What is Empty Emptor?

Empty Emptor is a channel through which I dispatch my assorted thoughts on the science, psychology and economics of consumption and consumer behaviour, which unsurprisingly ends up taking the form of a lot of over-thinking and navel-gazing. I hope to use this blog to explore whether I can improve my general knowledge of consumer behaviour (because behavioural economics and science are fun… to me… as a science-loving nerd) and whether I can consume more responsibly (whatever that ends up meaning).

I am a post-doctoral cognitive neuroscientist currently living and working in the UK and hoping to use my knowledge of (and access to) human behavioural and psychological research to discuss how it pertains to consumption, perhaps even in a way that doesn’t bore people to tears 100% of the time.

“Emptor” is Latin for “buyer”, and is arguably most commonly encountered these days in the phrase caveat emptor – “let the buyer beware”.

Contact me at jess [at] the URL of this blog.

16 Responses to “What is Empty Emptor?”

  1. c says:

    Please don’t stop writing. I cannot be elegant in expressing how lovely it is to read your thoughtful thoughts paired with your cognitive neurosciencey science, so just take that inelegant comment and know that I meant it with respect and appreciation.

  2. Joy says:

    Dearest Jess,

    Your blog post are so informative and incredibly interesting! Would you mind doing a guest post for my blog and can I have an interview with you (à la Out of the Bag style) with you sometime down the road? Feel free to email me :)


  3. Michelle says:

    I just found your blog, and it is pure gold. Just wanted to express my admiration!

  4. Kali says:

    Hello Jess,

    I just wanted to thank you for this blog, a really nice change from the usual buying incentive and dream selling stuff out there. Besides, the kind of sociologic point of view of the human behaviour analysis is very interesting and brings another light to my vision influenced by the marketing universe I work in (no, I don’t curl my mustache when I discuss the marketing plans of the products, sorry…)

    Anyway, thank you very much for this new perspective!

    • Jess says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Kali, because oh god, I’m so relieved that my blog doesn’t come across as horribly ignorant and amateur to someone within the realm of marketing! I often wonder if I’m in any sort of position to comment on so many of the topics I write about, given that my knowledge in those areas is often gleaned from just reading some research papers and a bit of background info. Unfortunately I can’t solely write about areas I have a bit of pre-existing knowledge in (i.e. the behavioural psychology/neuroscience stuff) otherwise I’d run out of content much more quickly, so it’s a relief to know that I’m at least not making a total fool of myself when I discuss other topics. ;)

      But I hope that, if you aren’t twirling your moustache when you’re discussing marketing plans, you’re at least wearing a top hat.

  5. J.A says:

    I have no words to express, well just a few- your blog is such a joy to read, informative and just so well written. Keep up the great work.

  6. rachel says:

    Oh yes. I haven’t read much of your blog yet but the promise of the premise is all I need. Brilliant.
    It occurred to me and so I did a search – but have you referenced the Situationists? Apologies if yes but if no, do go and have a look as they are very cool (haha) and very relevant to your cause.

  7. Alicia says:

    I made it to the beginning!

    I must say, this is the most refreshing blog I’ve seen in a long time. As per your comment above, although your information is mostly gleaned, you provide a lot more to think about that the traditional ‘this is what i bought’ sort of blogger. Further still, you provide a lot more to think about than the newer minimalism/conscious consumption sort of blogger. I truly adore what you do here and it is a pleasure to read.

    • Jess says:

      Thank you very much! Honestly, there are so many thought-provoking topics I come across when reading through the research journals, so I’m glad there are people out there who are as interested to read about it as I am and can join the discussion. Hopefully I’ll have new posts up a bit more frequently in maybe a few weeks’ time. :)

  8. Ravi Iyer says:

    Just found your blog based on my colleague, Ryan Howell’s, recommendation. Great stuff and I’ll be sure to keep reading.

  9. Jess, late is never too late and I am beside myself at having just discovered your incomparable blog. I hope the compliments haven’t enlarged your head to much ;)
    I’m off to reach the archives…

  10. Sarah says:

    I was literally bowing in front of my laptop a minute ago. Your blog is amazing! It’s sooo nice to find a likeminded psychologist! This goes to the top of my reading list :)

  11. Sarah says:

    Jess, I am in love with your blog! Your knowledge, humility and articulate writing style really speak to me. As someone who works in fashion, loves ruminating on personal style, and works towards conscious consumption, I find your explorations so fascinating and enlightening. I think you do a great job breaking down complex ideas and no doubt you are contributing to a long process of developing a blueprint for more conscious consumption in the modern world. Keep up this important work!

  12. mary says:

    Hi, sorry I’m asking this in your comment box. But I’m having a really hard time deciding what shoes to buy. The final picks are between the dieppa restrepo platform cali in portland brandy or the Madewell charley boots. I was wondering what you think of both brands based on the philosophy of “Empty emptor,” and also what would work well as a shoe to wear casually year around. Thank You

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Jess, just wanting to quote you in an assignment. Can you please advise your surname so I can put you in the bibliography. Thank you

  14. Mailee says:

    Oh, man. Insightful, articulate critique that makes me laugh out loud? This is incredible. I cannot thank you enough. Rest assured that you’ve got at least one new reader combing through your archives and waiting for more posts. I am so stoked about this!!

Leave a Reply