Prof. Jaideep Sengupta is endlessly fascinated by the workings of the human mind – and it is this fascination that forms the cornerstone of his research. In investigating consumer reactions to marketing information, Prof Sengupta addresses fundamental questions about the way we think and behave, what influences us and why, and the societal implications of the customer-marketer interaction. And while marketing is his chosen domain, his findings have far-reaching, even universal implications well beyond that domain.
To take just one example from the many different insights into human behavior that his work provides, Prof. Sengupta has shown how insidiously insincere praise can affect us. Even when we see right through the false flattery, he finds, we have a positive “gut reaction” to it that exists along with our rationale negative response to the flatterer. And Prof. Sengupta and his team also show that over time, the heart beats the mind: the positive gut reaction is what lingers – and it makes us behave much more positively towards the flatterer. There is a simple lesson here for all of us: don’t stint on the praise!
Prof. Sengupta’s work has provided ground-breaking insights into many other areas, including decision-making, gender differences, how to improve self-control in the face of temptation, why optimism can lead to poor choices, and much else. His research excellence has seen Prof. Sengupta become one of the most-highly published scholars in the leading journals of his field, a distinguished record that places him in the topmost echelons of marketing academics worldwide. His thought leadership has received international honors and recognition, including by such prestigious bodies as the Marketing Science Institute and the American Marketing Association. Prof. Sengupta is a long-standing Associate Editor of the flagship journal in his field (Journal of Consumer Research) and serves on the Editorial Board at other leading journals.
Prof. Sengupta finds the research atmosphere at HKUST just as inspiring today as when he first arrived more than 20 years ago. It is wonderful to work in a university where everyone regards research as important and “people are constantly interested in ideas”, he has noted. The passion for his subject that drives Prof. Sengupta’s scholarship cascades to his students as well – he is a highly sought-after teacher at all levels. He is a repeat winner of teaching awards, including the prestigious Best Professor award in the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA program. He has also guided other faculty members to become award-winning teachers themselves. With an inspiring record of achievement in both research and teaching, Prof. Sengupta is truly an academic role model.