Corporate – Political Gullibility / neuro-marketing brain scan-scams

Nature neuroscience EditorialJuly 2004

Brain scams?

‘the buy button in the brain

Excerpt: “The prospect of big corporations or political lobbyists enlisting brain science to manipulate consumer and voter behavior has inevitably raised concerns in some quarters: a watchdog agency founded by consumer advocate Ralph Nader, for instance, has asked the US government to investigate neuro-marketing companies on public health grounds. But given the current state of the science, these worries seem premature. Cognitive science is not yet close to explaining or predicting human decision-making in the real world, and even advocates such as Kilts admit that companies need to be more informed about the technology of fMRI if they are to understand its limitations. It is easy to be seduced by colorful pictures of brain activity and to believe that these images are rich in scientific content. But the images are highly processed and cannot be interpreted without a detailed understanding of the analytical methods by which they were generated. Moreover, these images are invariably produced under controlled laboratory conditions, and it is a major leap to extrapolate to a genetically and culturally diverse population of people in an almost infinite variety of real-world situations.”

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http://www.fastcompany.com (a rah-rah business website)

Thinking Cap: “Mynd” Is the First Dry, iPhone-Compatible, Portable Brain Scanner

Neuromarketing goes mobile with this lightweight, dry, and iPhone- or iPad-compatible new device from NeuroFocus. DiY brain researchers rejoice!

What is “neuromarketing” – the odd corner of marketing research NeuroFocus has staked out for itself? Broadly speaking, neuromarketers measure how the brain and body react to certain stimuli, then extrapolate from that information whether an advertisement, brand, product, or package is having its desired effect. Neuromarketers reportedly had a hand in the 2010 midterm elections, with several consulting for Republican candidates. Neurological research has also been used to help market movies.

The 2016 Presidential election ought to be a cautionary tale for those responsible for “selling” candidates, since the “marketing and polling experts” were so pitifully wrong in their predictions!

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