Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Ken DeBono

Ken DeBono

  • SPN Mentor

My general interests are in the psychology of attitudes and persuasion. In particular, I study the extent to which individual differences in self-monitoring (a personality construct) predict differences in various consumer-related behaviors. For example, I have found that some individuals (high self-monitors) are especially responsive to advertisements that stress the image one can obtain by using or possessing a product whereas other individuals (low self-monitors) are more persuaded by ads that focus on the quality of the product itself. In addition, I have found that high self-monitors tend to judge the quality of a product as a function of its image-enhancing potential (e.g. is the product attractive?), but that low self-monitors are more likely to judge quality based on the actual performance of the product.

More recently I have begun a line of research looking at the impact that natural scenery, when used as a background, has on the effectiveness of advertisements. In addition, I also have an interest in the different motivations underlying people’s religious behaviors and beliefs in a deity.

Primary Interests:

  • Applied Social Psychology
  • Attitudes and Beliefs
  • Ethics and Morality
  • Evolution and Genetics
  • Personality, Individual Differences
  • Persuasion, Social Influence
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Miarmi, L., & DeBono, K. G. (2007). The impact of distractions on heuristic processing: Internet ads and stereotype use. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 539-548.
  • DeBono, K. G. (2006). Self-monitoring and consumer psychology. Journal of Personality, 74, 715-737.
  • DeBono, K. G., Leavitt, A., & Backus, J. (2003). Product packaging and product evaluation: An individual difference approach. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 513-521.
  • DeBono, K. G., & Krim, S. (1997). Compliments and product perception: An individual difference perspective. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 27, 1359-1366.
  • DeBono, K. G., & Rubin, K. (1995). Country of origin and perceptions of product quality: An individual difference perspective. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 17, 239-247.

Other Publications:

  • DeBono, K. G. (2000). Attitude functions and consumer psychology: Understanding perceptions of product quality. In G. Maio & J. Olson (Eds.), Why we evaluate: Functions of attitudes (pp. 195-221). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Courses Taught:

  • Attitudes and Behavior
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Seminar in the Psychology of Religion
  • Social Psychology
  • Statistics

Ken DeBono
Department of Psychology
Union College, Bailey Hall
Schenectady, NY 12308
United States

  • Phone: (518) 388-6542
  • Fax: (518) 388-6177

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