In progress Doctoral Research in Consumer Behavior



Consumer Behavior is the study of the full range of human interactions with products, services, their providers, and the marketing activities associated with them. The Consumer Behavior research group of the Department of Marketing Management at Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University) is seeking a highly motivated PhD student who desires to pursue an academic career studying consumer behavior. A strong applicant is highly motivated to conduct novel research within the field of consumer behavior/psychology, has a background in psychology, business, statistics, or a related field, and desires to pursue an international career as a leading academic researcher. The project will enable the PhD student to develop new theories about consumer behavior/psychology and support those theories with quantitative research. The project will be defined by the student and the advisors together and thus requires creativity, self-direction, and passion for scientific research.


Attitude formation and change, Choice, Customization, Decision making (processes), Expression modalities, Judgment, Language, Self-control, Speech

Time frame

2017 - 2021


One of the primary purposes of a PhD is to train students how to formulate and test novel research questions. Thus, together with the advisors, you will develop testable and novel research questions of theoretical and managerial relevance.

The PhD will be completed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Stefano Puntoni (, Dr. Steven Sweldens (, and Dr. Anne-Kathrin Klesse ( Stefano Puntoni is an international expert on the social and emotional determinants of consumer behavior and the role of advertising language and memory. His research has been published in the most prestigious journals in marketing (e.g., Journal of Consumer Research; Journal of Marketing Research) and management (e.g., Management Science; Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes). Steven Sweldens is a leading authority on how brand attitudes are shaped and changed through conditioning processes, and published his work in the foremost journals in marketing (Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research) and psychology (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General; Personality and Social Psychology Review). Anne-Kathrin Klesse studies consumer decision making and explores the influences of various factors such as expression modalities (e.g., whether consumers express a decision by speaking or button pressing), language (native versus foreign), choice restrictions (e.g., through dieting or being poor), and customization on decision processes and outcomes. She has published in the field’s flagship Journal of Consumer Research and in the International Journal of Research in Marketing.

As a PhD student, you will conduct research within these topics, focusing on one specifically or developing ground-breaking research that integrates and cuts across topic boundaries.

Additionally, as a PhD student, you have the opportunity to collaborate with the other consumer behavior researchers in the marketing management department. The faculty in the department work on a wide-range of interesting topics, such as biological influences on consumption and goal pursuit (Dr. Bram Van den Bergh), self-control and consumption (Dr. Mirjam Tuk), judgment and decision making (Dr. Gabriele Paolacci), numerical processing (Dr. Dan Schley and Dr. Christophe Lembregts) and decision neuroscience of emotion and social influence (Prof. Dr. Ale Smidts, Dr. Maarten Boksem and Dr. Alexander Genevsky). Experimental studies can be conducted at the Erasmus Behavioral Lab, a world-class laboratory that provides all the facilities to conduct the very best research (sound-insulated cubicles, group labs, video-labs, eye tracking, EEG). To strengthen your international profile and complement your time at RSM, you will have the chance to go abroad for a research visit at a top North American University (3 to 6 months; past destinations include Stanford, Wharton, Harvard, the University of Florida, and the University of Chicago).


The Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) is the dynamic business school of the Erasmus University. It is ranked as a top business school within and outside of Europe due to its members´ research productivity and sophisticated study programs. Indeed, the marketing department at RSM is recognized worldwide as one of the best in the world, attracting many reputable scholars every year. One of the many unique features of the group is its multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary nature. The faculty publishes their research not only in marketing journals, but also in top academic journals of related disciplines (psychology, organizational behavior, neuroscience). This makes the department a lively, creative, and intellectually stimulating place to conduct research. For further information about the Rotterdam School of Management, you can visit; for further information concerning the marketing department:; for further information about the research institute and further information about the PhD program, please visit

Supervisory Team

Stefano Puntoni
Professor of Marketing
  • Promotor
Steven Sweldens
Endowed Professor of Consumer Behavior and Marketing and ERIM Director of Doctoral Education
  • Copromotor