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A Consumer Neuroscience Study of Conscious and Subconscious Destination Preference


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In studying consumer behaviors, the inclusion of neuroscience tools and methods is improving our understanding of preference formation and choice. But such responses are mostly related to the consumption of goods and services that meet an immediate need. Tourism represents a consumer behavior that is related to a more complex decision-making process, involving a stronger relationship with a future self, and choices typically being of a higher level of involvement and of a transformational type. The aim of this study was to test whether direct emotional and cognitive responses to travel destination would be indicative of subsequent stated destination preference. Participants were shown images and videos from multiple travel destinations while being monitored using eye-tracking and electroencephalography (EEG) brain monitoring. The EEG responses to each image and video were further calculated into neurometric scores of emotional (frontal asymmetry and arousal) and cognitive load metrics. Our results show that arousal and cognitive load were significantly related to subsequent stated travel preferences, accounting for about 20% of the variation in preference. Still, results also suggested that subconscious emotional and cognitive responses are not identical to subjective travel preference, suggesting that other mechanisms may be at play in forming conscious, stated preference. This study both supports the idea that destination preferences can be studied using consumer neuroscience and brings further insights into the mechanisms at stake during such choices.
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SCIENTIFIC REPORTS | (2019) 9:15102 |
A Consumer Neuroscience Study
of Conscious and Subconscious
Destination Preference
Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy1,2*, Noela Michael
3 & Ian Michael4
In studying consumer behaviors, the inclusion of neuroscience tools and methods is improving our
understanding of preference formation and choice. But such responses are mostly related to the
consumption of goods and services that meet an immediate need. Tourism represents a consumer
behavior that is related to a more complex decision-making process, involving a stronger relationship
with a future self, and choices typically being of a higher level of involvement and of a transformational
type. The aim of this study was to test whether direct emotional and cognitive responses to travel
destination would be indicative of subsequent stated destination preference. Participants were shown
images and videos from multiple travel destinations while being monitored using eye-tracking and
electroencephalography (EEG) brain monitoring. The EEG responses to each image and video were
further calculated into neurometric scores of emotional (frontal asymmetry and arousal) and cognitive
load metrics. Our results show that arousal and cognitive load were signicantly related to subsequent
stated travel preferences, accounting for about 20% of the variation in preference. Still, results also
suggested that subconscious emotional and cognitive responses are not identical to subjective travel
preference, suggesting that other mechanisms may be at play in forming conscious, stated preference.
This study both supports the idea that destination preferences can be studied using consumer
neuroscience and brings further insights into the mechanisms at stake during such choices.
In understanding human preference formation and decision-making, one recent successful approach has been to
combine a neuroscientic approach with the study of real-life choices such as consumer behaviors. is approach
has demonstrated the brain mechanisms underlying attentional, emotional and cognitive responses that drive
consumer choices, going under headings such as “consumer neuroscience” and “neuromarketing”16.
Previous studies in consumer neuroscience have primarily focused on consumption behaviors that are related
to more immediate rewards such as food choices, product purchase, and luxury goods. In doing so, these studies
have been successful in providing insights into the mechanisms of these types of consumer behaviors, and even
be able to predict such choices up to several seconds before they occur or are consciously felt79. Conversely, fewer
studies have looked at choices that are more future-oriented, such as which career path to take or where to travel
for holidays.
e purpose of this study is to employ the same approach as previously done in consumer neuroscience stud-
ies to these types of behaviors, to better understand whether immediate emotional and cognitive responses to
future choice options are related to subsequent choices. Here, we focus on travel destination preference as a model
to understand this type of non-direct consumer preference formation and choice. is area falls in a broader area
of destination marketing, which recently has seen the rst steps of including neuroscience tools and insights10,11.
To better situate the current study, we have provided a Supplementary Section that goes through the background
of destination marketing and how the study of emotional and cognitive responses have been conceptualized
and studied, ranging from qualitative research methods to the recent inclusion of neuroscience methods (see
Supplementary Materials).
