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Published Papers

Somasundaram, Pooja and Alexandra M. Burgess (2018) “The Role of Division III Sports Participation in the Relationship between Perfectionism and Disordered Eating Symptomology,” Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 12 (1), 57-74.

Working Papers

Somasundaram, Pooja, Jenny G. Olson, and Kelley Gullo Wight, “Consumers Prioritize Self-Care Less for Themselves than Others,” under review at the Journal of Marketing Research (Job Market Paper; Dissertation Essay 1)

Self-care—that is, engaging in behaviors that are intended to improve one’s well-being—is one of the fastest-growing industries in the marketplace. This growth is evident via increased Google searches, organizational wellness programs, and a proliferation of products and services. However, while self-care is often readily prioritized for others (e.g., employees, students, friends as gift recipients), do consumers similarly prioritize self-care for themselves? The current research demonstrates that consumers (mistakenly) perceive self-care as a relatively more indulgent use of their own versus others’ time, which causes them to prioritize it less for themselves. This effect is documented across one pilot study featuring secondary data and six pre-registered experiments with various self-care activities and incentive-compatible choices. We demonstrate that the differential self-care prioritization effect does not extend to other uses of time (e.g., leisure, work) and identify theoretically-relevant boundary conditions (i.e., greater self-compassion and adopting an abstract mindset). Overall, this research provides practical recommendations for marketers and employers who provide self-care offerings, as well as insights for consumers seeking to prioritize their own well-being.

Somasundaram, Pooja, Jenny G. Olson, and Elanor F. Williams, “No One Needs to Know: The Emotional Costs of Outsourcing Tasks,” manuscript in preparation for submission to the Journal of Consumer Research (Dissertation Essay 2)

Consumers are encouraged to outsource tasks to external services (e.g., dog-walkers, housecleaners, and handymen) to save time and improve their well-being. However, despite these benefits, admitting to having outsourced a task can evoke negative emotions that discourage consumers from disclosing their decision. Five pre-registered experiments demonstrate that consumers are less comfortable revealing that they have outsourced a task rather than completed it themselves. This effect is driven, in part, by increased embarrassment and is attenuated among tasks that require more skill and that have lower normative expectations of being completed independently. Additionally, while consumers are generally hesitant to engage in word-of-mouth about outsourcing services they have used, this hesitancy can be overcome by allowing consumers to share feedback anonymously.

Selected Works in Progress

"Consumer Responses to Receiving Self-Improvement Gifts" with Jenny G. Olson and Kelley Gullo Wight

"When People Enjoy Useful Things" with Elanor F. Williams

"Friendship and Busyness"

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