Dacota Liska

Doctoral Student




I study how sensory marketing influences consumer behavior in a social good context while simultaneously enhancing the field through methodological advances. My research interests are the result of a lifelong appreciation for modern technology and a love of nature. I am fascinated by how the digital revolution has shaped our understanding of the world, while concurrently, how shifts in our natural world have shaped the digital revolution. I research both the digital revolution and the natural world and investigate their influence on consumer behavior. Given the considerable importance of technology in our evolving world, I study the digital revolution from a methodological novel perspective. That is, I utilize technology in my research to enhance our understanding of the phenomenon of study.

My research interests cover:

  • Digital Marketing
  • Sensory Marketing
  • Immersive Virtual Environments
  • Social Good
  • Methodological Advances
    • immersive virtual environments
    • eye tracking
    • facial expression analysis
    • EEG (electroencephalogram)
    • galvanic skin response

Since before entering school, I have examined the world from a Socratic viewpoint, wondering not only how we could improve the world around us but why is it the way it is. My one journal publication from before my Ph.D. program (Liska, Anitsal, and Anitsal 2015) examines the impact of the statewide implementation of a booster seat safety program in Tennessee and sets the stage for my interests in social good. We show that this program is instrumental in improving seat belt use by children and has been adopted by nine states. My paper earned a Distinguished Research Award by the Academy of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues.

My current working paper with Sajeev Varki, Ph.D., Improving Environmental Protection: One Imagined Touch at a Time, asks the question: Can imagined touch of flora and fauna (plants and animals of the world) make you more willing to support environmental protection efforts? Across four studies, we demonstrate that by encouraging consumers to imagine touching flora and fauna, marketers can encourage consumers to become more engaged in environmental protection efforts. This effect occurs because haptic imagery enhances a consumer’s emotional attachment to flora/fauna. We demonstrate that emotional attachment to flora/fauna induced via haptic imagery increases individual’s willingness to share Facebook posts of environment-related posts and their willingness to support increased fines for environment related offenses. This effect is enhanced for individuals who are environmentally consciousness and have a greater autotelic need for touch. In addition, we explore the visual elements related to color and how they help increase a consumer’s haptic imagery and consequent emotional attachment. By encouraging consumers to “touch” the flora and fauna of the world without physically influencing them, we open the door to investigate further how sensory marketing may improve environmental protection efforts.

To learn more about papers that are not ready for submission to a journal, but are beyond the inquiry stage, visit my Research Projects page by clicking here.