At the core of prior research on destination preference formation lies both theoretical and empirical research
suggesting that destination preference both has conscious and subconscious components, but that our under-
standing of the role of the subconscious is woefully lacking. Hence, the current study aims to capture the sub-
conscious emotional responses to destination marketing stimuli through images and videos, to test whether such
1Neurons Inc, Taastrup, Denmark. 2Integrative Center for Applied Neuroscience, Copenhagen, Denmark. 3College
of Communication and Media Science, Zayed University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 4College of Business, Zayed
University, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. *email:
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SCIENTIFIC REPORTS | (2019) 9:15102 |
measures predict subsequent self-reported destination preference. In this study, our basic assumption was that
variations in SDP would also manifest as rapid emotional responses to visual representations of destinations.
is study involves a multi-modal approach including self-reported destination preference, eye-tracking meas-
ures, and neuroimaging measures of emotional and cognitive responses. In the following we present the partici-
pant selection, choice of stimuli, measures, and analytical approaches.
Institutional approval for this study was obtained from the Zayed University (ZU14_086a_F). All participants
lled out an informed consent form, and all recorded data were anonymized as part of the data acquisition. All
experimental procedures were performed in accordance with relevant guidelines and regulations.
Participants. To test the conscious and subconscious emotional and cognitive destination responses we
recruited participants from a local convenience sample of participants who were possible candidates for travel
due to vacation, studies, and/or work (N = 32, 15 women, age mean ± std = 20.3 ± 1.9) in the larger Copenhagen
Region, Denmark. All participants provided informed consent following the declaration of Helsinki prior to
enrolling in the study.
Stimuli selection. e destination marketing stimuli used were images, names, and promotion videos from
travel destinations. ese destinations were Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Madrid, New York, Paris,
San Francisco, Singapore, and Sydney. We used three independent raters to identify images according to whether
they were representative and creatively similar. e images and videos used were selected using the following
• e creative image and video should be representative of the destination based on the elements in the image
(e.g., symbols, ags, status/icons etc.).
• If possible, the creative image should be representative of materials provided by each representative destina-
tion (e.g. their travel agency or other tourism entity).
• e creative images were compared on visual aspects such as color composition and visual complexity, using
the NeuroVision tool (
Apparatus and procedure. After signing an informed consent sheet, participants were fitted with
eye-tracking glasses and a mobile brain monitor. ey then underwent eye-tracking and neuroimaging calibra-
tion procedures. We used Tobii Glasses Pro 2 eye-tracking system and an ABM X-10 electroencephalography
(EEG) brain monitor. e eye-tracking was recorded using the Tobii Glasses Controller soware (www.tobii.
com) and the EEG signals were recorded using the B-Alert Lab soware (
running in a Windows 10 environment (www.Microso.com). e following specications apply for the EEG
recordings: Nine sensor sites were used following the 10–20 system, including Fz, F3, F4, Cz, C3, C4, POz, P3, P4,
xed gain referenced to linked mastoids.
Eye-tracking calibration was done with the 1-point xation proprietary Tobii solution. Eye-tracking data were
used to ensure that participants were indeed paying attention to the images and videos presented on the screen,
but not analyzed specically for this project.
For the EEG recording, linked reference electrodes were located behind each ear on the mastoid bone.
Impedances were ensured to be below 40 k for all sites before recording commenced, following the recom-
mended levels through the ABM system ( e EEG data acquisition was sampled at
256 Hz with a high pass lter at 0.1 Hz and a h order, low pass lter at 100 Hz. e EEG data were transmitted
wirelessly via Bluetooth to a nearby laptop computer which stored the psychophysiological data. We then used
ABM’s proprietary acquisition soware for artifact decontamination algorithms for eye blink, muscle movement,
and environmental/electrical interference such as spikes and saturations.
EEG calibration was done using functional localizer tests, based on the ABM B-ALERT calibration pro-
cess. e acquisition of benchmark data was used to create individualized EEG proles required for calcu-
lating emotional arousal and cognitive load scores. e benchmarking session included three separate tasks:
The Three-Choice Vigilance Task (3CVT), the Verbal Psycho-Vigilance Task (VPVT), and the Auditory
Psycho-Vigilance Task (APVT). Data recorded from these tasks were then used to individualize the algorithms
by adjusting the centroids and through this produce the metric scores of arousal and working memory load,
as described in a previously published protocol12. is algorithm was saved as an individualized denition le,
which was used as a regressor when calculating and normalizing metrics.
