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Applied methodologies in neuromarketing - a critical review of theory and practice

By M.A.B. Brinkhuis


The present review provides a critical discussion about neuroimaging-tools that are applied for marketing purposes, focussing on the measurements of psychological processes that are thought to be important to predict consumer behaviour (i.e. memory, attention and affective processing). I discuss the literature that is cited by individual neuromarketing companies as the basis of their approach, with main focus on if and how their methods could provide insight into marketing-effectiveness. Techniques that are discussed include ERP analysis, EEG-spectral analysis, Steady state probe topography, and univariate and multivariate analysis of fMRI data. The main conclusions are that certain aspects of consumer behaviour can be identified using neuroimaging methods. The use of EEG provides insight into attentional processes and memory using ERP-studies, but primarily timefrequency analysis. Both EEG and fMRI can be used to assess affective processing in relation to consumer behaviour. However, the problem of reverse inference creates difficulty in interpreting neuroimaging-data to predict marketing-effectiveness. Nonetheless, consumer neuroscience provides valuable insights into the consumer decision-making process

Topics: neuromarketing, EEG, fMRI, consumer behaviour
Year: 2013
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