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Neuroeconomics

Decision making and the brain

Pricing Lessons from Restaurants

My last Neuromarketing post, Neuro-Menus and Restaurant Psychology, talked about various things restaurant menu engineers do to maximize sales and profits. I think it's worth calling special attention to one aspect touched on in that post:…

Ants and Humans

If the late Nobel Laureate Herb Simon were still around, I'm sure he'd be fascinated by neuromarketing. He did a lot to explode myths of human behavior, notably that people always behave in a rational, utility-maximizing, manner. I…

Brain Fight: Who’s the Decider?

One of my favorite chapters in How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer is The Brain is an Argument. In this chapter, Lehrer highlights how complex our decision-making process really is, and how competing options battle for supremacy.

Banking Mess: Blame Our Brains

As the current financial chaos moves toward some kind of resolution, there will no doubt be plenty of Monday morning quarterbacking to explain what went wrong. One group that one wouldn't expect to have explanations are neuroscientists. As…

Danger in Discounts

I'm a sucker for discounts. Show me something that costs $50, tell me I can have it for $25, and my hand will be reaching for my wallet while my brain is still trying to figure out whether I need the item at any price. Most of us respond…

Anchor Pricing Strategies

Here's a scenario... You decide to venture into a cell phone store despite your reluctance to deal with a bewildering number of phones, options, plans, along with a confusing price structure. As usual, you find you'll have to wait a bit for…

The Power of FREE!

A few days ago, I wrote about the power of the word "New" to get our attention - if there's a more potent attractor out there, it's almost certainly "FREE!" For years, advertising gurus have listed "free" on every compilation of…

Bikinis, Babes, and Buying

Scantily clad women have been used to sell products to men for decades, and likely for millennia in one form or another. There's little doubt that the typical male brain is wired to respond to attractive females in revealing attire. But…

Neuroeconomics and Investment Insanity

The human brain didn't evolve to pick stocks, which explains why there are so few Warren Buffets among the ranks of fund managers. Jason Zweig, author of Your Money & Your Brain (reviewed in Ignore Your Brain and Get Rich), did a…

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…