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EMERGING SCIENCE  | 12:30-2:45 EST  |  JUNE 13

MEASURING EMOTION  |  9:30-12:00 EST  |  JUNE 13  

Intro to Neuro: What is consumer neuroscience and behavioral sciences research?

Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research

Pre-Record: Early Access

This introductory session will review a wide range of psychological, neuroscientific, and behavioral tools and techniques within the applied consumer neuroscience toolbox to help evaluate if you are using the right tool for the right question.


Tools of the Trade: the Good, the Bad, and the Misused

Sophia Stafford, HCD Research

Pre-Record: Early Access

Learn about the use (and abuse) of current methodologies in consumer research and how to stay on top of both foundational as well as novel theories and technologies.


Welcome & Intro

Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research

9:30-9:45 AM 

Welcome to NeuroU 2023, we are excited to learn and explore with you! But first, a few housekeeping items. 

Measuring Emotion - Some basic issues before we begin

Herb Meiselman, Expert

9:45-10:15 AM 

The field of emotion measurement has expanded greatly over the past 10-20 years with application to consumer product development and evaluation. This has resulted in multiple approaches, each with multiple methods for emotion measurement. In this presentation, I will focus on the basic concepts of emotions to assist in approaching emotion measurement in a valid way. First, we need to carefully consider what are emotions in order to limit our work to valid terms and concepts. There has been a tendency to ask product experts for their preferred emotions to study, or to ask consumers for what emotions are involved in product use. But both of these sources might yield words that are not clearly identified as emotions. One way to validate emotion terms is to compare them to established lists of emotions; this does not guarantee that the terms are indeed emotions, but it certainly reduces the risk. While examining emotion terms, the question often arises whether all emotions are valenced, that is, positive or negative. That is the common conception of emotion, eliminating neutral terms. Finally, what is the best method to measure emotions, and there are several categories of methods, and many specific choices within each category. Until recently there has been some agreement that questionnaire or interview methods asking people how they felt was the best approach, although most people agreed that this method had biases. Recently, there has been greater acceptance of combining self-reports (extrinsic methods) with some of the behavioral and physiological methods (intrinsic methods) to yield a better coverage of emotions.

Measuring emotion to media through scalable electrodermal monitoring

Pedro Ameida, MindProber Labs

10:15-10:45 AM

In this presentation we will be addressing the fundamentals of measuring emotion through electrodermal activity. We will discuss some of the strengths of limitations of the technique.

We will then go through some examples on the use of eletrodermal activity measurement in scale to assess the emotional impact of media. We will illustrate with some examples on the use of this technique for the purposes of measuring and optimising media content, and to valuate the impact of commercial integrations and advertising.

The inside out of emotions measurement 

Dan Alferov, Heartbeat AI

10:45-11:15 AM

Emotions are a critical part of human experience, they facilitate mutual understanding, compassion and are a core part of our decision-making. While we can conceptualize their importance, the measurement of emotions across modalities and contexts remains a difficult challenge across research. Together we will explore the quantification of emotions from unstructured text data, the strengths and weaknesses as well as some ethical considerations for emerging AI approaches. Starting with identifying and classifying emotional language, all the way to combining semantic context with emotional dynamics to represent human experiences. Most importantly addressing key metrics like coherence, which tries to quantify how well our models relate to real-world human interpretations of experience data. All the while remembering that unlike computers, we are not always the most rational in our interpretation of the world, let alone when emotions are high. And perhaps most critically, that experiences are not directly additive or static, in the words of Snickers “you're not you when you're hungry”.   

Emotions: Panel discussion

Herb Meiselman, Dan Alferov and Pedro Ameida, Moderated by Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research

11:15-12 PM

Join panelists Herb Meiselman an expert in consumer and sensory research, Pedro Ameida of MindProber Labs and Dan Alferov of Heartbeat AI as they answer your questions and speak with Michelle further about the challenges and realities of navigating emotion research and how to appropriately integrate emotion data into meaningful and actionable insights. 

