Currently the top three non-invasive enumerating methods to measure physiological responses to advertising stimuli include electroencephalography (EGG), magneto encephalographic (MEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fem.). Current enumerating applications are being used by businesses, entertainment, architecture, and politics. Enumerating is a highly controversial practice of measuring the effects of various stimuli on brain activity and then drawing conclusions that correlate that data within the confines of consumer behavior.
The academic disciplines are primarily concerned with learning what combination of stimuli effect a humans decision process to enhance the quality of life. While most corporations and Laotians are primarily concerned with increasing wealth and power. The controversy arises due to the current lack of ethical boundaries, lack of transparency by enumerating firms, limited knowledge of complex brain functions, and the multitude of companies applying neuroscience methodologies without backgrounds in neuroscience.
With so much uncertainty surrounding enumerating, it is no wonder that the media and consumer alert groups are spreading fearful messages about mind-reading and mind-control. Although enumerating first surfaced in 2002, it is still a relatively new concept which has been gaining traction since 2010. This paper will discuss the methods used to collect and analyze the data, ethical implications, current applications, and future possibilities. Enumerating has tremendous potential to improve communication, learning, and products and services for consumers; albeit rightly guided by teams of professionals from various academic disciplines.
These academic disciplines should include neurologists, biologists, chemists, psychologists, psychiatrists, physiologists, consumer behaviorist’s, and marketing professionals with Pad’s. Interdisciplinary cooperation is the key to unlocking the mysterious correlation teens mankind’s perception of various forms of stimuli and their effect on consumer behavior. Literature Review In Moron’s (2011) article he explains the pros and cons of the three non-invasive methods currently used to map brain activity. First, EGG is used to map electrical currents produced by synaptic connection that fire when triggered by various forms of stimuli.
The process is effective at recording rapid changes in brain activity in small intervals. EGG falls short of the mark due to limited spatial resolution and not questionable due to the fact that it cannot provide an accurate correlation between he brain activity and the stimuli. Moron (2011) states, “While insights gained by using EGG can be helpful to assess the value of a piece of advertising, they are insufficient to help us understand the cognitive process responsible for triggering activity in the entire brain”(p. 33). Second, MEG has excellent temporal resolution which in turn means better spatial resolution than the EGG. But MEG is still limited to brain activity at the surface, which makes subtropical imaging impossible. Moron (2011) elaborates by stating, “a few valuable studies have demonstrated that specific frequency bands correlate to intolerable cognitive tasks such as recognizing objects, accessing verbal working memory, and recalling specific events”(p. 134).
MEG technology is still fairly limited and cannot provide useful data in the realms of higher cognitive functions and emotional reactions. Third, fem. can map the BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) response which correlates to neuronal activity affected by specific stimuli. The fem. has optimal spatial resolution but at very slow speeds. Moron (2011) states, “fem. has the major advantage of being able to image deep brain structures, especially those involved in emotional responses”(p. 34).
Moron’s recommendation is summed up in the following statement, Most researchers working with MEG combine both MEG and fem. in order to optimize both temporal and spatial resolution issues and/or provide the added value of time stamping critical cognitive sequences at the incredible speed of Just a few milliseconds (Moron 2011, p. 134). Moron sees enumerating in a positive light and as the future of marketing and I would have to agree. The potential uses of neuroscience to map brain activity in response to various forms of stimuli in order to understand what triggers consumer behaviors are endless.
In time, I believe current technology will be modified to allow other forms of stimuli to be implemented to really see the big picture. Currently fem. limits us to a fixed position with limited motion and therefore can only test certain senses. Once technology advances to be able to simulate real world experiences that include all senses simultaneously, the combination of MEG and fem. will more closely reflect actual real world results. In Savor, Keller, Lee, Chamberlain, and Rainmaker’s (2013) article, they differentiate between the scientific and business perspectives on the applications of enumerating.
The scientific process known as consumer neuroscience is fundamentally concerned with the consumer’s point of view and the research is meant to improve the consumer’s quality of life. While enumerating from a business perspectives primary focus is to conduct experiments and interpret the research for financial gain. Savor et al. Presents a case application by McClure et al. Of fem. to research brain activity reflecting brand preference between Coca-Cola and Pepsi through varying combinations of smell and taste perception.
The DELFT (doorplates preferential cortex) activates during the representation and integration of goals and reward espouses. While the FMP (ventricular preferential cortex) is more commonly associated with decision making in choice tasks or brand preference. One conclusion of this experiment is that preference is processed in different brain areas depending sensory information only (taste), while the hippopotamus, the DELFT and the mandarin showed enhanced response when Judgments were based on both sensory inputs and the brand.
This study, among others, suggests the importance of nationalizing for the success of a brand and hints at subconscious and purely emotional aspects involved in consumption behavior Cavort et al. 013, p. 4) Interestingly enough, when blindfolded consumers preferred the taste of Pepsi although the brain activity remained uniform for both brands. But when the consumer could also see which brand they were consuming the results overwhelmingly favored Coca Cola. There are many other corporations using enumerating techniques but very few are sharing their results.
