Welcome to ACR 2019

Know Before You Go

2019 Conference Co-chairs:
Rajesh Bagchi 
Virginia Tech
Lauren Block
Baruch College
Leonard Lee
National University of Singapore

Conference Submission Website:
Conference Email: 


The United States lowers its voting age to 18. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty goes into effect. Pan Am makes the world’s first jumbo-jet commercial flight. Approximately 120 people attend the first meeting of the Association for Consumer Research (ACR) in Amherst Massachusetts. Association dues are $10; $5 for students. Letters are sent, along with return postage fees, to M. Venkatesan, UMass Amherst, to obtain Xeroxed copies of emergent publications. The year is 1970. 

This conference marks ACR’s Golden Anniversary—fifty years of an interdisciplinary, cross-method, international association of scholars building knowledge on all aspects of consumers’ thoughts, decisions and behaviors. In other words, Becoming Wise. What is wisdom? Yes, it is an acknowledgment of our past: our accumulated base of scientific learning, our pot of generally accepted beliefs, and the written and oral transmissions of our teachers and mentors. But it is more than that. It is our present, our now. It is our ability to discern what is true and right, and to couple that with what is just. To be wise is to make good judgments and to behave with sagacity. To that end, we are always Becoming Wise. 

ACR 2019 is a celebration of 50 years of Becoming Wise. With this Golden Anniversary conference, we honor what is wise in both our accumulated wisdom and our fledgling research. This means that this 2019 Golden Anniversary Conference is perhaps unique from conferences past in that we actively encourage the submission of conceptual review papers and sessions that, in addition to adding novel insights, also highlight the aggregate wisdom in the relevant domain. We believe it is time to take stock of what we know, to organize, synthesize, and re-evaluate. We also actively encourage novel empirical and theoretical papers that embody the spirit of Becoming Wise. To us, this means that researchers do not have to have all the answers or hypothesize a straightforward solution to what is undoubtedly a complex phenomenon. Rather, there is wisdom, and thus truth and justice, in discovering a meaningful, but incomplete piece of a complex problem and acknowledging it as so. There arise truths from studying under-heard segments of the population (e.g., the poor, children, immigrants, migrants) and justice in helping these consumers’ voices to be heard and understood. Thus, in addition to the high quality topic-oriented submissions we have come to expect, we welcome submissions that speak specifically to the art of Becoming Wise. These topics include, but are not limited to:

Understanding Wisdom: What makes theories withstand the test of time?
  • Conceptual papers that review key theoretical developments and propose extensions can help us not only document our collective wisdom, but may also help us understand how to build theories. 
  • Wisdom needs to be transmitted from communicator to listener, or author to reader. Storytelling is one way to accomplish this. We welcome submissions on the use of story, story consumption, and the art of storytelling in consumer research.
  • Wisdom is also transmitted from generation to generation orally. We encourage film submissions that capture the oral history tradition of subcultures and under-represented populations.
Expanding Wisdom: Using well-established theories to solve new problems. We include some examples below: 
  • How does decision-making of under-heard of or under-represented segments vary from the consumer segments that we typically study?
  • How do consumers who have limited resources (e.g., time, money, food) make decisions?
  • How do theories of adoption apply to new technology products?
Creating new wisdom: New theories that are likely to withstand the test of time.
  • How do consumers make decisions in the age of new technology? For example, how do consumers process information generated from AI (artificial intelligence) devices?
  • Consumers now spend inordinate amounts of time on social media. How might this trend influence the sources of information they rely on to make decisions, and more fundamentally, how they think about themselves and the world around them?
  • Consumers are also exposed to 24-hour news cycles. This may make certain identities (e.g., political beliefs) more salient. How do these belief systems affect decision-making? 
  • What are some of the heuristics and biases that consumers use in this age of information overload?
See you on the Flip Side,

Rajesh Bagchi, Lauren Block & Leonard Lee

ACR Commitment to Conference Safety and Inclusiveness

ACR reminds our members, participants, and stakeholders: Our conferences are convened for the purposes of sharing research, developing knowledge, and promoting career development for all. The harassment of others, especially those where an asymmetry of power exists (such as junior colleagues, doctoral students, or conference staff), undermines the principles of scholarship at the heart of our activities and is inconsistent with our ideals. Consequently, harassment is considered by ACR to be a serious form of professional misconduct.

The following policy statement outlines expectations for all those who attend or participate in ACR conferences. These are existing norms and standards that reflect our shared goals of mutual respect in knowledge creation within a diverse community.

All participants at ACR conferences are expected to: 
  • Follow the norms of professional respect that are necessary to promote the conditions for free academic interchange.
  • Be proactive to speak up to stop harassment of others, if witnessed.
  • Alert conference personnel if you see an occurrence of harassment, especially where asymmetries of power exist (e.g., where the harassed participant is not in an easy position to protect themselves).
Unacceptable Behavior
Behaviors considered unacceptable can include a single intense and severe act or multiple persistent or pervasive acts that are demeaning, abusive, offensive, or create a hostile professional or workplace environment. Harassment may include unwanted sexual solicitation, physical advance, or verbal or non-verbal conduct that is sexual in nature; it may also include threatening, intimidating, or hostile acts; circulation of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility toward an individual or group; epithets, slurs, or negative stereotyping based on group identity.

Attendees are encouraged to immediately report instances of harassment during the conference to the ACR Executive Director, Rajiv Vaidyanathan (rvaidyan@d.umn.edu; (218-393-9626) and to the conference co-chairs of the current event, either in person or by leaving a message for them at the Registration Desk. 

ACR may take any action to address those who violate our principles. Penalties may include verbal warning, ejection from the meeting without refund or other measures ACR deems appropriate. Retaliation for complaints of inappropriate conduct will not be tolerated. Notifying the ACR does not constitute or replace a notification to local law enforcement and all violations of the law should be reported to local law enforcement.