Publications Database

Welcome to the new Schulich Peer-Reviewed Publication Database!

The database is currently in beta-testing and will be updated with more features as time goes on. In the meantime, stakeholders are free to explore our faculty’s numerous works. The left-hand panel affords the ability to search by the following:

  • Faculty Member’s Name;
  • Area of Expertise;
  • Whether the Publication is Open-Access (free for public download);
  • Journal Name; and
  • Date Range.

At present, the database covers publications from 2012 to 2020, but will extend further back in the future. In addition to listing publications, the database includes two types of impact metrics: Altmetrics and Plum. The database will be updated annually with most recent publications from our faculty.

If you have any questions or input, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Search Results

Packard, G. and Berger, J. (2024). "The Emergence and Evolution of Consumer Language Research", Journal of Consumer Research, 50(1).

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Abstract Over the last 50+ years, there has been a huge rise in interest in consumer language research. This manuscript spotlights the emergence and evolution of this area, identifying key themes and trends, and highlighting topics for future research. Work has evolved from exploration of broad language concepts (e.g., rhetorics) to specific linguistic features (e.g., phonemes) and from monologues (e.g., advertiser to consumer) to two-way dialogues (e.g., consumer to service representative and back). We discuss future opportunities that arise from past trends, and suggest two important shifts that prompt questions for future research: a new shift towards using voice (vs. hands) when interacting with objects, and the ongoing shift towards using hands (vs. voices) to communicate with people. By synthesizing the past, and delineating a research agenda for the future, we hope to encourage more researchers to begin to explore this burgeoning area.

Boghrati, R., Berger, J., and Packard, G. (2023). "Style, Content, and the Success of Ideas", Journal of Consumer Psychology.

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Abstract Why do some things succeed in the marketplace of ideas? While some argue that content drives success, others suggest that style, or the way ideas are presented, also plays an important role. To provide a stringent test of style’s importance, we examine it in a context where content should be paramount: academic research. While scientists often see writing as a disinterested way to communicate unobstructed truth, a multi-method investigation indicates that writing style shapes impact. Separating style from content can be difficult as papers that tend to use certain language may also write about certain topics. Consequently, we focus on a unique class of words linked to style (i.e., function words such as “and,” “the,” and “on”) that are completely devoid of content. Natural language processing of almost 30,000 articles from a range of disciplines finds that function words explain 13–27% of language’s impact on citations. Ancillary analyses explore specific categories of function words to suggest how style matters, highlighting the role of writing simplicity, personal voice, and temporal perspective. Experiments further underscore the causal impact of style. The results suggest how to boost communication’s impact and highlight the value of natural language processing for understanding the success of ideas.

Packard, G. Berger, J., and Boghrati, R. (2023). "How Verb Tense Shapes Persuasion", Journal of Consumer Research.

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Abstract When sharing information and opinions about products, services, and experiences, communicators often use either past or present tense (e.g., “That restaurant was great” or “That restaurant is great”). Might such differences in verb tense shape communication’s impact, and if so, how? A multimethod investigation, including eight studies conducted in the field and lab, demonstrates that using present (vs. past) tense can increase persuasion. Natural language processing of over 500,000 online reviews in multiple product and service domains, for example, illustrates that reviews that use more present tense are seen as more helpful and useful. Follow-up experiments demonstrate that shifting from past to present tense increases persuasion and illustrate the underlying process through both mediation and moderation. When communicators use present (rather than past) tense to express their opinions and experiences, it suggests that they are more certain about what they are saying, which increases persuasion. These findings shed light on how language impacts consumer behavior, highlight how a subtle, yet central linguistic feature shapes communication, and have clear implications for persuasion across a range of situations.

Berger, J., Packard, G., Boghrati, R., Hsu, M., Humphreys, A., Moore, S., Nave, G., Olivola, C., and Rocklage, M. D. (2022). "Marketing Insights from Text", Marketing Letters, 33, 365-377.

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Abstract Language is an integral part of marketing. Consumers share word of mouth, salespeople pitch services, and advertisements try to persuade. Further, small differences in wording can have a big impact. But while it is clear that language is both frequent and important, how can we extract insight from this new form of data? This paper provides an introduction to the main approaches to automated textual analysis and how researchers can use them to extract marketing insight. We provide a brief summary of dictionaries, topic modeling, and embeddings, some examples of how each approach can be used, and some advantages and limitations inherent to each method. Further, we outline how these approaches can be used both in empirical analysis of field data as well as experiments. Finally, an appendix provides links to relevant tools and readings to help interested readers learn more. By introducing more researchers to these valuable and accessible tools, we hope to encourage their adoption in a wide variety of areas of research.

Packard, G. and Berger, J. (2021). "How Concrete Language Shapes Customer Satisfaction", Journal of Consumer Research, 47(5), 787-806.