Rarely and Berne (2010) article provides various applications of enumerating techniques including the fields of architecture, entertainment, and politics. I have included two lists contained within their article, which can be found in my appendices at the end of this paper. Unfortunately I could not include a chart from the article which displays the optimal locations to implement enumerating applications in the product development cycle using fem. technologies. Rarely and Berne (2010) claim, fem. can be used as part of the design process itself.
Here, neural responses could be used to refine the product before it is released. In the second, fem. can be used after the product is fully designed, typically to measure neural responses as part of an advertising campaign to increase sales (p. 286). In edition, Appendix A includes a list of ethical issues facing enumerating and Appendix B includes a list of what to look for when hiring a enumerating firm. In Fisher, Chin, and Assailant’s (2010) article, they emphasize the importance of assessing the scientific authenticity of enumerating companies before picking one at random.
Fisher et al. (2010) found that a close analysis of 16 enumerating companies online, only 5 offered fem.; 9 offered EGG services; and 12 offered some other neuroscience related technology, including: magneto encephalographic, “psychophysics,” software services, eye tracking, galvanic skin response, electrocardiography, electromyography, and analysis of pupil dilation, blush, blinking, heartbeat, or breathing. Of note, one company did not offer any technology; instead, it offered only focus groups and other simple marketing strategies, but described these methods using neuroscience terms (232).
Even worse only five of the companies employ academicians and nine have professional involvement of PhD and Meds. This presents the problem of locating a credible enumerating company. Further results of the previous enumerating company analysis can be found at the end of this paper in Appendix C. So there are many inexperienced companies promising neuroscience results, that simply can’t deliver adequate data and we can add this phenomena to the growing list of scams.
Implications of the Literature Clearly enumerating is still a relatively new and rapidly evolving process that is struggling to maintain credibility in a business-minded environment concerned with increasing profits. Enumerating is limited by our understanding of the brain and what actually triggers consumer behavior. Likewise, we are limited to a handful of technologies that can read synaptic responses and increased BOLD activity, which include EGG, MEG, and fem.. The problem with these technologies is either limited provides a small piece if the puzzle.
The Coca Cola versus Pepsi experiment mentioned in Savor et al. (2013) only solidifies the fact that we are only obtaining a small puzzle piece due to the limited focus of each technology compared to the complexity of the human brain. The key to getting a better understanding of what stimuli triggers consumer behavior can only be found by infusing as many possible technologies to form a more complete picture. Time will also advance technologies and improve our understanding of neuroscience. Doctors like Fisher et al. 010) don’t feel ethical guidelines or transparency are necessary as they state, Such an intervention might be warranted if enumerating were actually able to manipulate consumer behavior and if the targets of that marketing effort could not detect that they were being manipulated. This scenario, which is described as stealth enumerating in one analysis, is not possible using current technology (p. 235). Although the necessity for enumerating ethical standards may be as premature as the technology used to collect and analyze data from enumerating experiments, I believe that a preemptive strike is necessary.
Once someone has the understanding and the technology, it will already be too late to play catch up with rules and regulations. The enumerating code of ethics should address transparency of purpose, right to privacy, discrimination, lack of regulations, adverse health risks, etc…. Many enumerating firms are simply unqualified to produce useful data due to a lack of academically qualified employees with neuroscience backgrounds. Too many companies are latching on to this latest trend in hopes to find the “buy button” which will allow them to produce and promote products to raise their bottom line.
In the near future enumerating used eighty could promote better products at a lower price which would benefit the consumer. If companies can save money by using enumerating results to test products before they invest in production, the savings could be passed on to the consumers. Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of faith in humanity so I believe corporations will use it for financial gain with little respect for the consumer’s well- being.
Conclusion The future of enumerating relies heavily on the advancing both the knowledge of the human brain and the technologies used to analyze it’s synaptic and BOLD activities in response to a wide array of stimuli. Another possibility would be to develop a Bio-Anna-Chip with EGG, MEG, or fem. capabilities to be implanted safely into key response centers of the brain, so that the data can be gathered from a select group of volunteers to be tracked for weeks at a time. The information would be transmitted via the RIFF (radio frequency identification) technologies to a portable hard drive.
Currently the best plan is to implement all technologies simultaneously, and create as close to a real world shopping experience as possible, including all real world stimuli to get the most accurate assessment of the consumer mind in action. Virtual reality technology could also play a major role in adding visuals and mobility to an fem. experiment without actually moving. In addition, a code of ethics needs to be written, agreed upon, and enforced by a board of directors that includes members from a wide array of applicable academic disciplines.
It is not prudent to wait for someone to misuse enumerating needs to shut companies down that are falsely claiming to provide enumerating research without being able to meet a basic list of requirements that include technology and qualified staff. In the future, I believe that enumerating will tramline the product development cycle and improve the quality of life for the consumer. The benefits outweigh the risks. References Rarely, D. , Berne, G. S. (2010). Enumerating: the hope and hype of nonrecurring in business.
