that mentally sharing others’ actions underlies the decrease in conformity (Studies 3 and 4), and that people choose differently in order to complement, rather than contradict, others’ choices (Study 5). Finally, when both types of information on others—action and preference—are available simultaneously, people follow what others have less than what others prefer in online shopping and in consumption of online media (e.g., Amazon.com or YouTube, Study 6).

Tu, Yanping and Christopher K. Hsee (under revision), "The Impact of Sample Location on Consumers' Desire for the Target Product." [Email for copy]

[Abstract]: Marketers commonly invite consumers to experience samples (e.g., view sample pages from a book) to induce their desire for the target product (e.g., the book). We study a hitherto neglected and potentially important factor that influences the effectiveness of such sampling experiences—the physical location of the sample. We propose that sampling experiences will be less effective in inducing consumers’ desire for the target product if the sample is located inside (rather than outside) the target product, because in the former condition consumers are more likely to perceive the sampling experience as a part of (rather than independent of) the product experience and have a stronger sense that they have already experienced part of the target product. Five studies, involving both direct and indirect sampling experiences, supported our theorizing.

Tu, Yanping and Ayelet Fishbach (working paper), "Vicarious Satiation and Variety Seeking within Groups." [Email for copy]

[Abstract]: This research documents vicarious satiation: observing another person’s food consumption reduces the desire to consume the same food when alternatives exist. We investigated food consumption in pairs and found that in the presence of alternatives, observers’ desire for a specific food was inversely related to the amount their study partner consumed (study 1). Because satiation is temporary, observers further postponed consumption of food their study partner consumed (study 2). Moving to studies that assessed variety seeking, we found that observers switched to another food offering than what their study partner consumed (study 3), in particular whenever the food offerings for the pair varied on a highly satiable attribute (i.e., flavor) than on a less satiable attribute (i.e., nutritional function) (study 4). These findings document vicarious satiation and show it increases postponement and variety seeking within groups.

Tu, Yanping and Christopher K. Hsee (working paper), "The Impact of Consumption Intention on the Effectiveness of Sampling Experiences."

Tu, Yanping and Ayelet Fishbach (working paper), "When Role Models Decrease Motivation."

Selected Work in Progress

Tu, Yanping and Ayelet Fishbach, "Ironically Stealing an In-group's Intellectual Property."

Tu, Yanping and Ayelet Fishbach, "Temporal Preference for Consumption Episodes in Groups."

Tu, Yanping, Jing Xu, and Dilip Soman, "A Compensatory Model of Consumer-Product Cooperation."

Honors and Awards

Yale Whitebox Advisors Graduate Student Conference Travel Stipend Recipient, 2014
Katherine Dusak Miller Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2013
Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence (EMBA core: Negotiation), University of Chicago, 2013
Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence (EMBA core: Managerial Decision Making), University of Chicago, 2013
Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence (EMBA core: Negotiation), University of Chicago, 2012
Oscar Meyer Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2011
PhD Fellowship, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, 2010-present
President Fellowship (top 1-2%), Peking University, 2009
ESEC Scholarship, Peking University, 2008
Best Paper Award, Annual Conference of China Marketing Science, 2008
President Independent Research Fellowship for Undergraduate, Peking University, 2007
Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence, Peking University, 2006

Student Research Advising

Phyliss Gai (Master Thesis), “Temporal Preference for Consumption Episodes in Close Relationship,” University of Chicago, 2014

Angela Wang (Undergraduate Independent Study), “Set Completion in Close Relationship,” University of Chicago, 2013

Teaching Experience

Managing in Organizations (MBA core; TA for Prof. Ayelet Fishbach), 2014 Spring
Negotiation (EMBA core; TA for Prof. Ayelet Fishbach), 2013 Fall
Managerial Decision Making (EMBA core; TA for Prof. Christopher K. Hsee), 2013 Summer
Managing in Organizations (MBA core; TA for Prof. Eugene Caruso), 2013 Summer
Managing in Organizations (MBA core; TA for Prof. Eugene Caruso), 2013 Spring
Managing in Organizations (MBA core; TA for Prof. Ayelet Fishbach), 2012 Fall
Negotiation (EMBA core; TA for Prof. Ayelet Fishbach), 2012 Summer
Managing in Organizations (MBA core; TA for Prof. Wilhelm Hofmann), 2012 Spring

Funded Proposal

“Charitable Giving across Cultures and Methods”, University of Chicago, 09/2013 - 09/2014, $8,300

Professional Service

Trainee reviewer, Journal of Consumer Research (2014-present)
Competitive Paper Reviewer, ACR, 2013, 2014
Individual Papers Reviewer, SCP, 2013
Poster Reviewer, ACR, 2012


Ayelet Fishbach (Ayelet.Fishbach@chicagobooth.edu; 1-773-834-8673)
Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing, University of Chicago

Christopher K. Hsee (Christopher.Hsee@chicagobooth.edu; 1-773-702-7728)
Theodore O. Yntema Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing, University of Chicago

Dilip Soman (Dilip.Soman@rotman.utoronto.ca; 1-416-946-0195)
Corus Chair in Communication Strategy Professor of Marketing, University of Toronto

Abigail Sussman (asussman@chicagobooth.edu; 1-773-834-2030)
Assistant Professor of Marketing and Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow, University of Chicago

University of Chicago | Booth School of Business

Copyright © 2014 Yanping Tu