IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Inside CU's faculty profile series
Our faculty are a source of great pride and bring a world of expertise, experimentation and excellence to our students and our community. Meet Lawrence Williams, assistant professor of marketing, Leeds School of Business.
What drew you to your field of expertise, and keeps you passionate about your work?
As a Harvard undergraduate, I took a course on the nature of consciousness and free will, and became fascinated with research showing that mental processes of which we are not consciously aware can have a large, strong effect on our behavior. Since then, I’ve dedicated my professional life to understanding how these unconscious thoughts influence people’s everyday judgments and decisions in terms of our emotional experiences, our social interactions, and how we choose to entertain ourselves. Conducting research, sharing recent insights with students and colleagues, and learning about the work being done worldwide by great researchers exploring the nature of the unconscious keeps me passionate about what I do.
What do you most enjoy and what is the most challenging aspect of your profession?
Student interaction provides me with a great deal of enjoyment, especially when our discussions revolve around surprising, counterintuitive research findings. In my Buyer Behavior class, we discussed a recent finding suggesting that it is better to use unconscious thought to make complex decisions, which led to an engaging class-wide debate. As a teacher, I really love it when my students ask me the tough questions, and often it can be a challenge to answer them.
What are your favorite interests and activities apart from your work?
I enjoy spending time with my wife, friends and family. You can sometimes find me biking along the Boulder Creek path, or driving along winding mountain roads for fun. My wife and I really enjoy watching Buff football games at Folsom Field, and keeping up on college sports more generally. I am also an avid video game player, and play more often than I probably should!
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