April 2, 2014

Undergraduate student earns top finish at research forum

As a marketing major at Fisher, Nora Murer is familiar with consumer behavior among those her age. But what Murer wasn’t so sure about was how individual differences among college students affected their spending and saving habits.

So Murer sought to find out. More than six months after launching a research project into the subject, Murer, a senior, had her answer -- and a top finish at the Denman Undergraduate Research Forum at The Ohio State University.

“It was a great experience,” said Murer, whose project was best in the business, education and speech and hearing science category. “The project really helped me understand even more marketing principles. I really like consumer behavior fields, and this project helped me learn a lot about that topic.”

Shashi Matta and Nora Murer

Working with Shashi Matta, her thesis advisor and marketing faculty member at Fisher, Murer found that self-esteem and propensity for social comparison (comparing oneself financially to peers) are linked to spending and saving habits. For example, those with high self-esteem and a low propensity to compare themselves to their peers financially reported the healthiest balance between spending and saving habits. On the other hand, those with high self-esteem and a high propensity to compare themselves to their peers financially reported the least healthy balance.

Murer, a member of Ohio State’s field hockey team and the Swiss National Team, will graduate in May and plans to attend graduate business school in her native Switzerland.

Said Matta, “Nora embodies the essence of being a Fisher undergraduate student by going beyond. She is a successful student athlete who has played for her university and her country, an excellent student and a strong researcher. Her thesis examines an important business and policy issue -- understanding what affects college students' spending and saving behavior, and how to encourage healthy monetary habits.”

Also at the Denman forum, Fisher student Han Cao received honorable mention recognition for the research project “The Effectiveness of Price Limits Imposed on Stock Markets in Mainland China.” Kewei Hou, associate professor of finance, served as Cao’s faculty advisor.

Cao’s project concluded that the effectiveness of price limits on markets varied greatly depending on the type of stock being traded.

“It was a great experience,” Cao said. “I’ve been working on this project for two semesters, and it really taught me how to take my findings and communicate them visually and explain them to others in the business field.”

Additional Fisher student presenters and their faculty advisors included:

  • King Fung Chan -- “Caffeine: Behavioral Impacts in Memory, Attention, and Social Dynamics”; advisor Rao Unnava, associate dean for executive programs and the W. Arthur Cullman Professor in Marketing
  • Zebin Chen -- “Developing a New Weather-Based Insurance: Coffee Frost Insurance”; advisor Fousseni Chabi-Yo, assistant professor of finance
  • Alexander Winton -- “The Development of Trust in Supplier-Automaker Relationships in the U.S., Japan, and Korea”; advisor Thomas Goldsby, professor of logistics
  • Xinhe He -- “What Makes Healthcare So Expensive-A Discussion About the Future of Healthcare Reform”; advisor Ranajoy Ray-Chaudhuri, lecturer in economics