EEG data were calculated into selected dierent “neurometric” scores, including frontal asymmetry, emo-
tional arousal, and working memory load, as described in more detail below. Here, each participant’s benchmark
was used as a calibration le upon which EEG data were normalized to scores ranging from 0 (minimum) to 1
(maximum). Each emotional and cognitive scores were calculated with a 1-second temporal resolution. is pro-
cedure allowed us to reliably track emotional and cognitive responses over time. Additional scores for distraction
and drowsiness were calculated but not included in the analyses.
Each participant was then presented with several images, names and promotion videos from travel destina-
tions. Images and destination names were presented for 8 seconds and videos for the duration of the video, sepa-
rated by a 2 second inter-stimulus interval, while promotional videos were played in their full length (see Fig.1).
Aer the test, all participants underwent a surprise survey, which assessed their memory for destinations shown,
conscious preference for traveling to the destination (“travel preference”) and destination associations. For the
present study, responses to destination names are not included in the analyses.
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All data were integrated, synchronized, and analyzed at the 1st level using R v3.2.1 ( and a
2nd level (group level) analysis was run in JMP v14.1 ( running on a Windows 10 computer (www.
Emotional responses were calculated as frontal asymmetry and arousal scores based on previously published
studies. Here, emotional valence and motivational direction was calculated based on the asymmetric engagement
of the frontal part of the brain, as demonstrated by previous research9,1318. e calculation used was based on
prior studies using the gamma frequency band8, where the ratio between the mean power in the gamma band of
frontal le electrodes (F3 and C3) relative to the mean of the right electrodes (F4 and C4), divided by the sum of
both hemisphere pairs, and then normalizing the scores to a 0–1 range. On the normalized 0–1 range of scores,
scores higher than 0.5 indicate increasingly positive scores and “approach motivation.” Conversely, scores lower
than 0.5 denote increasingly negative emotional responses and “avoidance motivation.
e second type of emotional response is referred to as emotional engagement or arousal, and reects a
bi-valent score that shows peak values for highly positive and highly negative events, and low scores for neu-
tral emotions. e score was calculated as the posterior probability of arousal based on a neural network based
model12 Arousal denotes emotional intensity but does not contain information about the actual direction of the
emotional response1922. Together, the arousal and frontal asymmetry scores provide a two-dimensional score for
emotional responses. ese two dimensions reect neuroscience work showing that emotional responses can be
evaluated on two dimensions: one dimension signifying the intensity of the emotion (here: “arousal”), and one
denoting the positive-negative valence or direction (here: “frontal asymmetry”) of emotional responses.
e working memory load metric is a measure of mental processing load, i.e. the demand put on working
memory, and increases when the amount of information being processed or kept active in memory is increased.
e metric was calculated as the posterior probability of a given brain state to be in high workload, and thereby
provide a continuous measure of working memory load12.
Finally, travel preferences were assessed through self-reported scores on willingness to travel to destinations,
for vacation, studies, or work. Further analyses into the correlation between each of these scores were performed
to assess whether they were highly correlated and would constitute a single type of destination preference, using
both correlation analyses and Cronbach’s alpha.
Self-reported preferences showed a signicant dierence between destinations in terms of participants’ willing-
ness to consider the destination for a vacation (F = 66.82, p < 0.0001), study abroad (F = 56.36, p < 0.0001), work-
ing abroad (F = 50.21, p < 0.0001) and recommending to others (F = 59.64, p < 0.0001). e responses to each
destination were also highly correlated (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.85) suggesting that an aggregate score would be
sucient to capture self-reported measures of destination preference. To do this, we created an aggregate score
of the four sub-scores (vacation, study, work, recommend) and named this the Travel Motivation Score (TMS).
e TMS score was used throughout the rest of the study as a stated preference, to which we relate emotional and
cognitive subconscious responses.
Figure 1. e study design, where images and names were presented for 8 seconds, and videos for the entirety
of their duration (not shown). All stimuli were interspersed by an inter-stimulus interval of 2 seconds where a
xation cross was shown. Images in the photo are examples taken by Edward He and ZQ Lee on
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When looking at the emotional and cognitive responses we found a signicant dierence between the places
on how they score, including frontal asymmetry (R2 = 0.029, F = 6.38, p < 0.0001), arousal (R2 = 0.009, F = 2.04,
p = 0.0321), but not for cognitive load (R2 = 0.003, F = 0.80, p = 0.6142). Figure2 shows the distribution of emo-
tional responses to destinations.
