HCD Blog

:: December 6th, 2018   Neuromarketing: Identifying The Fact From the Fiction

One of the striking narratives that plagued 2016 was the emergence of fake news. With the decline of the newspaper and growth of viral news, more people are getting their information from social media rather than the older, reliable news sources. Many are quick to accept what they read online as fact, and even more don’t even read past the headlines or check the news source before accepting the message. The growth in fake news has been so large that...

:: December 4th, 2018   Machine Learning in Neuroscience: A Primer

Machine learning has exploded onto the neuroscience community over the past few years. Everyone wants to talk about it if only to use the words “machine learning” or “artificial intelligence” (which is a far broader category, but is often incorrectly used interchangeably with machine learning). Machine learning is far more than a buzzword- it allows us to analyze rich datasets in exciting new ways. However, as with any new technology or methodology in our field, it is important to distinguish...

:: December 3rd, 2018   Is facial coding a valid means of collecting emotional state?

Cheaper, faster, better. This is what we want and we want it now. But what is best is not always what is fast or cheap.Facial coding is a popular method for collecting the emotional reactions in “neuromarketing” work and was recently featured in a WSJ piece, The Technology that Unmasks Your Hidden Emotions. The article focuses on the uses of facial coding in assessing consumer emotional response as well as potential abuses of the technology concerning privacy and public safety....

:: May 16th, 2018   Your Brain on Bitcoin

You buy in with some spare bucks you have lying around. You’ve heard the news of lucky young investors making millions, and you decide to get in on the action while you can. At first, you check every couple of days- whether it increases or decreases, it’s not the end of the world. But over time, something starts to click. The price has increased- you just made some spending money. Checking once in a while turns into once a day...

:: May 14th, 2018   How One Choice Burned the New Period-Spacing Study

Every once in a while, a study is published that that seems to catch fire. Whether it adds to an existing debate or sparks a new one, it somehow seems to resonate with an issue that some may not have been aware even existed. One such article was recently published in Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics by a group of researchers from Skidmore College. Its premise- at the end of a sentence, two spaces after the period may be better than...

:: April 9th, 2018   HCD On The Road:  Debunking Neurohype

For the past year or so (starting at Pangborn 2017), I’ve been sort of on tour discussing the trials and tribulations of using applied consumer neuroscience. I’m calling it my manifesto, where I’m basically burning down my own house. You see, my background is in behavioral neuroscience. My undergraduate degree is in psychology, PhD in behavioral neuro-genetics, and my postdoctoral research focused on sensory perception. I’ve been passionate about research and science my whole life. For the past 10 years...

:: May 18th, 2017   When Neuromarketing Meets Academia: My recent talk at the Society for Affective Science 2017 Boston

This past month I was honored to be invited by Herb Meiselman to speak at the Society for Affective Science meeting in Boston. Herb, David from MMR, and I presented a panel on industry applications of emotional research. Our goal was to engage a predominantly academic crowd focused on the study of emotion in a discussion on how emotional research is being used in consumer science. We had a decent crowd attend our discussion, mostly out of curiosity (unfamiliar with...

:: November 28th, 2016   The Empathetic Consumer Product

Empathy is the feeling that you understand and share another person's experiences and emotions, the ability to share someone else's feelings (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/empathy). Further, it is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another. A few weeks ago, I attended the SSP 2016 conference (http://www.sensorysociety.org/meetings/2016Conference/Pages/default.aspx). SSP has a single focus – the sensory professionals – and this conference is a place where the latest sensory research, methodologies and ideas...

:: October 26th, 2016   Implicit and Emotional Bias in the 2016 Presidential Election

Overview We conducted a psychological evaluation of voter implicit and emotional responses to current political themes (sexism and racism) and candidate imagery (including positive and negative imagery). Goal Our goal was to uncover implicit biases across voter demographics (Republicans and Democrats, various age groups, men and women, Clinton/Trump/third party voters, as well as a few other indices). Methodology We used a brief demographic survey followed by validated psychological methodologies: implicit association tests and a self assessment psychological response test. The...

:: September 28th, 2016   Connecting With Consumers: Communicating Through Packaging

(Part 3 in a blog series) By Michelle Niedziela, PhD This is part 3 in a blog series covering how we use consumer research to improve consumer products and communications. In this series we will be discussing different methodologies and their applications including: traditional, psychological and neuro based research, claims communications and substantiation, packaging applications, user experience (UX) research, branding, etc. When a product is seen on a shelf, it creates an immediate impression on the consumer. Immediate perceptions are...