Patrick Vargas

headshot of Patrick Vargas
Professor of Advertising
323 Gregory Hall
  • Ph.D., The Ohio State University (Social Psychology)
  • M.A., The Ohio State University (Psychology)
  • B.A., St. Mary's College of Maryland (Philosophy, Psychology)
  • Professor of Advertising
  • Affiliate, Department of Psychology
  • Affiliate, Department of Sport, Recreation and Tourism
  • Affiliate, Institute of Communications Research
  • Affiliate, School of Information Sciences Informatics Programs 
  • Affiliate, Center for Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • College of Media Scholar
Course Specialties
  • Advertising Research Methods
  • Attitude-Behavior Relations
  • Psychology of Advertising

Vargas double-majored in philosophy and psychology at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and went on to pursue graduate studies in social psychology (with a minor in quantitative psychology) at The Ohio State University. While at OSU, he worked most closely with professors Bill von Hippel, Rich Petty and Bob Arkin. In 1997-98, Vargas worked as a post-doctoral researcher under the guidance of Joe Forgas at the University of New South Wales. Since 1998, Vargas has been at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Research/Creative Endeavor

Vargas has broad research interests spanning social psychology, consumer behavior, advertising, and marketing. A significant portion of his work examines implicit attitudes, stereotyping, prejudice, and how these relate to information processing biases that can influence social judgments and behaviors. His research program bridges social psychological processes with consumer behavior and marketing strategy. 

He has explored topics like linguistic intergroup bias, implicit stereotyping as a predictor of discrimination, and using implicit attitude measures to understand consumer responses to advertising. Vargas has also studied affective influences on cognition, such as the roles of mood and emotion in processes like eyewitness memory, decision-making, and well-being. Additionally, his research explores areas of consumer psychology, investigating phenomena like materialism, responses to marketing visuals and branding, the influence of virtual self-representation, and persuasion dynamics in advertising and marketing communications.