One America Foundation Endowed Chair
Professor of Marketing
Adjunct Professor of Adolescent Medicine
Understanding why consumers choose one product over another or one procedure instead of another can help a company better tailor its services. In healthcare, those decisions can have vital consequences. Anthony (Tony) Cox was trained as a consumer researcher and became interested in healthcare consumer decision making, a research interest he shares with his faculty colleague (and wife) Dena Cox, also a professor of marketing at Kelley.
“We like studying consumer health behavior because we think it is more interesting than finding out why consumers choose one toothpaste over another,” says Cox. “When a consumer decides whether to get a cancer screening or vaccination, the stakes are high for the consumer but also for society as a whole. Like most researchers, we like to feel that what we do matters.”
The Coxes’ research examines how consumers make healthcare decisions and how they respond to information on health risks and risk-reduction products or behaviors such as vaccinations and cancer screenings. Most of this work is experimental in nature. It can involve randomly assigning consumers to different types of health-risk information and studying how their attitudes, intentions, and behaviors change based on the health information or how it was presented.