Unconscious Buying

In a fascinating study just published in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers have shown that we make buying decisions even when we aren’t paying attention to the products, and that fMRI observation of brain activity can predict these decisions. This new work builds on previous research by Stanford’s Knutson and CMU’s Loewenstein which showed that purchase decisions could be predicted when subjects were shown explicit offers. Here’s the abstract:

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Unconscious Branding: Who Needs Facts?

Few doubt that branding messages can be powerful, but new research shows that even when consumers don’t recall the specific message, their preferences can be shaped to the point where they reject new information that conflicts with their stored brand association.


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fMRI, Neuron Data Validated

Brain scans using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) don’t always get a lot of respect. They have been accused of being used to produce research that is colorful but not particularly insightful. One study used fMRI to find activity in the brains of dead salmon (Are Brain Scan Findings Fishy?).

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Olfactory Fertility Cues Boost Men’s Testosterone

In yet another indication that human olfactory responses can completely bypass our conscious thought process, a study at Florida State University has shown that the natural scent of an ovulating woman can boost the testosterone levels of men exposed to that scent. In research published in Psychological Science, FSU scientists Saul L. Miller and Jon K. Maner showed that humans still process olfactory cues:

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Stein Institute Study: Benefits of Active Serious Games

Stein Institute Study Shows Potential Benefits of Active Video Games
Sam and Rose Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has found that Exergames may produce health benefits among older adults exhibiting symptoms of subsyndromal depression (SSD).
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Convince with Simple Fonts

Do you need to convince a customer to complete an application form? Or, for a non-profit, do you need volunteers for a charity event? In both cases, you will be more successful if you describe the task in a simple, easy to read typeface. Research by Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwarz shows that the way we perceive information can be affected dramatically by how simple or complex the font is. In particular, their work found that a simple font was more likely to get the readers to make a commitment. Here’s the whole story…

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Flattery Will Get You Somewhere

Many people buy into the old axiom, “Flattery will get you nowhere.” Neuromarketing readers, though, are an exceptionally bright and discerning group, and have no doubt already anticipated what comes next: new research shows that even when people perceive that flattery is insincere, that flattery can still leave a lasting and positive impression of the flatterer.

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Let’s Be Really Retro and Buy a Newspaper

Research from Adweek is bad news for the long-term health of the Newspaper Industry.


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New Research: (Serious) Games Raise Kids IQ

Via: Richard Carey > Digital Media - UC Berkely Study: Gameplay Shown to Raise Kids IQ

Richard Carey reports on his latest post the study conducted by Dr. Silvia Bunge, a neuroscientist at UC Berkley, concluding that some video games help enhance kids' reasoning and processing skills. Findings even yielded that some games helped in raising kids' IQ points.

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Some Learn from Mistakes, Others Don’t

In Managing by Mistakes, I wrote about the power of learning from mistakes. Some of the most successful individuals in different fields credit relentless focus on even small mistakes with their high achievement. Researchers at Columbia University divided student subjects into two groups, “grade hungry” and “knowledge hungry” based on a short survey, reports Newsweek’s NurtureShock column, and then tested them with general knowledge questions.

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