We know that the effects of our spending choices often last beyond the place or moment of a purchase. Sometimes those effects are beneficial, leading to enjoyment, happy
memories, or feelings of belongingness. At other times those effects may be financially or emotionally detrimental. We developed Beyond The Purchase to explore happiness
and the quality of life, and the outcomes of different purchasing and money-management choices, as well as the motivations behind them.
With these insights, we can better understand the ways in which our financial decisions affect well-being. Also, our goal was to create a site that would be useful and interesting
to users, particularly consumers who are interested in how their purchasing
styles impact their well-being.
Ryan T. Howell, Ph.D., co-founder, is assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University.
His Personality & Well-being Lab aims to better understand the role of finances and consumption in people's happiness and subjective well-being, as well as the concept of happiness and quality of life in general.
Penny Bhathal, content manager, is a first-year graduate student at San Francisco State University. As a member of the Personality & Well-being Lab, her interests lie in better understanding subjective well-being and spending motivations.
Grant Donnelly, content manager, is a master's candidate at San Francisco State University. As a member of the Personality & Well-being Lab, he studies how individual money management influences financial and purchasing outcomes. He also serves as the treasurer for Beyond the Purchase.
Masha Ksendzova, content manager, is an undergraduate student at San Francisco State University. As a member of the Personality & Well-being Lab, she is interested in materialism, maladaptive consumption, self-regulation, and mortality salience.
Graham Hill, community manager, is a graduate student in the Personality & Well-being Lab, at San Francisco State University. His research interests include consumer decision making and the application of consumer psychology to marketing practice.
Claudio Yerahian, User Experience Research Analyst, is a graduate student in the Personality & Well-being Lab, at San Francisco State University. His research interests include design and conduct user research via qualitative and quantitative methods to understand consumer decision making and behaviors with a primary focus to Latino and LGBT populations.
Lea M. Lunden, content manager, is an undergraduate student at San Francisco State University. In the Fall, she will continue her studies at SF State as a graduate student in the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Master's Program. As a member of the Personality & Well-being Lab, her research interests include the effects of social exclusion on purchasing preferences and behavior, well-being & happiness, the victim blaming process, and the effects of emotions on perceptions and behavior.
Curtis Sheldon, User Experience Researcher, is a graduate student in the Personality & Well-being Lab, at San Francisco State University. His research interests include human cognition, decision making, and social interaction. At Beyond the Purchase, he works to better
understand and optimize the user experience.
Other Team Members:
Tom Bowerman, co-founder, is project director at PolicyInteractive, which works to measure and analyze public opinion regarding environmental topics to shape policy.
Colleen Howell, Ph.D., content strategist, is an interdisciplinary research consultant focused on advancing individual and societal well being in tandem with environmental sustainability.
Kerry Cunningham, community manager, is a master's candidate at San Francisco State University. Kerry's primary interest is exploring how our evolutionary past informs our economic and moral attitudes and behavior.
PolicyInteractive Research, of Eugene, Oregon, is a
nonpartisan interdisciplinary research institute that focuses on issues concerning climate, consumption, and public opinion.
their website for more information. PolicyInteractive was instrumental in founding BeyondThePurchase and provided
the initial startup funds covering programming, hosting, and sponsoring graduate student research on
The John Templeton Foundation serves as a philanthropic catalyst
for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.
It supports research on subjects ranging from complexity, evolution,
and infinity to creativity, forgiveness, love, and free will. They encourage civil,
informed dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians and between
such experts and the public at large, for the purposes of definitional
clarity and new insights.
Interested in sponsoring BeyondThePurchase? Your organization's support could help thousands of
people think more deeply about their consumption habits, help us train the next generation of consumer
psychology researchers, and also help us continue to do research to
understand the relationship between money and happiness. We are also happy to
do custom research for your organization, leveraging our acadmemic expertise.
Learn more about sponsorship opportunities.