Student Reflections: NeuroU 2021

By Bingling Wang

As a student who is learning behavioral science and interested in market research, NeuroU 2021 was a very exciting opportunity for me to learn more about the different potentials of applying behavioral science in consumer market research. I was able to look at consumer research from the perspective of industries instead of academia and more deeply understand the application of different research methods in the industries.

Among all sessions, I especially liked the Eight Mistakes Persuasive Marketing Makes presented by Dr. Steve Genco. This session reminded me that research in consumer behavior has been constantly evolving, and that it is important to reflect on the marketing methods that companies are used to adopting without thinking twice. For example, Dr. Genco mentioned that marketers have been trying hard to grab consumers’ attention without realizing the possible negative consequences. Yet, with more of the possible consequences being found in research in psychology and behavioral science, marketers should update their knowledge of consumer behavior and start to develop new strategies to cope with the challenge of consumers’ limited attention. Interestingly, although I have learned about the possible negative consequences of fighting for consumers’ attention, I still assumed, before I attended this session, that this is what marketing should do. While it sounds easy to be flexible and reflective, it is actually hard to do! The session would have been even more interesting if I could have heard about case studies where companies use other marketing methods to strategically activate attention, so that I could understand not only the problem that marketers face but also the existing solutions that marketers have thought of.

In short, NeuroU 2021 was a unique opportunity for me to explore how behavioral science can be used to help marketers better understand consumer behavior. I look forward to applying what I’ve learned at NeuroU 2021 in my future work and continuing to incorporate behavioral science in market research using neuroscience tools.