Behavioral Research Blog

Throwing Shade: The Science of Resting Bitch Face

Posted by Jason Rogers, Ph.D. & Abbe Macbeth, Ph.D. on Oct 14, 2015

We all know the face. No, not just the face, but that face. That look that she swears is not a look. She says she’s not angry; she reassures you she’s having fun. But her face has been “throwing shade” all night – without saying anything, that face is indicating that she is not happy; more than not happy, she’s about to make your night miserable too. There are plenty of memes, jokes, and videos, much like this one, which make light of that face, which in 2015 has become better known as “Resting B---- Face” (RBF).

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Topics: social behavior research, emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, emotions, measuring behavior, RBF, Resting Bitch Face

5 tips to optimize your facial expression analyses

Posted by Leanne W.S. Loijens on Oct 6, 2015

Are you involved in emotion recognition and facial expression analysis? These 5 tips will guarantee the best results!

1.    The whole face should be visible

You may normally offer your test participants something to eat or drink during the test to make them feel comfortable. However, when eating or drinking, the test participant blocks part of the face with his/her hand and the cup/glass/spoon. So, make sure the test participant finishes his/her cup of coffee before you start the test….unless, of course, the purpose of the test is to see a reaction to a new food or beverage! There are still steps you can take to minimize interference: if testing a soda, for example, test participants could drink through a straw, which would ideally be transparent and colorless.

A tip to consider: Some people have a natural tendency to touch their face without realizing it (like the lady in the picture). You may want to warn the test participants to keep their arms on the table throughout the test in order to get the best possible results.

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, emotions

Behavioral Techniques to Empower Consumers: Resisting Persuasion by Controlling Your Facial Expressions

Posted by Guest blogger on Jun 15, 2015

Over a period of 30 months, Peter Lewinski, Research Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and VicarVision B.V., carried out 12 experiments with an automated facial expression coding software called FaceReader Online. This new neuromarketing technology helped him to test more than 1200 facial emotional reactions to dozens of famous advertisements. The experiments yielded 1 million frames that provided more than 10 million data points to analyze on variables such as emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, disgust, contempt or valence, arousal, and attention.

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, emotions

The man in the maze: A behavioral science journey into consumer studies

Posted by Jason Rogers on May 20, 2015

By Jason Rogers, Ph.D.

As a researcher, one of my biggest thrills was being able to predict how someone was going to behave, especially without asking him or her. This was a learned skill, forged in the long hours of maze-running on the 11th floor of the Behavioral Science Building at the University of Utah. You see, you cannot ask a rat how he solved a maze, but with a clever design and an observant eye, you just know how he did. It was especially amazing to watch that moment of insight, of AH-HA, when he just ‘got it’ and started running perfectly. But in order to truly understand that moment, I had to have my own AH-HA moment, and it happened five thousand miles from my mazes in Utah.

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

Universal emotions part two

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on May 8, 2015

Broadening horizons. That is what the students (age 14-17) of School at Sea do, literally. Starting in The Netherlands, they sail to the Caribbean and back in six months. During this voyage, they learn to develop their talents and leadership skills. How do they perceive this journey? One of the students (Hannah @ Sea) has chosen to share her 'emotional journey' with us.

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, emotions

Location is everything: Measuring visitor behavior

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Feb 23, 2015

Want to know where the action is? Interested in getting real-time feedback about a conference, concert, or event hotspots? At the Measuring Behavior conference in August 2014, a number of meeting participants took part in an exciting experiment in which they received real-time updates on their own smartphones about the “hotness” of several conference events. Did this information lead them to the most interesting lectures, booths, or poster sessions?

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, TrackLab, consumer behavior, emotions

Measuring creativity at the GrunbergLab

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Feb 11, 2015

Do you know what creativity is? Can you measure it? On February 19, 2014 Dr. Ysbrand van der Werf gave a lecture on creativity. For him, creativity is about the creator and the person experiencing the things created.

The creator   

In the autumn of 2013, a team of scientists measured the emotions, brain activity and subjective feelings of a writer (Arnon Grunberg) as he created a new book (‘Het bestand’: an ambiguous title that can refer to a computer file or a cease-fire).

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, physiology, EEG, emotions

What does the Moment of Truth mean to your business?

Posted by Jason Rogers on Oct 14, 2014

By Jason Rogers, Ph.D.

Recently, I was leaving the University of Kentucky, about to head back to my home in Cincinnati a mere 90 miles away. It was in the mid-afternoon and I had been on campus all day. Having been with the researchers in the Rodent Behavioral Core, I had no time to eat and water was not allowed in the facility. A complicating matter was the fact that I needed to get home as soon as possible to pick up the little one from school and get her to soccer practice. Needless to say, I was in a bit of a hurry and I was ravenously hungry. I didn’t want to sit down to eat, I just wanted something on the go. We’ve all been there: close to the freeway on-ramp were several choices of the usual variety. I quickly made my decision (“Oh, new grilled chicken sandwich”, I said predictably), rolled through the drive thru, picked an item from the pictures provided, and hit the freeway with my food in hand. Only when I unwrapped my package, what stared back at me was a sad excuse for the chicken sandwich I had ordered. On the menu, it was plump, juicy, full of ripe red tomatoes, crisp lettuce, and a hearty bun. What I held in my hand was a squashed bun, grease limply holding what used to be a chicken breast and some soggy lettuce. It had a dash of mayo and a puny tomato. Not exactly gourmet. It tasted the same as it looked. I was hungry, already in route, and out my sunk cost of lunch. But fool me once, shame on you.

To this day, I refuse to return. Fool me twice, shame on me. The moment at which I consumed my sandwich directly influenced my decisions of what to purchase in the future. I’m not alone in this example. It was sadly parodied in Michael Douglas-staring film, Falling Down, and recently demonstrated by CNN. It is in these moments, however, where we can understand consumer choice and its influence upon buying behavior.

You want people to choose your product. The world requires many choices and you want to win. Every time. Fast food, grocery store, internet providers, etc. But how do you win them over? Understanding that choice point is the first key to winning their business. But is that all there is to it? Of course not. Once you have them, you want to ensure to keep them coming back for more. This is the second key to ensuring a long term customer. But how do these two keys interact to unlock the consumers’ hearts (and wallets)? The goal of the present article is to highlight some of the ways Noldus Consulting can help win at the three “Moments of Truth” (MOTs). First, I will present some existing findings into MOT research, then demonstrate how Noldus solutions, and our collaborators, can help you achieve new insights into customer behavior.

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Topics: emotion recognition, facial expression analysis, consumer behavior, emotions, moments of truth, shopping behavior, market insights

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

How to measure emotions in pigs

Posted by G. Smit on Jun 23, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about why social pigs do better. This week, one of the researchers in this project, Inonge Reimert explains about the novel object/novel environment test they performed.

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Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, The Observer XT, animal welfare, pigs, emotions

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