Behavioral Research Blog

Making Sense of the Senses: The Real Cost of Paying Attention

Posted by Jason Rogers on Nov 11, 2014

By Jason Rogers, Ph.D.

We live in a demanding world: the snort of an email, the squeal of a text, fare alerts, breaking news, SQUIRREL! What was I saying? Oh yes, we live in a distracted world. With DVRs holding thousands of hours of entertainment; phones and tablets keeping us occupied while we watch those thousands of DVRed hours, it seems that something always has our attention. But what does that really mean? The term itself is used a bit like a commodity: always demanding that we pay for it. The affectionally dubbed “Brain Bank” allows a controlled bit of withdrawal at any given moment. We are literally trapped in a world bombarded by sensory information. As you read this, you are neglecting your world in order to process these words. What do you hear right now? What sweater are you wearing? Now are you thinking about what you are going to wear tomorrow? Or what’s on your calendar? SQUIRREL! Please allow me to withdrawal a bit of currency from your Brain Bank to discuss the real cost of paying attention.

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Topics: autism research, consumer behavior, Neuromarketing, consumer behavior research, neuropsychology

Neuromarketing: hope or hype?

Posted by Leanne W.S. Loijens on Jul 29, 2014

The application of neuroscience methods to marketing – neuromarketing – is growing in popularity. Marketers hope that neuroscience will provide them with information that is not obtainable through conventional marketing methods such as questionnaires and focus groups. Can neuroscience be the holy grail of the study of consumer behavior?

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Topics: FaceReader, consumer behavior, physiology, Neuromarketing, consumer behavior research, eye tracking, EEG

Why do we drink less when watching gut-wrenching movies?

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jul 7, 2014

It has never been said that humans are immune to the emotional effects of lying, stealing, and cheating, but the majority of us are not easily fazed since we encounter this type of thing every day. It might only be a fragment of a movie we are watching: morally offensive acts such as crime and deception are all around us on the news, in the papers, and on the streets.

In a recent study, Cindy Chan and her colleagues (Department of Marketing, Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania) posed the question: How does exposure to moral violations influence consumption? The researchers explain that, for example, people may drink less coffee while reading the Sunday paper’s exposé of corporate fraud, a violation of ethical business practices. Or people may consume less candy at the theater while watching Wall Street, a film that portrays destruction, crime, and greed.

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, Neuromarketing, consumer behavior research, emotions

Understanding consumer behavior

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on May 9, 2014

Why does a customer select your product? Who uses it, and how? What are their expectations regarding taste and structure? What do they think of the experience, and how do they dispose it?

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Topics: FaceReader, facial expression analysis, TrackLab, consumer behavior, consumer behavior research

Facial expressions test - reactions to bitter food vary between high and low BMI

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Nov 20, 2013

Overweight and obese individuals are at increased risk for many diseases and health conditions. By 2050, as much as 50% of the UK population could be obese at a cost of £50 billion a year, warns the National Obesity Awareness Week. To create awareness, they have organized a National Awareness Week from 13 to 19 January 2014. Their goal is twofold:  putting the obesity crisis at the top of the agenda and teaching people how they can begin to tackle the problem.

In many recent research projects, the overweight and obese are the subjects under investigation. “Why do people who are overweight or are at risk of becoming overweight eat differently from thinner people?” is the question David Garcia-Burgos and Maria Clara Zamora asked. Basing their study on recent hedonic eating theories of obesity, they hypothesized that overweight individuals would be more reactive to unpleasant tasting food than lean people.

Is there a link between obesity and a dislike of bitter-tasting food?

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, consumer behavior, Neuromarketing, consumer behavior research

Making a hotel reservation - Where should you go this summer?

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jul 29, 2013

Using facial expression analysis to study decision making processes

Where should you go this summer, who should you go with, and for how long? Which hotel or hostel to book? People around the world are currently making hotel reservations for their summer vacation. Are you one of them?

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, consumer behavior, consumer behavior research, Human-Computer Interaction

What are you doing in that shop?

Posted by Andrew Spink on Jul 12, 2013

In the last couple of years, the volume of online shopping has expanded beyond what anyone could have imagined [1]. Last year, in the UK, the total volume of online shopping across all sectors passed the ten percent mark. For purchases like music and video, it is over 80%, for books over 50% [1]. In Europe and America, shops in those sectors are struggling to survive — and not always succeeding. But it is not just that consumers are switching to a different channel to make their purchases. Increasingly, when a customer enters a shop, they have already done some online research. A recent study found that 75% of consumers researched products both online and in-store before making a significant purchase [2]. Some retailers worry that if customers have access to WiFi in the store, they will discover that the competition (online or another shop) is cheaper, and the sale will be lost.  Others believe that if the customer cannot do their online research on the spot, they will do it at home, and the chance of making the purchase at their shop will be decreased.

That is just one way that the changing retail environment means that traditional wisdom regarding layout and stocking of shops may need serious reconsideration. The online revolution will also have an effect on all sorts of other aspects, such as the range of items to be stocked and the levels of inventory. Maybe the retail store will be more like a showroom in the future, with orders placed in the shop, but via the website. How will the optimal location of the shop, the shop’s layout and display of items be affected? What should the total customer experience be?

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Topics: TrackLab, consumer behavior research, customer flow, shopper routes, high traffic areas, dead areas, retail

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