We then tested whether emotional and cognitive responses when watching tourism images and videos
were related to subsequent TMS scores. By running a random eects regression model we found that arousal
(β = 1.858, F = 15.38, p < 0.0001) and cognitive load (β = 3.619, F = 21.06, p < 0.0001), but not frontal asym-
metry (β = 0.136, F = 0.06, p = 0.8018), was related to subsequent TMS scores, and explaining almost 20% of the
variation in TMS (model R2 = 0.193, RMSE = 0.46). Notably, arousal was negatively related to TMS and cognitive
load was positively related to TMS. Figure3 displays these eects along with the relative distribution of arousal
and cognitive load scores for each destination.
A post-hoc exploratory analysis was then run to test for additional interaction eects. Here, we included fron-
tal asymmetry, arousal, cognitive load and their interaction eects, and correcting for multiple comparisons using
False Discovery Rate (FDR) correction. In doing so, arousal and cognitive load were still signicant. In addition,
a three-way interaction between frontal asymmetry, arousal and cognitive load (see Table1). An exploration of
the results showed a complex relationship between frontal asymmetry, arousal and cognitive load on predicting
subsequent TMS. Motivation showed a positive relationship with TMS when arousal was low and cognitive load
was high, and when arousal was high and cognitive load was low. Conversely, motivation showed a negative rela-
tionship with TMS when arousal and cognitive load were both either high or low.
Exploring the data further, we ran analyzes separately on images and videos. Here, we found that the emo-
tional eect is only signicant for videos (R2 = 0.139, F = 6.81, p = 0.0095) but not images (R2 = 0.173, F = 1.41,
p = 0.236). ese results indicate that dierences in emotional responses to destinations are driven only by watch-
ing videos, suggesting that videos are more emotionally engaging than single images. ere may be a number of
ways to explain these dierences: rst, a single video collectively contains quantitatively more visual materials
than single images do. Second, videos contain moving images which may be more visually engaging to look at.
ird, videos include auditory elements such as voices, sounds and other elements that can produce and increase
emotional responses.
is paper contributes to the scientic literature in at least two ways. In one line of conclusions, it provides among
the rst insights into the basic mechanisms of the subconscious processes that underlie destination preference
formation, and the distinction between subconscious and conscious processes. is paper suggests that there is
a distinction between subconscious emotional responses and overt destination preference. Indeed, in the study
of consumer psychology in conjunction with neuroscience, also known as consumer neuroscience, studies have
repeatedly demonstrated a distinction between a subconscious “wanting” system and a conscious “liking” system,
and that these systems contribute dierently to consumer behavior and choice. e present study ndings suggest
that there may be dierent mechanisms at stake in driving emotional responses and overt preference ratings. As
Figure 2. Distribution of emotional responses to travel destinations. e plot displays average scores for frontal
asymmetry (x-axis) and arousal (y-axis) for each travel destination. Dotted lines are indicative of shis between
negative and positive emotions (x-axis) and low vs high arousal (y-axis). Destinations that score high on frontal
asymmetry and arousal scores (e.g., Dubai) represent highly positive responses.
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this study did not include any overt choice, an obvious next step in research is to conduct studies that include an
element of choice, in which participants make actual overt destination choices. Here, based on both our results,
and prior literature, we could contend that emotional responses during video/image perception may be signi-
cantly related to actuated choice, and that a conjunction between subconscious and conscious scores may be more
predictive of actual choice than any scores individually. is is in line with prior consumer neuroscience studies
on choice studies on choice7,2372.
Another line of implications of this research is how it can influence the study of consumers’ minds.
