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Our Brains Make Facebook Worth $90 Billion

Those of us involved in social media know that people love to talk about themselves. They seemingly enjoy sharing the trivial, the personal, and occasionally the weird, details of their lives. Sometimes they overshare – as a longtime online community builder, I’ve found that “poster’s remorse” is common – people post something too personal and later regret doing so. So why do people share so much? New research from Harvard shows, in simple terms, that talking about yourself makes your brain feel good. […]

By |May 10th, 2012|

Juice Your Marketing with Dopamine

Dopamine-driven marketing sounds scary, but it’s more common than one might expect. Dopamine is a key element in the brain’s reward system, and when marketers trigger that system they can reinforce behavior and create positive associations. Ads that make consumers solve a simple puzzle can have this effect (see Puzzling Billboards, Schick Commercial’s Aha! Moment, and Puzzles Boost Brand Recognition, for example.) The dopamine kicker can also be generated using one of the hotter trends in marketing (and other forms of behavior modification): gamification. […]

By |April 10th, 2012|

Reward Success, Don’t Punish Failure

It’s a management maxim that bosses should dole out praise liberally when deserved, although many business environments seem more focused on punishing failure. It turns out there’s solid neuroscience behind the idea of recognizing success, according to research led by neuroscientist Earl Miller of MIT and published in Neuron. […]

By |November 23rd, 2009|

How We Decide

Book Review: How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer
Jonah Lehrer has been translating neuroscience into prose comprehensible by the lay reader for years, and How We Decide helps readers understand and even apply current research in the process of human decision-making.

Lehrer begins with a look at expert decision-making, and how individuals with the right training and experience can make high quality decisions seemingly with little or no conscious thought. A football quarterback, for example, has only a second or two after the ball is snapped to analyze the entire field, ascertain what strategy the defense is employing, determine where one of his own receivers is likely to be most open, and then throw the football to the spot where that player will be by the time the ball gets there. […]

By |October 8th, 2009|

Marketing and the Placebo Effect

We all know what the placebo effect is – give a group of patients a sugar pill instead of a medication with active ingredients, and some of them will show an improvement in their symptoms. Drug researchers treat […]

By |July 23rd, 2007|