One of my favorite neuroscience blogs, Mind Hacks, is posing an open question on the nature of advertising to their readers. They are looking to fill next month with posts examining whether or not advertising is a science and the psychological implications and effects it has on the clump of electrically-charged gray noodles coagulating in our heads.
The question, as it is posed, is this:
Do adverts work? How do they work? And is it a problem?
Most of us don’t think we’re particularly affected by adverts, but it can’t be for nothing that the advertising industry in the UK spent
13 billion last year trying to change our buying habits, and another couple of billion pounds researching in which are the most effective ways of doing this. Psychologists have spent years trying to predict what makes people behave in certain ways and we’re not that close to an answer – perhaps the advertisers, with their massive budget, have cracked it? And if they have, should we be worried?
Mind Hacks is a fine blog, and we’re really interested in what they’ll have to say on the scientific side of modern advertising; likewise, we know our readers have a lot of thoughts on this. So go on over and let them know what you think or just post in our comments section and we’ll forward the link later in the week.