Understanding consumption behavior, from tangible choices of food to more intangible and future goods such
Figure 3. Distribution of emotional and preference scores between dierent destinations. (A) Distribution
of average self reported travel preferences (TMS) for dierent destinations, showing that New York ranked
highest and Abu Dhabi lowest on group averaged TMS. (B) Regression analysis results from the relationship
between TMS and frontal asymmetry, arousal and cognitive load. Here, the black line represents the linear
regression, gray area denotes the 95% condence interval. (C) Contour plot shows the distribution of arousal
(x-axis) and cognitive load (y-axis) scores for each of the travel destinations, using a Gaussian blur function and
with intensity values going from low (light colors) to high (full colors), with further subdivision into responses
for images (green) and videos (red). As this plot shows, image responses tend to be more variable than video
Ter m Estimate Std Error DFDen t Rati o Prob > |t|
Intercept 3.651 0.65 505.0 5.59 <0.0001
Frontal asymmetry 1.003 0.58 1900.0 1.73 0.1357
Arousal 1.813 0.48 881.3 3.76 0.0004
Frontal asymmetry * Arousal 6.794 4.09 1902.3 1.66 0.1357
Cognitive Load 3.351 0.80 316.5 4.16 0.0003
Frontal asymmetry * Cognitive load 1.312 4.83 1905.5 0.27 0.7861
Arousal * Cognitive load 4.502 3.66 1588.2 1.23 0.2552
Frontal asymmetry * Arousal * Cognitive load 113.770 29.84 1897.6 3.81 0.0004
Table 1. Results from the exploratory regression analysis, showing that besides the main eects of arousal and
cognitive load, there is a signicant three-way interaction between frontal asymmetry, arousal and cognitive
load. All p-values are reported aer FDR correction for multiple comparisons.
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as travel and insurance, requires testing of such choice. Here, our study contributes to the understanding of more
abstract and future-oriented choice through the study of destination preference formation. While our study was
not designed to include a nal choice, the results are highly relevant to our understanding of preference formation
in these conditions. e nding that customers display subconscious emotional responses that are not related to
conscious destination preference conrms prior ndings and ideas about a dual-system for decision-making.
While the present study demonstrates the feasibility of using neuroscience to inform destination preferences,
a few limitations should be noted. First, this study only focused on general measures of emotional and cognitive
responses, and did not include any level of spatial reconstruction of where in the brain the given activity was
found. Subsequent studies should consider using neuroimaging methods that allow a higher spatial resolution
and reconstruction, such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), high-resolution EEG (e.g., allowing
for LORETA or other reconstruction methods), and magnetoencephalography (MEG). Such studies are expected
to provide a better understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying destination preferences, and to what
extent they overlap with other comparable consumer-related choices.
Another notable issue in the present study is that the stimulus materials diverged on the type and number of
senses that were aected. Pictures are perceived visually, while videos contained music and narration in addition
to the visual materials. While the present study was not aimed at testing for the eects of additional sensory
information on emotional and cognitive responses and destination preference formation, future studies should
seek to better understand how multimodal vs unimodal perception can aect destination preference and choice.
Finally, in the present study, we did not test for the eects of attention on destination preference. Since all
stimuli were presented on-screen during a highly controlled setting, we would expect little variance in on-screen
activity that was related to such preference. Also, for the present study, we did not have any prior hypotheses
related to attention to certain elements. Should such hypotheses be suggested (e.g., that attention to faces is posi-
tively related to destination preference) such answers would be possible to targeted, even with the present data set.
Taken together, our ndings are in line with the literature and now extend such ndings to more complex
decision-making. Future studies should seek to also include destination choices that vary in the temporal dimen-
sion (e.g., comparing choices of planned travel in a year vs those that are spontaneous and instant) to better
understand how subconscious and conscious processes contribute to actual destination choices.
Received: 18 June 2019; Accepted: 3 October 2019;
Published: xx xx xxxx
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is research was funded by a Research Incentive Fund (RIF) by Zayed University, United Arab Emirates.
Author contributions
All authors were involved in the study design, interpretation and writing the manuscript. N.M. and I.M. were
instrumental in providing the theoretical background for tourism research, while T.Z.R. provided the review
of prior consumer neuroscience work. T.Z.R. was responsible for data collection, data handling and statistical
Competing interests
Dr. N.M. and Dr. I.M. declare no competing interests. Dr. T.Z.R. is the founder and owner of Neurons Inc,
which is a consumer neuroscience company. is research was funded by the United Arab Emirates Ministry of
Travel and Tourism. Authors’ employment and remuneration do not depend on the outcomes or publication of
this study. e authors declare no other nancial or otherwise competing conicts of interest.
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... and sales/persuasion messaging [58,65]. Frontal asymmetry has also been found to be predictive self-reported preference [9, 110,118,119,122,148,191,192,260], and emerged as the only EEG TF measure that is consistently associated with behavioural measures of willingness to pay (WTP) [50,138,148,[217][218][219]239]. This suggests that frontal asymmetry may reflect actional/motivational responses to brands/products while evaluative ratings and recall may be better investigated using other TF measures such as relative-band power changes [26, 87,99,115,117,138,145,226,237]. ...
