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Are Political Views Hard-wired?

We know that political marketing – the art of persuading voters to support your candidate – is perhaps the most challenging and least productive form of marketing. A couple of years ago in The Neuroscience of Political Marketing, I described how research shows that political ads seem to go through an “emotional filter” that, in essence, causes voters to discount messages that are inconsistent with their current beliefs. Thus, an accusation that one’s favored candidate took money from special interest groups is likely to be dismissed as a partisan smear rather than evaluated rationally. If that wasn’t enough to frustrate political marketers, there’s now sketchy evidence that our political views may be determined by more fundamental brain wiring attributes. […]

By |September 19th, 2008|

Political Neuromarketing

I’ve been waiting for the first news of neuromarketing in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and it has arrived a full year before the election itself. The first few conclusions seem so obvious as to not require firing up a multi-millon dollar fMRI machine:
Voters sense both peril and promise in party brands.
Emotions about Hillary Clinton are mixed.
Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are on opposite sides of the gender divide.

These were among eight conclusions of a brain scan study described in an New York Times Op-Ed piece, This Is Your Brain on Politics, credited to Marco Iacoboni, Joshua Freedman and Jonas Kaplan of the University of California, Los Angeles, Semel Institute for Neuroscience; Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; and Tom Freedman, Bill Knapp and Kathryn Fitzgerald of FKF Applied Research. The details involved in reaching each conclusion may be more interesting than the seemingly bland summaries. Here’s the Hillary Clinton one, for example: […]

By |November 12th, 2007|

The Neuroscience of Political Marketing

Political marketing is all about persuasion, and brain scans show that some voter groups respond to new information with emotional rather than rational brain areas.

By |March 17th, 2006|

Why You Are a Complete Idiot If You Don’t Google Yourself

The other day, I read a story at Fast Company titled Why You Should Google Yourself And Not Feel Guilty About It. I agreed with the reasoning of the author, Lindsay Lavine (@lindsaylavine), but was slightly puzzled by the “guilty” part. The headline was underscored by the opening sentence, “Admit it. You’ve Googled yourself, and probably felt guilty about it afterwards.”

Do people really feel guilt from self-Googling? Perhaps they do, as these kinds of searches have been called “vanity” searches, implying they are equivalent to stopping to admire yourself whenever you pass a mirror. […]

By |April 16th, 2014|

CMU Study Identifies Emotions from Brain Activity

One of the ongoing controversies in neuromarketing is how well current techniques can identify specific emotions. While there’s general agreement that attention and emotional engagement can be tracked, identifying specific emotions with confidence has been elusive. Now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have published a new study showing the ability to identify emotions with an accuracy “well above chance” using fMRI. […]

By |July 2nd, 2013|

Santorum’s Test, and Why Conflict is Good

Rick Santorum, as most people now know after his surprisingly strong finish in the Iowa caucuses, is one of the of candidates seeking the Republican presidential nomination. Recently, Santorum responded to a question about who he’d place in […]

By |January 5th, 2012|

MindSign

Name: Mindsign Neuromarketing Website: http://mindsignonline.com/ Email: info@mindsignonline.com Address: MindSign Neuromarketing 10065 Old Grove Rd., Ste. 103 San Diego, CA 92131 Phone: 858-444-3597 About Mindsign: At MindSign Neuromarketing™ we use the only free-standing independent functional MRI facility and our own brain [...]

By |February 25th, 2011|

Rivalry Marketing

Sometimes the best thing for a brand is an enemy: a rival brand that can be the focus of advertising. The other day, Mark Gallagher and Laura Savard at the BlackCoffee blog put the advantage of focusing on a rival succinctly: […]

By |January 6th, 2011|

Avoiding Death by Powerpoint, the Neuro Way

Conference-goers know that at any given meeting, they will be subjected to a range of presentations – some interesting, others, well, not so interesting. Conference organizers don’t like to offer a podium to inept or boring presenters, of course – bad performances will drive away the paying customers. The approach conference organizers usually employ is to poll the audience about each presentation, asking about the content, the quality of the presentation, and so on. This is done after the fact, but at least low-scoring presenters can be crossed off the list for the next conference. Of course, this constant polling (often by paper questionnaires) is tedious and annoying for the conference attendees.

In a departure from old-fashioned paper, the Association of National Advertisers and Innerscope Research conducted an experiment at their recent Creativity Conference. Some audience members were wired up to capture biometric readings – changes in heart rate, breathing, skin sweat, and motion. These measures were captured from a lightweight band around the wearer’s lower rib cage, so the monitored individuals didn’t stand out in the crowd and likely forgot they were being monitored. […]

By |December 21st, 2010|

Subliminal Negativity Works

People hate negative advertising. So why do advertisers (notably political campaigns) keep doing it, and why does it work? We covered this in Why Negative Ads Work, but our brains hold yet another answer, as a test […]

By |December 7th, 2010|