Nature Reviews Neuroscience. Volume 11 Issue 4, 284-292. Dot: 10. 1038/ nunnery Fisher, C. E. , Chin, L. , Kleptomania, R. (2010). Defining enumerating: practices and professional challenges. Harvard Review of Psychiatry (Taylor & Francis Ltd). Volume 18 Issue 4, 230-237. Dot: 10. 3109/10673229. 2010. 496623 Savor, A. , Keller, M. , Lee, N. Chamberlain, L. , Aryanism, G. (2013). Enumerating and consumer resilience: contributions to neurology. BUM Neurology. Volume 13 Issue 1, 1-12. Dot: 10. 118611471-2377-13-13 Moron, C. 2011). Enumerating: the new science of consumer behavior. Society. Volume 48 Issue 2, 131-135. Dot: 10. 1007/ ASSESS-010-9408-1 Appendix A The ethics of enumerating The introduction of nonrecurring into an environment in which the ultimate goal is to sell more product to the consumer may raise ethical issues. ;Businesses will be able to read the minds of consumers. This concern is about the privacy of thoughts. Can nonrecurring be used to gauge a person’s preferences outside of the specific task being performed?
Possibly. This concern may be mitigated through transparency of purpose: subjects must know what kind of endeavor they are helping, and their data should only be used for that purpose. ;Private versus public information about preferences. Individuals need to be able to exercise control over what they choose to reveal about their personal preferences. A privacy breach occurs if nonrecurring reveals a private preference that is outside the scope of the neurotransmitters research question. Information will be used to discriminate against individuals or exploit particular neurological traits found in a subgroup of individuals. Nonrecurring data could potentially target marketing to specific people or groups. Many people would find this tactic repugnant because it exploits a biological Weakness’ that only exists in some people. Similarly, this information could be used to time pricing moves to capitalize on individual weaknesses that are known to coincide with particular biological states (for example, raising beverage prices when someone is known to be thirsty). Central versus peripheral routes of influence. A central route aims to influence consumers’ preferences about the functional aspects of the product (for example, fewer calories in a beer). A peripheral route attempts to manipulate preferences through things that are peripherally related to the product (for example, sex appeal of people in advertisements). Nonrecurring could potentially be used to enhance both types of influence, but some consider the attempts to optimize the peripheral route more ethically dubious. Brain responses obtained from a small group of subjects will be used to generalize to a large population. Of course, this is done all the time in the scientific literature. If enumerating data are used in product design and the product injures someone, nonrecurring will be partly to blame. Abnormal findings. Approximately 1% of the symptoms, the clinical significance of an MR. abnormality is unknown. Many will be false positives; others will be real and require referral. Currently, there is no standard for how to handle these situations.
However, it is standard practice to have a written policy in place for abnormal findings. Failure to do so opens both the enumerating firm and their clients to medical liability. ;A lack of regulation. Traditional marketing methods, because they are not typically viewed as experimentation, have not been subject to institutional review board ORB) oversight. MR. scans are approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for clinical use but, because no diagnosis is being made in a marketing setting, there is the potential to circumvent both FDA and RIB requirements.
The burgeoning enumerating industry would be well advised to adopt an industry standard of independent review. Clients should demand it. ;Management of perceptions. How will the public react when they discover that nonrecurring has been used to design or market a product? The publics response to genetically modified food could provide an indication. Companies might not be primarily concerned with the best interests of the consumer. Companies and consumers maintain complex relationships in which some of their goals are compatible while others are in conflict.
On the one hand, companies seek to design, manufacture and sell products that consumers seek to buy, resulting in compatible goals that benefit both parties. On the other hand, companies also aim to maximize their short- or long-term profits, sometimes to the detriment of their consumers. Much like marketing itself, understanding consumer preferences can be used for goals that are in the best interests of both the company ND their consumers or for objectives that are in the interests of the company and to the detriment of their consumers. Which approaches neurotransmitters choose is an open question. Rarely and Berne 2010, p. 289) Appendix B What to look for when hiring a enumerating firm We provide a list, which is by no means exhaustive, of what could be considered standard practice in the application of nonrecurring methods in cognitive neuroscience and related fields. It is based on standard criteria for reviewing research proposals and adapted to a business setting. ;What is to be gained from nonrecurring? Good neurotransmitters will begin by discussing the pros and cons of the proposal in detail. For example: what will nonrecurring yield over traditional methods?
Ask for data about the predictive value of nonrecurring findings in a real- world setting. ;What are the dependent and independent measurements? Assessing brain activation is not generally useful without correlating it with some other measurement. It is necessary to have another behavioral measurement to anchor the interpretation of the brain activation. Be wary if someone claims to know what a person thinks based solely on brain activation. How many subjects are needed? Apart from the simplest of tasks, any task invoking a response that is expected to vary across individuals demands a sample size of at least 30 (REF. 4). If groups of individuals are being compared under different treatments or conditions, the sample size will need to be much greater to detect differences between groups and between different treatments. ;What is the nature of the stimuli? Simple stimuli are the difficult to characterize unless one element at a time is varied. For statistical power, a minimum of 10 repetitions within a stimulus category are required, although 20-30 loud be more likely to achieve meaningful results. ;What type of software will be used to analyze the nonrecurring data?