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Abstract Consumers are often frustrated by customer service. But could a simple shift in language help improve customer satisfaction? We suggest that linguistic concreteness—the tangibility, specificity, or imaginability of words employees use when speaking to customers—can shape consumer attitudes and behaviors. Five studies, including text analysis of over 1,000 real consumer–employee interactions in two different field contexts, demonstrate that customers are more satisfied, willing to purchase, and purchase more when employees speak to them concretely. This occurs because customers infer that employees who use more concrete language are listening (i.e., attending to and understanding their needs). These findings deepen understanding of how language shapes consumer behavior, reveal a psychological mechanism by which concreteness impacts person perception, and provide a straightforward way that managers could help enhance customer satisfaction.

Packard, G. and Berger, J. (2020). "Thinking of You: How Second Person Pronouns Shape Cultural Success,", Psychological Science, 31 (4), 397-407.

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Abstract Why do some cultural items succeed and others fail? Some scholars have argued that one function of the narrative arts is to facilitate feelings of social connection. If this is true, cultural items that activate personal connections should be more successful. The present research tested this possibility in the context of second-person pronouns. We argue that rather than directly addressing the audience, communicating norms, or encouraging perspective taking, second-person pronouns can encourage audiences to think of someone in their own lives. Textual analysis of songs ranked in the Billboard charts (N = 4,200), as well as controlled experiments (total N = 2,921), support this possibility, demonstrating that cultural items that use more second-person pronouns are liked and purchased more. These findings demonstrate a novel way in which second-person pronouns make meaning, how pronouns’ situated use (object case vs. subject case) may shape this meaning, and how psychological factors shape the success of narrative arts.

Packard, G., Moore, S. and McFerran, B. (2018). "(I’m) Happy to Help (You): The Impact of Personal Pronoun Use in Customer-Firm Interactions", Journal of Marketing Research, 55(4), 541-555.

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Abstract In responding to customer questions or complaints, should marketing agents linguistically “put the customer first” by using certain personal pronouns? Customer orientation theory, managerial literature, and surveys of managers, customer service representatives, and consumers suggest that firm agents should emphasize how “we” (the firm) serve “you” (the customer), while de-emphasizing “I” (the agent) in these customer–firm interactions. The authors find evidence of this language pattern in use at over 40 firms. However, they theorize and demonstrate that these personal pronoun emphases are often suboptimal. Five studies using lab experiments and field data reveal that firm agents who refer to themselves using “I” rather than “we” pronouns increase customers’ perceptions that the agent feels and acts on their behalf. In turn, these positive perceptions of empathy and agency lead to increased customer satisfaction, purchase intentions, and purchase behavior. Furthermore, the authors find that customer-referencing “you” pronouns have little impact on these outcomes and can sometimes have negative consequences. These findings enhance understanding of how, when, and why language use affects social perception and behavior and provide valuable insights for marketers.

Packard, G. and Berger J. (2017). "How Language Shapes Word of Mouth’s Impact", Journal of Marketing Research, 54(4), 572-588.

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Brivot, M., Cho, C.H. and Kuhn, J. (2015). "Marketing or Parrhesia? A Longitudinal Study of the AICPA Leaders’ Communications in Times of Public Trust, Crisis Management and Trust Repair", Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 31(1), 23-43.

Abstract This paper examines how the U.S. accounting profession, through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), sought to restore its damaged reputation and re-legitimize its claim to self-regulation after the Enron scandal. We do so by analyzing the content of AICPA leaders’ web communications to members and outsiders of the Institute between 1997 and 2010 and draw upon the concepts of logics and discourse. We argue that the marketing language surrounding the AICPA's “Vision Project” prior to Enron (1997–2001) is not durably supplanted by the language of parrhesia, celebrated during the Enron crisis management episode (2002–2004) – it reemerges after 2005, juxtaposed to parrhesia. This study contributes to increasing our understanding of the institutional complexity of the accounting professional field by suggesting that this complexity is, in part, cultivated and reproduced by AICPA leaders’ navigation between different conceptions of being an accountant. Institutional complexity can thus be viewed as a resource, rather than a constraint, which provides flexible impression management opportunities.

Graham, C. (2013). "Teaching Accounting as a Language", Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 24, 120-126.

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Abstract This paper explores how a literary turn in accounting education can provide students with the tools to comprehend financial accounting statements. It argues that a key implication of the literary turn in accounting research is that we must, in our classrooms, take seriously the idea of accounting as a language. By exploring what distinguishes accounting from other languages, not only in its grammar and structure but also in the conditions of production of accounting texts, a literary perspective on accounting can empower students to take a critical perspective on accounting, instead of being passive consumers of accounting signs.