HCD Blog

:: February 22nd, 2021   COVID-19: A Call for Change

Unfamiliar Orders and Strange Routines The unexpected COVID-19 outbreak called for our nation to change. This change came in all forms: change in hygienic measures, change in store policies, and change in our daily habits. With the pandemic came distress, fear, and panic as we struggled to identify the virus and find ways to slow its spread. Preventative measures needed to be taken. The CDC called for mask-wearing, social distancing, and limited gatherings (CDC, 2020). These changes seemed dramatic at...

:: February 11th, 2021   Fight Back or Stand Back: The Fight-or-Flight Response

Stress and the Body’s Call to Action For high anxiety situations, the human body has a natural defense to optimize the body and ward off anticipated attack. This alarm reaction known as the fight-or-flight response occurs in response to the threat of imminent danger and refers to a physiological reaction that occurs when we are in the presence of something that is, put simply, terrifying (Sterling & Frings, 2016). The fight-or-flight response is triggered by the release of hormones that...

:: February 4th, 2021   Norms, Metrics, & Media Madness: Webinar Panel Recap

By Allison Gutkowski & Kristopher Woung-Fallon Marketers and advertising agencies have always conducted research. For decades, they have also tapped into the methodology and concepts from academic psychology. Traditional marketing research aims at answering questions related to branding, product development, advertising, or evaluating potential new markets. Basically, ask the people in that market what they think, which inherently had its issues. Then, in the 1990s, brain imaging (fMRI) and other neuroscience tools (EEG, etc.) made it possible to visualize the...

:: January 12th, 2021   Student Voices Series

Given the challenges of the current pandemic, students have been limited in immersive experiences globally due to the restrictions placed on in-person interaction. HCD Research sought to host a current student through virtual and project-based experiential learning activities to aid in this need. During the 2021 winter term, we are excited to welcome Alyssa Rotondo, a Muhlenberg College student, as a Scientific Communications Intern! By supporting students to develop transferable skills and gain knowledge about Applied Consumer Neuroscience, future leaders-...

:: January 7th, 2021   HCD’s 2021 New Year’s Resolution: Prove it

We did it. 2020 is behind us, and 2021 will be all about moving forward. And at HCD, we plan to kick ass and take names in 2021. In hindsight (it was 2020 after all), we did really well last year. Our research expanded with new products and new segments (and new clients). We had several new publications (including peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters). We presented to many different audiences via virtual webinars and conferences (including our own...

:: December 21st, 2020   Holiday Shopping in 2020: a behavioral science perspective

It’s been… a year. Amid a U.S. presidential election and global pandemic, we’re entering the most unusual holiday season any of us have experienced before. There’s been a lot of talk about all of the unprecedented this and adapting to that happening to consumers. And no time is this more evident of real behavioral changes than the holiday shopping season. With the pandemic serving as a sort of catalyst to online purchasing and more digital services, the typical shopping habit...

:: November 24th, 2020   It depends, and it’s complicated… What the Health?!

The health and wellness sector has demonstrated tremendous growth over the past few years, which has encouraged brands to explore the space more in depth to meet consumer expectations. Although the market is expanding rapidly to meet demand, entering the health and wellness space is not as simple as it may appear at first glance. The innovation in this market category requires not only a well-thought-out approach but also consumer trust. The healthcare and overall health of the consumer should...

:: November 19th, 2020   Do You See What I See? Making the Most of Eye-Tracking in Retail

Coauthored by HCD's VP of Research & Innovation, Michelle Niedziela, PhD, and Manager of Behavioral & Marketing Sciences, Kathryn Ambroze As seen in the retail issue of NMSBA's INsights mag... When investigating consumer behavior and decision making during the shopping experience, eye-tracking remains a popular tool in consumer retail research. But there is more to eye-tracking than “meets the eye.” As eye-tracking technology continues to advance, so do the metrics used to better explore and understand the consumer’s shopping process....

:: November 12th, 2020   The Packaging Love Story

Ah, the package – the start of many great love stories. A package sets expectations and provides promises of what our experiences will be. It can be the start of a great love story or great disappointment if our expectations are not met. This love story could start on an impulse- the color, shape, the je ne sais pas of the product that catches your eye in the HomeGoods checkout line. Never in your life did you realize you needed this...

:: August 27th, 2020   The Neuroimaging Games: Who will come out on top?

Neuroimaging tools offer a lot of information by providing insight into the structure and function of the nervous system. The concept of functional neuroimaging involves creating several images of the brain to identify changes over time. Neuroimaging allows researchers to analyze the structure, function and pharmacology of the brain. The techniques and methods vary based on the research goals, but some neuroimaging tools are becoming more mainstream for commercial use. It’s important to have conversations about the drawbacks and limitations...