Mind Hacks on Neuromarketing

Mind Hacks, following its theme on the neurological implications of marketing and advertising, have their first post-up, in which they skeptically examine claims that flashes of electricity in the brain can easily be utilized to create successful advertisements:

The appeal of neuromarketing is the illusion of being able to access some more fundamental explanatory basis for our actions. People may lie to market researchers, or may even deceive themselves, but – we hope – ‘the brain doesn’t lie’. As psychologist and marketing guru Gerald Zaltman said existing methods don’t go nearly far enough in helping [advertisers] move to a closer understanding of their customers.

Sadly for marketing science, a straight description of what the brain is doing is of limited use – the marketing implications crucially depend on how you interpret that activity. And the interpretation depends on your theories and assumptions about the mind. If your assumptions are dubious… then you’re not going to get anything more than a pseudo-scientific smokescreen.

To half-assed Instapundicize this link – Indeed. Read the whole thing.


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  1. AcidReign says:

    …..Given the performance of the psychologists of the past century in figuring out how the brain works, I’m sure the neuro-scientists will have it all mapped out in no time!

    …..150 years of psychology, and basically all we know how to do is sedate every problem. Legalized (and damned expensive) dope dealing’s what it is! Our ancestors had this down thousands of years ago when they started fermenting goat’s milk in Sumeria…