More Consumption of Consumer Neuroscience

The Neuropolitika logo, via Facebook
The Neuropolitika logo, via Facebook

The New York Times article, “Neuropolitics, Where Campaigns Try to Read Your Mind” is a perfect example of the popular fascination with superficial brain research. “Consumer neuroscience,” as the field is at least honestly called, aims to apply neuroscience methodologies in order to help companies sell products and people communicate their messages. The article talks about embattled Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, among other politicians, who have employed consultants to this effect. “We warned well in advance of the high rejection level towards the three main Mexican parties,” Dr. Jaime Romano Micha, of the firm Neuropolitika, said. “Through our neuronal studies, we saw how voter sympathy levels, approach/withdraw and voting intention variables were shifting.” This could be a bad translation, but, as even the New York Times, notoriously seducible by imaging results, will note, “the phenomenon probably would not have required a scientist to point out.”

About the author

Ben Ehrlich

Ben Ehrlich's new book "The Dreams of Santiago Ramón y Cajal" will be published by Oxford University Press in 2016. Ben is a 2015 Salzburg Global Seminar fellow in Neuroscience and Art.

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