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Dr. Donald R. Gaffney (Ryan) is a Researcher at the Owen Graduate School of Management. Ryan specializes in consumer inference and attributions of uncertainty. Through a social information processing lens, Ryan's research investigates behavior in times and types of uncertainty. Misinformation, public health, and consumer well-being are just a few domains in which Ryan conducts his research. Within these areas, Ryan often seeks to understand the role limited information has on decision-making and inference.
Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management
Instructor, 2023 - present
Senior Researcher, 2022 - present
Postdoctoral Scholar, 2021 - 2022



University of Cincinnati
Ph.D., 2017-2021, Marketing | Concentration: Information Processing
M.Sc., 2016-2017, Marketing | Concentration: Consumer Psychology
B.B.A., 2013-2016, Majors: International Business, Marketing

Hernandez, José Mauro C., Murilo Carrazedo, Donald R. Gaffney, and Frank R. Kardes (2023), “The Benefits of Deciding Now and Not Later: The Influence of the Timing Between Acquiring Knowledge and Deciding on Decision Confidence, Omission Neglect Bias, and Choice Deferral” Judgment and Decision Making.

Posavac, Steve S., Heidi D. Posavac, Donald R. Gaffney & Frank R. Kardes, (2022), "Toward A Clinical Consumer Psychology," Frontiers in Psychology.

Kardes, Frank R., Steve S. Posavac, & Donald R. Gaffney (2022), “Omission Neglect and Judgment and Inference Based on Limited Evidence,” In L. R. Kahle, T. M. Lowrey & J. Huber (Eds.), Handbook of Consumer Psychology. Routledge.

Posavac, Steve S., Frank R. Kardes, Heidi D. Posavac & Donald R. Gaffney, (2022), “The Utility of Clinical Psychology Concepts for Judgment and Decision Making Research: The Case of Histrionic Features,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Kellaris, James J., Karen A. Machleit & Donald R. Gaffney (2020), “Sign Evaluation and Compliance Under Mortality Salience: Lessons from a Pandemic,” Interdisciplinary Journal of Signage and Wayfinding, 4 (2), 51-66. 


In the Works

Gaffney, Donald R., Joshua J. Clarkson & Frank R. Kardes (under review). Cognitive Motivations of Ideological Extremity. Science.

Gaffney, Donald R.
, Bryan M. Buechner, Emma Sittenauer, Y. David Wu, Catherine Touchton, Susan Powell Mantel & Frank R. Kardes (preparing for submission). A Gricean Theory of Algorithm (AI) Aversion. Targeting the Journal of Consumer Psychology.

Posavac, Steve S., Donald R. Gaffney & Frank R. Kardes (under review). On the Ubiquity of the Brand Positivity Effect: Is Impulsivity a Moderator of Overly Favorable Judgments of Focal Options? Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

*Gaffney, Donald R.
, Bryan M. Buechner & Noah VanBergen (preparing for submission). The Will of the People: The Role of Subjective Uncertainty Variant on Inference and Behavior. Targeting the Journal of Consumer Research.

*Gaffney, Donald R., Frank R. Kardes & Steven S. Posavac (collecting data). Revisiting Base-rate Neglect: An Epistemic Inference Hypothesis. Targeting the Journal of Consumer Research.


full list available upon request.

*Gaffney, Donald R., Joshua J. Clarkson, and Frank R. Kardes (2023), "Is Uncertainty Avoidance a Defining Characteristic of Conservatism or Extremism?," presented at the Association for Consumer Research, Seattle, WA.

*Gaffney, Donald R., Bryan M. Buechner, and Noah VanBergen (2022), "Inference in Times and Types of Uncertainty: The Case of COVID-19 and Free Will," presented at the Association for Consumer Research, Denver, CO.

*Gaffney, Donald R., Bryan M. Buechner, and Noah VanBergen (2021), "Subjective Uncertainty and the Belief-Behavior Link for COVID-19 Countermeasure Compliance," presented at the 2021 Association for Psychological Science Virtual Convention, Virtual. 

Posavac, Steven S., Frank R. Kardes, Heidi D. Posavac, and Donald R. Gaffney (2021), "Decision Motives and Judgment Tendencies of the Histrionic Personality," presented at the Society of Personality and Social Psychology, Virtual.

Kardes, Frank R. and Donald R. Gaffney (2020), “Omission Neglect: Out of Sight, Out of Mind,” paper presented at TEDxUCincinnati, Cincinnati, OH.


*Gaffney, Donald R., Frank R. Kardes, and Robert S. Wyer Jr. (2019), "Does Feeling Ignorant Give Us More Control?" paper presented at the Annual Association for Consumer Research Conference, Atlanta, GA.

Gaffney, Donald R., Emma Neybert, Frank R. Kardes, and Robert S. Wyer (2019), “Seeing the Unseen:  The Role of Distrust in Considering Missing Information,” presented at the Annual Association for Consumer Research Conference, Atlanta, GA.

[Invited] *Gaffney, Donald R. (2019), “Uncertainty within Self: The Impact of Subjective Uncertainty in Marketing,” paper presented at the University of Cincinnati Bicentennial Community Day, Cincinnati, OH.


full list available upon request.

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