Your phone or your sense of smell?

Valentina Parma, PhD and Jonas Yde Junge, PhD, Monell Chemical Senses Center

12:30-1:00 PM

Most people dread the idea of a life without sight or hearing but are not preoccupied by living life without a sense of smell.  We asked 1100 participants in 22 countries to choose between giving up - a sense (Hearing, Smell, Taste, or Vision) or a range of commodities (Pet, Hair, Left Little Toe, Cell Phone, 3 months' worth of salary, Social Media, Dream Vacation, Online Streaming, or Online Shopping). 
Our findings revealed three distinct groups of participants. The majority of individuals in our study were unwilling to give up their senses for any of the commodities we proposed. Another group of participants was willing to give up a sense in exchange for a commodity, with their sense of smell being the most common choice to sacrifice for their pets. Finally, a group of participants were indifferent to what they gave up, as they were equally likely to give up a sense or commodity.

Interestingly, these groups of individuals were not evenly distributed across the countries investigated. Countries such as Nigeria, Peru, and Italy had a majority of participants who were unwilling to give up their senses. In contrast, countries like the US, Brazil, and China had more participants who weighed each question carefully. Lastly, countries like Thailand, India, and Germany had a higher percentage of participants who were indifferent and equally likely to give up a sense or commodity.

Overall, our study showed that people value their senses more than any of the commodities proposed. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic's extensive coverage of chemical senses, the value of smell and taste remains underappreciated globally.

Connecting the dots between implicit and explicit data sources to unlock deeper consumer insight

Tessa Moxley & Stephen Lillford, Reckitt, Rachel Horn, HCD Research

1:00-1:30 PM

Making sense of consumer response to fragrance can be challenging due to the subjective and individualized nature of both smell perception and emotion response. Higher-order benefits (e.g., emotion) and other more abstract attributes can be difficult for consumers to explicitly record.  Consumer implicit association testing (IAT) provides an easier way for consumer to express these perceptions to fragrances and provide additional differentiation where traditional self-report shows parity. However, integrating and resolving implicit and explicit responses into actionable results and recommendations can be complex and challenging. In the current study, we explored how implicit response can help identify drivers of explicit liking using regression analyses (e.g., the role of authenticity in driving hedonics) and how the different perceptual attributes interact with one another. This multi-method approach to fragrance evaluation can target features that highlight or hinder brand harmony and ‘fit to concept’ in fragrance development. 

From Data to Insights: Predictive Modelling for Sensory and Consumer Science Research

Vanessa Rios de Souza, PhD & Bartosz Smulski, Aigora

1:30-2:00 PM

In this talk, we dive into the transformative role of machine learning (ML) in predictive modelling, specifically its applications in extracting actionable insights from historical data within the context of sensory and consumer science research. We aim to underscore the significant advantages ML-based predictive modelling brings to research and product development, such as accelerated time-to-market, enhanced decision-making, and the potential for more personalized consumer experiences. We will navigate through the challenges posed by predictive modelling, including data quality and availability, potential biases, and the risk of overfitting. Through practical use case scenarios, we will illustrate how these models can be adeptly applied to drive business value and enhance the R&D process.

Emerging Science: Panel Discussion

Valentina Parma, PhD and Jonas Yde Junge, PhD, Tessa Moxley, Rachel Horn,Vanessa Rios de Souza, PhD & Bartosz Smulski, Moderated by Michelle Niedziela, PhD, HCD Research

2:00-2:45 PM

Join panelists Valentina Parma, PhD and Jonas Yde Junge, PhD of Monell Chemical Senses Center, Tessa Moxley of Reckitt, Rachel Horn of HCD Research and Vanessa Rios de Souza, PhD and Bartosz Smulski of Aigora as they answer your questions and speak with Michelle further about the future of research and applications of emerging sciences.

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