Thinking Clearly in 99 Steps

Jan 19 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

Have you ever read a book and wished you had found it earlier? Have you ever been recommended a book, and immediately bought it for fear of missing out on something so good? In The Art of Thinking Clearly, Rolf Dobelli discusses the fear of regret and 98 other cognitive biases in plain and succinct language beautifully illustrated with personal anecdotes. scientific papers and psychology experiments from around the world. Read more »

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Exploring and Measuring Emotion: Neuropsychology and Visual Thinking

Oct 04 2014 Published by neilgains under emotion

Our emotional brain speaks the language of experience, dominated by our visual world. It’s time for research to start talking the same language as the emotional brain.

Let’s face it – as researchers we spend most of our lives in the verbal sphere. But does that make sense? And, in particular, does it make sense to try and understand human emotions through questions and answers or sets of words? We are living in the visual age, where many claim that visual literacy is on the rise, with the use of multiple screens and the importance of the moving image in TV, film and online (read a review of The Age of the Image here). But humans have always been more visual than verbal, and technology is now allowing us to share visual information more easily than ever before. So there is no longer an excuse for market research! Read more »

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Does your Brand have the Right Emotional Profile?

Mar 27 2014 Published by neilgains under emotion

Has the marketing world finally caught on to the importance of emotion in advertising and branding? I’ve read a flurry of articles recently, and finally in the mainstream marketing press, discussing the importance of leveraging emotions.

This is a topic that TapestryWorks have been discussing for a long time, although we can’t claim to be the first. Many have seen their importance, since the beginning of the advertising and market research industries, although the argument was buried for decades by models of ‘persuasion’ that permeated the rational minds of big business. Read more »

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Neuromarketing - Brainwave or Brainwash?

Sep 20 2013 Published by neilgains under brain science

The title of the first chapter of Brainwashed,  ”Losing Our Minds in the Age of Brain Science”, sums up the main thread of this readable new book. Brain science is a powerful new tool to help us understand our mind, but its potential has blinded us to its (current) limitations, especially when the world is full of snake oil salespeople, determined to sell us the lie that it can answer any question and find the mythical “buy button” in the brain. The reality is that it cannot, at least for now and arguably ever. Read more »

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Advertising, Persuasion, Seduction and Noise

Jun 01 2013 Published by neilgains under brain science

In Seducing the Subconscious, Robert Heath argues that existing models of how advertising works are misguided, mistaken and misleading, especially about the role that attention, liking and persuasion play in influencing customer behaviour. Seducing the Subconscious draws on many well known examples of advertising as well as the work of Robert Zajonc, Herb Krugman, Antonio Damasio, Joseph LeDoux and others. Read more »

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The Warrior (Archetypes #5)

Dec 05 2012 Published by neilgains under archetypes

“The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live.”  – Seneca

“The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary man takes everything as a blessing or a curse.”  -  Carlos Castaneda

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than themselves.” – Joseph Campbell

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Changing Habits

Nov 02 2012 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

In the last blog I discussed how the cognitive biases fall into five main themes or categories (read here). But how do these biases relate to habitual behaviours and more importantly to behavioural change? In fact the biases are mostly influenced by contextual factors and the emotional rewards that we all seek. Read more »

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Understanding SNAPP Judgments

Oct 21 2012 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

Learning and applying the principles of behavioural economics and the mental shortcuts or biases which we are all prone to can be bewildering and frustrating. When I checked on Wikipedia, there are 173 pages relating to biases of judgement and decision making, including long lists of decision making, belief and behavioural biases, social biases, and memory errors (link below). Similarly, The Visual Guide to Cognitive Biases by the Royal Society for Account Planners (worth reading, link below) lists over 100 different biases. Surely there must be some key principles to these?

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Storytelling in Research

Sep 22 2012 Published by neilgains under insight

As market research has developed it has become more remote from the people it wishes to understand.  Technology is a great enabler, but also creates an artificial barrier between the researcher and customer. Similarly, short and narrowly focused questions and prompts encourage short and narrowly focused answers, missing the full story of human behaviour and failing to capture the goals, emotions and context of decision making. Read more »

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Answers without Questions

Sep 13 2012 Published by neilgains under insight

I believe that market research still relies far too much on direct questions and answers and that many current practices in research suffer from serious flaws. There are three big problems in relying on direct question and answer approaches:

  1. They do not take account of the different systems in the brain
  2. They too often ignore the importance of context (and it’s role in memory)
  3. The act of asking questions can itself change the answers you get Read more »

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