Episode 153: Seeking Discomfort for Personal Growth with Kaitlin Wooley

Achieving personal growth often requires experiencing discomfort. What if instead of tolerating discomfort (e.g., feeling awkward or uncomfortable), people actively sought it out? 
To explore this pressing question, we are joined by Kaitlin Woolley. Kaitlin is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, specializing in motivation science. Leveraging insights from marketing, psychology, behavioural economics, and organizational behaviour, her research delves into three key areas within motivation: 1) understanding predictors of motivation, 2) identifying cognitive biases in goal-related decisions, and 3) understanding the social dynamics of goal pursuit. Woolley’s research examines the psychological processes that influence goal pursuit, with the ultimate goal of developing interventions to enhance consumer motivation. 

Woolley’s research is published in top journals in marketing and psychology, including Psychological Review, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and Psychological Science. She also publishes popular press articles, including in the Harvard Business Review and The Conversation. Her research is regularly covered by outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and NPR. Woolley has won several awards and honours for her research, including the Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science, the Young Scholar Award from the Marketing Science Institute, and the Early Career Award from the Society for Consumer Psychology. 

At Johnson, Woolley connects with MBA students in teaching the core marketing course and an elective on customer insights. She earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in psychology from Cornell University. Her MBA and PhD are from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

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