John G. Lynch, Jr.
Distinguished Professor
Marketing • Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making

Koelbel - 401R


John G. Lynch, Jr. is University of Colorado Distinguished Professor at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado-Boulder.

From 2022-2023, he will serve as Executive Director of the Marketing Science Institute, a nonprofit think tank that bridges leaders in industry and academia to advance the science of marketing.
Lynch received his BA in economics, his MA in psychology, and his Ph.D. in psychology, all from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a member of the faculty at University of Florida from 1979-1996, where he was Graduate Research Professor. From 1996-2009 he was the Roy J. Bostock Professor of Marketing at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

Lynch is a Fellow of the American Marketing Association, the Association for Consumer Research, the American Psychological Association/Society for Consumer Psychology and one of five Fellows of all three organizations worldwide. He has been a recipient of the Paul D. Converse Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Marketing and the Society for Consumer Psychology's Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award. Six of his papers have been honored as outstanding article of the year: he has been recognized once each by the Journal of Marketing Research and by the Journal of Marketing, and four times by the Journal of Consumer Research for papers written in 1988, 1991, 2010, and 2015. He has served as president of the Policy Board of the Journal of Consumer Research, president of the Association for Consumer Research, associate editor for the Journal of Consumer Research, and associate editor and co-editor for the Journal of Consumer Psychology. He was the founding Director of the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making and founding co-chair of the Boulder Summer Conference on Consumer Financial Decision Making. He served on the Academic Research Council of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from 2017-2020.


Lynch studies the cognitive psychology of consumer decision-making, with a focus on consumer financial decision-making since coming to University of Colorado.  In addition to studying consumer decision-making, about a quarter of Lynch's work concerns validity issues in research methodology.

His early work at University of Florida focused on consumer decision making, illuminating the psychology that determines what brands or alternatives are considered and what characteristics of those alternatives are used to choose from the consideration set. His work at Duke on internet marketing created a conceptual roadmap for research in this field about why consumers, retailers, and manufacturers would choose internet channels versus selling by brick-and-mortar retailing. That work predicted many facets of how internet retailing evolved over the next twenty years and contradicted prevailing wisdom about whether internet shopping would lead to disintermediation of retailers and to greatly intensified price competition.

Lynch came to CU in 2009 in the wake of the mortgage crisis that adversely affected so many citizens. Together with his Leeds School colleagues, he founded the Center for Research on Consumer Financial Decision Making to bring social science to bear on understanding how people save, invest, budget, and take on debt.

Lynch’s work at CU has focused on consumer financial decision making, intertemporal choice, and planning for use of money and time, including: Lynch, Netemeyer, Spiller, and Zammit’s (2010 Journal of Consumer Research) generalizable scale of “propensity to plan”; Fernbach, Kan and Lynch’s (2015 Journal of Consumer Research) analysis of prioritization and planning for efficiency in the face of resource constraint;  Jhang and Lynch’s (2015 Journal of Consumer Research) analysis of why consumers feel more busy now than in the future when they are close to completing even inconsequential goals; and Berman, Tran, Lynch, and Zauberman’s (2016 Journal of Marketing Research) analysis of why consumers underweight changes in their expenses over time in projections of future spare money.  Lynch's work in consumer financial decision making includes Fernandes, Lynch, and Netemeyer’s (2014 Management Science) meta-analysis of the (small and short-lived) effects of financial education on downstream financial behavior, Netemeyer, Warmath, Fernandes, and Lynch’s (2018 Journal of Consumer Research) analysis of the effects of financial well-being on overall well-being, Ward and Lynch’s (2019 Journal of Consumer Research) analysis of how couples divide up financial responsibility, affecting which partner develops financial literacy over time and which does not, Wang, Zhai, and Lynch’s (2023 Marketing Science) analysis of how employees jeopardize their retirement security by cashing out 401(k) savings when they change jobs.


Lynch has taught an MBA elective on the use of market intelligence in business decision making as well as undergraduate Marketing Research and capstone Senior Seminar in Marketing for marketing majors, Principles of Marketing & Management for the undergraduates in the business minor program, and a Ph.D. course on designing experiments in the social sciences. He received the Leeds MBA (Elective) Teaching Excellence Award in 2011 and 2013 and has received teaching awards at Duke and University of Florida. He has supervised or co-supervised 99 PhD dissertations over his career and his former students are on the faculties of the world's leading business schools.


  • Paul D. Converse Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Marketing
  • Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award, Society for Consumer Psychology
  • Fellow, Association for Consumer Research
  • Simonson Mentorship Award, Association for Consumer Research
  • Fellow, American Marketing Association
  • Fellow, American Psychological Association
  • Fellow, Society for Consumer Psychology
  • William O'Dell Award for outstanding article in 1985 Journal of Marketing Research
  • JCR Award for best article of the year in Journal of Consumer Research (four times 1988, 1991, 2010, 2015).
  • Marketing Science Institute/Paul Root Award for greatest contribution to practice of marketing in 1997 Journal of Marketing
  • American Marketing Association Louis Stern Award for Outstanding 1997-2002 Article on Marketing Channels and Distribution
  • Marketing Science Institute 2001 Robert D. Buzzell MSI Best Paper Award
  • Marketing Science Institute 2009 Robert D. Buzzell MSI Best Paper Award
  • “Teacher of the Year Award,” College of Business Administration, University of Florida (1992)
  • Honorable Mention, Daimler-Chrysler MBA Elective Teacher of the Year, Duke University (2001 & 2002)
  • Bank of America Outstanding Faculty Award, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University (2000)
  • MBA Teaching Excellence Award (Elective Teacher of the Year), Leeds School of Business (2011, 2013)

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the Editorial Boards:
    • Journal of Consumer Research
    • Journal of Marketing


  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Illinois
  • M.A., Psychology, University of Illinois
  • B.A., Economics, University of Illinois