Six Songs and Human Nature

Nov 24 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

In This is Your Brain on Music, Daniel Levitin explored the psychology of music, and in The World in Six Songs he turns to music, culture and human nature.  He discusses six different ways in which music and song communicate emotions and ideas, covering friendship, joy, comfort, religion, knowledge and love, arguing that these songs are the building blocks of human nature. This is a great read on the role of music in all societies and how it has shaped and reflects human culture. I couldn’t help but notice that the six songs Levitiin discusses cover the range of human motivations and emotional goals. Read more »

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The Spectre of Blending Signs

Nov 09 2015 Published by neilgains under semiotics

I really enjoyed Spectre, the latest Bond outing. In particular, the film is full of references to other (Bond) movies. Apart from the fact that Spectre weaves together strands from all three of Daniel Craig’s previous outings, I noticed quiet specific references to several earlier Bond films, including From Russia With Love, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (via Inception) and The Spy Who Loved Me. And those are only the ones that I remember (I wasn’t taking notes in the cinema).

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Let The Hands Speak

Oct 26 2015 Published by neilgains under brain science

“Language is inseparable from imagery” argues David McNeill (quoting from Antonio Damasio) in his revealing book on the relationship between gesture and language. Moreover, gestures actually help us to think and to speak and to articulate our feelings and thinking. Read more »

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Archetypes, Identity and the Life Cycle

Oct 13 2015 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

In Identity and the Life Cycle and other works, Erik Erikson developed a lifespan model of human development covering eight stages, five in childhood and three in adulthood. His work is very much influenced by Sigmund Freud, although he focuses on psychosocial development rather than psychosexual. Erikson emphasises the role of society and culture, and the conflicts between individuals and there society and culture in shaping the way all humans develop through their life. In his model, each stage builds on the previous stages and the growth and trajectory of development shares a great deal with motivational models of behaviour and archetypal thinking. Read more »

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The Quest for Beautiful Questions in Outer and Inner Space

Oct 04 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

In The Martian, the stranded astronaut Mark Watney has to use his wits and scientific knowledge to overcome hostile landscapes and environment, tragic accidents and the loneliness of being the only man left on Mars. The story focuses on his ingenuity in solving all the problems that he comes up against. And why is Mark Watney so good at solving all the problems that confront him? He is also very good at asking the right questions. Read more »

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Market Research and the Loyalty Myth

Sep 28 2015 Published by neilgains under market research

Is customer loyalty a myth? While loyalty research and customer relationship management have grown, clear evidence that customer loyalty drives commercial success is difficult to find. And as the world and businesses become more short-term in their thinking, is it time to reevaluate the reality of “loyalty”?

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How to CHIME with System 1

Sep 07 2015 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

Daniel Kahneman’s version of the division of the brain is gradually replacing the models, although it shares much in common with the older view of the “triune” brain. In the triune model there area three parts, the reptilian brain (home of the basic functions like homeostasis, breathing, feeding, sex), the mammalian brain (home of the emotions) and the neocortex (home of memory, higher level sensory processing and self-reflection and rational thinking).Daniel Kahneman’s System 1 is closest to a combination of reptilian and mammalian brains (survival and emotion) although it also incorporates some higher level sensory processing too. Read more »

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Celebrity Matching: Female celebrities and Muslim beauty

Aug 30 2015 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

As part of our work on Muslim beauty, TapestryWorks, ABN Impact and Zest Research Consultancy also looked at perceptions of local female celebrities using picture sets of around 30 celebrities in both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Figure 1 - Indonesia celebrity images

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Bah Humbug! What is advertising really about?

Aug 18 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

In The Anatomy of HumbugT, Paul Feldwick provides a clear and interesting overview of the history of advertising and the different theories of how and why advertising works (and doesn’t), from the “Salesmanship” theory of advertising of the early years of the industry (mostly associated with more rational models of decision making) to the “Seduction” theory of the early motivational researchers and more lately of neuromarketing, which inform the central discussion of this fascinating book.

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Contextual Data: New Dawn or False Promise?

Aug 15 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

The Age of Context promised to be a revelatory book on the future of market research, but I have to admit to be being ultimately disappointed. The authors are evangelists for new technology, but their evangelism often feels like an informercial for the companies that they mention, and their over-enthusiasm for many ideas is irritating rather than inspiring (especially that for Google Glass). However, my biggest concern with this book is that ultimately it reads as wishful fantasy rather than future reality, as the authors enthuse for what may be possible without failing to address many big issues with the trends that they discuss.

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