Dr. Selcan Kara Presents As Part Of UMass Dartmouth’s Women’s History Month Event Series

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Arts & Entertainment Editor: Kamryn Kobel

Email: kkobel@umassd.edu

On Wednesday, March 22nd, UMass Dartmouth’s Associate Professor of Management and Marketing, Dr. Selcan Kara, gave a presentation about her research on branding strategies.

Dr. Kara spoke as a part of UMass Dartmouth’s Women History Month Faculty Speaker Series, which includes presentations from women faculty of the UMass D faculty. 

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The presentation took place in the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CWGS), located in the Campus Center. 

The Assistant Director of CWGS, Dr. Ashley Ruderman-Looff, introduced Dr. Kara. 

Dr. Ruderman-Loof explained that although it is Women’s History Month, they wanted to highlight the current achievements of women, not just the history. 

Her presentation, titled “Consumer Reactions to Branding Strategies: Relational and Cognitive Perspectives,” gave an interesting insight into the psychology behind brand-consumer relationships. 

Dr. Kara is originally from Turkey, and got her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering there. 

While working in the field, she got interested in data reports and analysis, but her experiences also ignited an interest in marketing, too. However, she noticed that there was a lack of theoretical grounding within the field of research– a gap that she would soon help to fill. 

She then moved to the United States and got her Ph.D. in Marketing at the University of Connecticut. 

She said that the shift from living in Turkey to living in Connecticut was jarring, as she was used to a bustling and lively atmosphere. UConn’s small quaintness was a stark contrast. 

However, she encouraged the attendees to remember the virtue of perseverance, as her own perseverance is what helped her through surviving the rigorous Ph.D. program. 

According to the UMass Dartmouth directory, “Dr. Kara’s research broadly explores consumer behavior towards branding on two aspects, cognitive and relational.” 

The cognitive aspect of her research deals with alphanumeric brand names. When something is alphanumeric, it includes both numbers and letters. The examples that Dr. Kara gave were brands such as 7-Eleven and the Audi A8

In her study, she looked at the different perceptions of numbers and letters within product advancements. She studied what is called numeric heuristics, meaning the shortcuts that our brains take when we create understandings of the meanings and implications of numbers. 

During her research, she investigated how effective numbers and letters were at conveying product superiority and advancement. 

Her research has been published in many places, and you can find the articles on the Claire T. Carney website – give them a read! She has seven peer-reviewed articles in total. 

The other aspect of Dr. Kara’s research pertains to “interpersonal relationships and brand relationships, and suggestive brand names and self-concept.” 

On this topic, she investigated brands that people use often with their spouses and how their marital relationships impact their relationships with these brands. 

Again, you can read her articles and learn more about her research on the library website. Some articles include “We share, we connect: how shared brand consumption influences relational brand connections,” published in Psychology and Marketing, which pertains to the relational aspect of her research. 

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Dr. Kara’s research has a lot to do with psychology, as she researches the cognitive and relational aspects of branding and marketing. 

When asked if she took a lot of psychology classes in school, she said that she did and that she utilizes the concepts and research methods that she learned in those psychology classes often. 

Dr. Kara’s research is an interesting juncture between marketing and psychology!

Women’s History Month isn’t over yet! There are four more events left in the series that you can attend. 

On Wednesday, March 29th, Dr. Jamie Cantrell will be presenting “Queer Affect & the Archives” at CWGS from 12-1 PM. 

Then, from 6-9 PM, CWGS will also be hosting a Masquerade mask-making workshop. 

On Thursday the 30th, there will be a screening of Aftershock as well as a discussion, which will be held in the Charlton College of Business room 149 from 5-7:30 PM. 

To finish the month off, there will be a Trans Day of Visibility film screening at 6:30 PM in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, room 153. 

The faculty that presented earlier this month included Grace Holleran with “Exploring Portuguese and Brazilian Lesbian Zines” and Dr. Jenny Howe with “Gender/Genre: Why the Romance Novel is Not ‘Just For Women.’” 

Check out our article here on Dr. Howe’s presentation.

Don’t miss out on the final events of the month, and remember to tune in to this wonderful series of presentations next March!


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