Journal of Consumer Research

JCR publishes papers of the highest quality on topics in consumer research. Editors: Bernd Schmitt, June Cotte, Markus Giesler, Andrew Stephen, and Stacy Wood.

The Hidden Cost of Gaining Expertise

Expertise is great, right? Ironically, Matthew Rocklage and his colleagues find that the more expertise we gain in a given area, the more “emotionally numb” we can become. Gaining knowledge about a passion-driven pursuit can, in fact, diminish the emotional component of our passion for it. They recently spoke with Fast Company about their recent work in JCR, which was conducted across more than 700,000 consumers and 6 million observations, and showed that developing expertise in a hedonic domain predicts consumers becoming more emotionally numb—that is, having less intense emotion in response to their experiences.

Read Derek Rucker’s and Loran F Nordgren’s Fast Company discussion of their JCR work here:

Read the full paper:

Journal of Consumer Research, ucab015,
Published: 15 March 2021


June Cotte

June is a Professor of Marketing at the Ivey Business School and a member of the JCR editorial team.

June Cotte has 10 posts and counting. See all posts by June Cotte