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Faculty Profile: Anthony (Tony) Salerno

Sep 27, 2021
New Associate Professor of Marketing studies the impact of consumer goals and emotions on decision making

By Lacie Blankenship

This fall, Vanderbilt Business welcomed Anthony (Tony) Salerno, Associate Professor of Marketing, as one of 6 new additions to the faculty this academic year.

Anthony Salerno

Anthony Salerno

Within the field of marketing, Salerno’s research interests revolve around consumer psychology. Specifically, his research looks at how emotions and goals influence decision making and the implications those decisions have for self-control. Salerno also investigates consumer responses to feelings associated with resource scarcity and how environments impact consumer decision making.

“I ask questions like ‘do our feelings as consumers make us more likely to have a salad or chocolate cake… or do they make me more likely to save my money or spend it frivolously,” says Salerno.  

His research has shown that different environmental cues influence not only the way we feel as consumers, but the very motivations we may hold at any given moment of time. Some of his past studies have explored when sadness decreases the desire to consume indulgent foods, when envy can actually motivate us towards self-improvement, and how scarce foods are perceived as having more calories. 

This year, Salerno teaches Quantitative Methods for Marking Decision Making in the daytime MBA and Master of Marketing programs and Directed Study II: Filling the Marketing Toolbox in the Master of Marketing program. 

He aims to create a classroom environment where students are willing to share and contribute to the conversations. “My approach to teaching is more like a dialogue than a one-sided conversation,” he says. “Students don’t always realize that they often have valuable work or life experiences that can augment whatever we talk about in lectures.” 

Prior to Vanderbilt, Salerno worked at the University of Cincinnati for 7 years, first as an Assistant Professor and later as an Associate Professor of Marketing. He primarily taught advertising management and led study abroad programs in France and Belgium.

Anthony Salerno completed his doctorate and undergraduate degrees at the University of Miami, graduating with his Ph.D. in Marketing in 2014 and undergraduate degrees in public relations and psychology in 2009. He became interested in advertising and marketing after realizing the research perspective can have implications for consumer wellbeing. 

At the University of Cincinnati, Salerno studied alongside Briana Escoe, another new Vanderbilt Business faculty member with similar research interests, and is looking forward to continuing collaborative work habits with other Vanderbilt Business faculty members and students. 

“The faculty and students at Owen are world class; this is an extremely exciting time to be joining Owen and Vanderbilt more broadly, and I look forward to engaging with this great community,” says Salerno.  

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