Skip to main content

Amit Kumar

Assistant Professor

Department:     Marketing

Industry Areas:     Consumer Behavior

Research Areas:     Affect and Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, Hedonic and Utilitarian Consumption, Judgment and Decision Making

Amit Kumar headshot

Amit Kumar is currently an Asst. Professor of Marketing and Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining the McCombs faculty, he completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He received his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Cornell University and his A.B. in Psychology and Economics from Harvard University. Professor Kumar’s research focuses on the scientific study of happiness and has been featured in popular media outlets such as The Atlantic, Bloomberg, Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post, National Geographic, The New York Times, NPR, Oprah Daily, Scientific American, Time Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. His scholarly work has been published in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Current Opinion in Psychology, Emotion, The Journal of Consumer Psychology, The Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Psychological Science.



Professional Awards

Society of Experimental Social Psychology, Fellow  


Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar



Fellow, Society of Experimental Social Psychology



University of Texas at Austin McCombs Research Excellence Grant



University of Chicago Center for Decision Research Independent Research Grant



Society for Experimental Social Psychology Dissertation Award Finalist


Amit Kumar, and Nicholas Epley. Understanding Undersociality: Intentions, Impressions, and Interactions. Journal of Consumer Psychology. Forthcoming. 

Amit Kumar, and Nicholas Epley. Undersociability is Unwise. Journal of Consumer Psychology.  Forthcoming.

Amit Kumar, and Nicholas Epley. A Little Good Goes an Unexpectedly Long Way: Underestimating the Positive Impact of Kindness on Recipients. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.  Forthcoming.

Amit Kumar. The Unmatchable Brightness of Doing: Experiential Consumption Facilitates Greater Satisfaction Than Spending on Material Possessions. Current Opinion in Psychology, forthcoming.

Micheal Kardas, Amit Kumar, and Nicholas Epley. 2022. Overly Shallow: Miscalibrated Expectations Create a Barrier to Deeper Conversation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 122(3), 367-398.


Amit Kumar. 2022. Some Things Aren't Better Left Unsaid: Interpersonal Barriers to Gratitude Expression and Prosocial Engagement. Current Opinion in Psychology 43, 156-160. 

Amit Kumar and Nicholas Epley. 2021. It's Surprisingly Nice to Hear You: Misunderstanding the Impact of Communication Media Can Lead to Suboptimal Choices of How to Connect with Others. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 150(3), 595-607.


Amit Kumar and Nicholas Epley. 2020. Research: Type Less, Talk More. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles Oct. 5.


Amit Kumar, Matthew A. Killingsworth, and Thomas Gilovich. 2020. Spending on Doing Promotes More Moment-to-Moment Happiness Than Spending on Having. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 88, 103971.


Nicholas Epley and Amit Kumar. 2019. How to Design an Ethical Organization. Harvard Business Review 97(3), 144-150.


Amit Kumar and N. Epley. 2018. Undervaluing Gratitude: Expressers Misunderstand the Consequences of Showing Appreciation. Psychological Science 29(9), 1423-1435.


J. Walker, Amit Kumar, and T. Gilovich. 2016. Cultivating Gratitude and Giving Through Experiential Consumption. Emotion 16(8), 1126-1136.


Amit Kumar and T. Gilovich. 2016. To Do or To Have, Now or Later? The Preferred Consumption Profiles of Material and Experiential Purchases. Journal of Consumer Psychology 26(@), 169-178.


T. Gilovich, Amit Kumar, and L. Jampol. 2015. A Wonderful Life: Experiential Consumption and the Pursuit of Happiness. Journal of Consumer Psychology 25(1), 152-165.


Amit Kumar and T. Gilovich. 2015. Some "Thing" to Talk About? Differential Story Utility from Experiential and Material Purchases. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 41(1), 1320-1331.


T. Gilovich, Amit Kumar, and L. Jampol. 2015. The Beach, The Bikini, and the Best Buy: Replies to Dunn and Weidman, and to Schmitt, Brakus, and Zarantonello. Journal of Consumer Psychology 25(1), 179-184.


T. Gilovich and Amit Kumar. 2015. We'll Always Have Paris: The Hedonic Payoff from Experiential and Material Investments, in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 51, M. Zanna and J. Olson, eds. New York, NY: Elsevier, 147-187.


Amit Kumar, M. A. Killingsworth, and T. Gilovich. 2014. Waiting for Merlot: Anticipatory Consumption of Experiential and Material Purchases. Psychological Science 25(10), 1924-1931.