Neuromarketing is an emerging field in which academic and industry research scientists employ neuroscience techniques to study marketing practices and consumer behavior. The use of neuroscience techniques, it is argued, facilitates a more direct understanding of how brain states and other physiological mechanisms are related to consumer behavior and decision making. Herein, we will articulate common ethical concerns with neuromarketing as currently practiced, focusing on the potential risks to consumers and the ethical decisions faced by companies. We argue that the (...) most frequently raised concerns—threats to consumer autonomy, privacy, and control—do not rise to meaningful ethical issues given the current capabilities and implementation of neuromarketing research. But, we identify how potentially serious ethical issues may emerge from neuromarketing research practices in industry, which are largely proprietary and opaque. We identify steps that can mitigate associated ethical risks and thus reduce the threats to consumers. We conclude that neuromarketing has clear potential for positive impact on society and consumers, a fact rarely considered in the discussion on the ethics of neuromarketing. (shrink)
Palmer describes a “subjective barrier” that limits knowledge of others' experience. We discuss how this barrier extends to all knowledge, becoming less distinct as theoretical constructs are strengthened. We provide evidence for isomorphic experience, among individuals with similar physiologies, by showing that perceived relations between colors are as similar when viewing pigments as when viewing subjective colors caused by flickering bars.
The phenomenon of ambiguity aversion, in which risky gambles with known probabilities are preferred over ambiguous gambles with unknown probabilities, has been thoroughly documented in adults but never measured in children. Here, we use two distinct tasks to investigate ambiguity preferences of children (8- to 9-year-olds) and a comparison group of adults (19- to 27-year-olds). Across three separate measures, we found evidence for significant ambiguity aversion in adults but not in children and for greater ambiguity aversion in adults compared to (...) children. As ambiguity aversion in adults has been theorized to result from a preference to bet on the known and avoid the unfamiliar, we separately measured familiarity bias and found that children, like adults, are biased towards the familiar. Our findings indicate that ambiguity aversion emerges across the course of development between childhood and adolescence, while a familiarity bias is already present in childhood. (shrink)
We address two major limitations of Schyns et al. First, we clarify their concept of “features” by postulating several levels for processing. The composition of the feature set at each level determines the set at the next higher level, following simple structural guidelines. Second, we show that our proposed framework reconciles feature-creation and fixed-feature approaches.
The practices of economists increase experimental reproducibility relative to those of selected psychologists but should not be universally adopted. Procedures criticized by Hertwig and Ortmann as producing variable data are valuable, instead, for generating questions. The procedure of choice should depend on the theoretical goal: measure a known factor or learn what factors are important and need to be measured.