Our brains, our wallets - the field of neuromarketing

The emerging field of neuromarketing exploits the gap between what we say and what we think. Flickr/DierkSchaefer

How do we choose? Consumers imagine themselves as rational decision-makers, able to weigh up the relative costs and benefits of decisions to arrive at reasoned choices.

Yet, a growing body of research in psychology and the neurosciences suggests that learning and decision-making is mediated by thought processes that occur “below-the-surface”.

Indeed, increasing evidence suggests that our decision-making is heavily biased via mechanisms that are inaccessible to deliberative thought processes.

Watch: Philip Harris explains neuromarketing

The role of emotions

Marketing theory and practice has long-understood that emotions play an important role in consumer decisions, particularly those decisions that are impulsive, low in cost or risk.

Now there is mounting evidence suggesting that hidden, emotionally biased thought processes underpin decision-making in general, including those made by consumers.

Daimler Chrysler has used neuromarketing. AAP