Sexy Pics Beat Ugly Spiders

Erotic images sell better than pictures of office supplies, and a lot better than photos of hairy spiders. Who knew? Actually, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. Stanford researchers led by neuroeconomics prof Brian Knutson have found that positive images, in this case mildly erotic photos of men and women shown to heterosexual men, stimulate the reward center in the brain and induce the viewers to take greater financial risks than subjects who saw neutral (office supplies) or negative (big spider) images. This effect was purely a priming effect, as all of the images were irrelevant to the subsequent decision. The implications of this work could be broad, impacting such diverse areas as gaming and auto sales. […]

By |April 3rd, 2008|

Are Women Better At Sales?

In our recent article on The Mating Mind, we described how “romantically primed” men were much more likely to spend lots of money than men who were not so primed, and than women in either condition. Separately, we’ve also noted that female salespeople seem to dominate some areas, and that these women seem to skew toward the attractive end of the spectrum. One example is the pharmaceutical sales rep, who prototypically is an attractive female who spends much of her time calling on a predominantly male physician customer base. That’s an overgeneralization, of course – there are lots of female docs, and lots of male drug reps. Still, the stereotype is sufficiently valid that a physician acquaintance of mine expressed mock shock at seeing a middle-aged male drug rep, quipping, “I don’t think I’ve seen one of those before.” […]

By |August 23rd, 2007|

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|