Is Neuromarketing looking in the wrong place?

I was interviewed yesterday for an article that will appear in the new quarterly MRS magazine (now that the monthly magazine has gone entirely online). Although my bit of the article will be very small (if used at all) the interview did get me thinking about one key aspect of the interest in neuroscience. How much of our thinking, memories, and decisions happen within our own heads, and how much is determined elsewhere? I am struck by three strands of thinking that suggest that a large part of what we think of as being inside our own heads might not be, context, social copying and/or discursive psychology. Context The collected works of the behavioural economists are suggesting that a very large part of what we say, feel, do is context driven. This in turn suggests that what is inside our heads during a survey, brain scan, facial coding session might be entirely irrelevant to what happens when we are in the situation. Which is why there is a growing amount of interest in observational research and in techniques that speak to people ‘in the moment’, for example some mobile research. Social Copying For, at least, the last five years Mark […]