Celia Gaertig studies the psychology of consumer behavior and decision making. Much of her work focuses on understanding how consumers make judgments and decisions in situations that involve uncertainty.
Many of our most common and important decisions, from home purchases to investment decisions, involve uncertainty. Gaertig’s work challenges long-held beliefs about how uncertainty affects consumers’ judgments. In one line of investigation, Gaertig explores preferences for advice. There is a widespread belief that advisees prefer advisors who offer certainty, even for events that are inherently uncertain. In contrast, her research shows that consumers do not dislike, and sometimes prefer, uncertain advice. In related work, Gaertig shows why consumers may prefer an uncertain price promotion, such as a 10% chance to get a product for free, to an equivalent sure discount, and delineates the circumstances under which such uncertain promotions are effective.
Her research has been published in Psychological Science, Management Science, PNAS, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Gaertig earned a PhD from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. She also completed a BSc in Psychology (University of Freiburg) and a BA in Business (DHBW Karlsruhe), both in Germany.