Jesse Itzkowitz earned PhDs in marketing and cognitive psychology from the University of Florida before joining Yeshiva University’s Syms School of Business in Fall 2009. His research intertwines these two disciplines and examines how consumers’ cognitive processes affect managerial strategies related to product positioning and branding. He was selected by the faculty of the University of Florida to represent the marketing department as the 2008 American Marketing Association-Sheth Consortium Fellow. Professor Itzkowitz has also presented at several conferences and has published collaborative works in the “Journal of Behavioral Decision Making” and “The Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making.” His teaching interests include: principles of marketing, brand management, marketing management, and consumer behavior.

1. What did you do before you joined YU as a faculty member?
Before coming to the Syms School of Business, I was a graduate student at the University of Florida, where I completed PhDs in cognitive psychology and marketing.

2. What is your favorite aspect of your job at YU?
The students are the best part of my job. The small class size at YU allows me ample opportunity to learn about them over the course of the semester. They are smart, attentive, keep me on my toes and never fail to make me smile.

3. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
If I could attempt another profession, I would be a butcher. My grandfather was a butcher and I grew up around meat and meat-centered stories. I love the idea of being part of the community, getting to work with my hands, and the entrepreneurial challenge [of owning a small business].

4. What is your goal as a psychologist, and what is your goal as a teacher ?
As a consumer psychologist, my goal is to better understand how individuals behave. Every day, we make thousands of micro-decisions, often with no conscious effort. My research investigates how seemingly trivial factors, like the location of a product on a shelf, effects consumers’ judgments about product quality, product price, and even how many celebrities use the product.

5. What would your current and former YU students be surprised to learn about you?
I once spent a month sleeping in the woods while hiking over 200 miles of the Appalachian Trail through Vermont and Massachusetts.


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