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Ph.D. Student


Research Areas:



I am a doctoral candidate in Marketing. I hold B.A.s from Ewha Womans University in psychology and philosophy, and an M.A. from Korea University in social psychology.

The primary focus of my research is on the role of psychological closure as it relates to perceptual, cognitive, and motivational factors in consumer experiences. I define psychological closure as the mental categorization process that identifies a given event, e.g., a negative consumer experience, as a part of the past (vs. present). In lay terms, having closure means putting something behind and “moving on.”

While prior literature focuses on the role of closure in reducing negative emotions associated with traumatic experiences, the way closure affects common consumer-related experiences beyond emotion is largely unknown. My dissertation (chair: Dr. Andrew D. Gershoff) examines the role of psychological closure in consumers’ psychological distance perceptions (essay 1), subjective knowledge estimates (essay 2), and consumption patterns (essay 3). Methodologically, I use carefully designed experiments to test theoretically grounded causal mechanisms. In each essay, I verify the robustness of my findings across various consumer-related contexts using multiple closure induction methods.

My work on this topic falls under a broader theme of my research interest in consumers’ perception of meaning and sense-making. I am generally interested in exploring how consumers construe personal experiences or world events in a way that gives them meaning and a heightened sense of understanding.

Through this work, my ultimate goal as a consumer behavior scientist is to significantly improve the field’s understanding about factors that aid consumers to detect and extract information that is meaningful to them, and how the extracted meanings influence the way consumers think, feel, and behave.


Namkoong, Jae-Eun, and Andrew D. Gershoff “Moving on and Away: The Role of Psychological Closure in the Experience of Psychological Distance,” (Dissertation 1st Essay). Under revision for 2nd round review at the Journal of Consumer Research

Namkoong, Jae-Eun, and Andrew D. Gershoff “It's a Wrap! The Impact of Psychological Closure on Summary Representation and Subjective Knowledge,” (Dissertation 2nd Essay). Under review at the Journal of Consumer Research

Namkoong, Jae-Eun, and Marlone D. Henderson “It’s Simple and I Know It! Abstract Construals Reduce Causal Uncertainty,” (forthcoming) Social Psychological and Personality Science

Namkoong, Jae-Eun, and Marlone D. Henderson, “Looking for Answers in the Forest Rather than the Trees: Causal Uncertainty Increases Attraction to Abstraction” Manuscript complete and to be submitted to the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Namkoong, Jae-Eun, Andrew D. Gershoff, and Jerry J. Han “When Bad Things happen to Bad Firms: How Perceptions of Supernatural Punishment Reduce Negative Evaluations” Studies completed – manuscript in preparation. Target: Journal of Consumer Research


Taekyun Hur, N. J. Roese, and Jae Eun Namkoong. 2009. Regrets in the East and West: The role of intrapersonal versus interpersonal norms. Asian Journal of Social Psychology 12(2), 151-56.
Jae Eun Namkoong and Taekyun Hur. 2009. What do Koreans college students regret most… and why? The role of opportunity in counterfactual thinking. Korean Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 23(1), 181-194.
Taekyun Hur, Jae Eun Namkoong, and Wei Zhang. 2008. Explaining the Education Panic of Korea: A product of han, regret or learning effect? Korean Journal of Psychological and Social Issues 14 (1), 47-62.
Jae Eun Namkoong and Marlone D. Henderson. It’s Simple and I Know It! Abstract Construals Reduce Causal Uncertainty (Conditionally accepted). Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Professional Awards

Bonham Research Fund Scholarship, University of Texas at Austin2010
AMA Sheth Foundation Doctoral Consortium Fellow, Univeristy of Michigan2013
Preemptive Scholarship, University of Texas at Austin2008
Casino Industry Research Assistant Grant, Kangwon Land2008
Brain Korea 21 Research Assistant Fellowship, Korean Ministry of Education & Human Resources2006
Outstanding Student Scholarship, Korea University2007
Dean's List, Ewha Womans University2003

Page last updated: 7/24/2014