... This suggests that frontal asymmetry may reflect actional/motivational responses to brands/products while evaluative ratings and recall may be better investigated using other TF measures such as relative-band power changes [26, 87,99,115,117,138,145,226,237]. For example, Ramsøy et al. [217] and Ramsøy et al. [218] showed using a principal component analysis that prefrontal asymmetry best accounted for variance in WTP, while other TF measures best accounted for self-reported preference. ...
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Introduction The present paper discusses the findings of a systematic review of EEG measures in neuromarketing, identifying which EEG measures are the most robust predictor of customer preference in neuromarketing. The review investigated which TF effect (e.g., theta-band power), and ERP component (e.g., N400) was most consistently reflective of self-reported preference. Machine-learning prediction also investigated, along with the use of EEG when combined with physiological measures such as eye-tracking. Methods Search terms ‘neuromarketing’ and ‘consumer neuroscience’ identified papers that used EEG measures. Publications were excluded if they were primarily written in a language other than English or were not published as journal articles (e.g., book chapters). 174 papers were included in the present review. Results Frontal alpha asymmetry (FAA) was the most reliable TF signal of preference and was able to differentiate positive from negative consumer responses. Similarly, the late positive potential (LPP) was the most reliable ERP component, reflecting conscious emotional evaluation of products and advertising. However, there was limited consistency across papers, with each measure showing mixed results when related to preference and purchase behaviour. Conclusions and implications FAA and the LPP were the most consistent markers of emotional responses to marketing stimuli, consumer preference and purchase intention. Predictive accuracy of FAA and the LPP was greatly improved through the use of machine-learning prediction, especially when combined with eye-tracking or facial expression analyses.
... In addition to eye tracking, EEG technology has also been applied to landscape evaluation and preference. The development of neuroscience over the last century has greatly enriched people's understanding of the bioelectrical signals emitted by brain neurons [50]. EEG is a physiological signal that uses physiological methods to measure nerve signals on the surface of the scalp and record them. ...
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Plants play a very important role in landscape construction. In order to explore whether different living environment will affect people's preference for the structural features of plant organs, this study examined 26 villagers and 33 college students as the participants, and pictures of leaves, flowers and fruits of plants as the stimulus to conduct eye-tracking and EEG detection experiments. We found that eye movement indicators can explain people's visual preferences, but they are unable to find differences in preferences between groups. EEG indicators can make up for this deficiency, which further reveals the difference in psychological and physiological responses between the two groups when viewing stimuli. The final results show that the villagers and the students liked leaves best, preferring aciculiform and leathery leaves; solitary, purple and capitulum flowers; and medium-sized, spathulate, black and pear fruits. In addition, it was found that the overall attention of the villagers when watching stimuli was far lower than that of the students, but the degree of meditation was higher. With regard to eye movement and EEG, the total duration of fixations is highly positively correlated with the number of fixations, and the average pupil size has a weak negative correlation with attention. On the contrary, the average duration of fixations has a weak positive correlation with meditation. Generally speaking, we believe that Photinia×fraseri, Metasequoia glyptostroboides, Photinia serratifolia, Koelreuteria bipinnata and Cunninghamia lanceolata are superior landscape building plants in rural areas and on campuses; Pinus thunbergii, Myrica rubra, Camellia japonica and other plants with obvious features and bright colours are also the first choice in rural landscapes; and Yulania biondii, Cercis chinensis, Hibiscus mutabilis and other plants with simple structures are the first choice in campus landscapes. This study is of great significance for selecting plants for landscape construction and management according to different environments and local conditions.
... Students should be given opportunities of reflecting on their experiences in order to understand their unique individual internal intelligence that would enable them to pass their courses with 100%. An individual internal intelligence (human mind) reflects through human actions [6,20]. When students understand their unique intelligences, they become satisfied with educational actions and outcomes. ...
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Educating is an action of using knowledge to assist students to address their real-world personal needs, generating unique personal skills and values. Digital images, as images that consist of picture elements, have become important resources for sustaining education. A cause of concern is that academics use such images to drive learning for sustainability. The intention is to motivate students thereby, thus enhancing their education. In the process, students must comprehend their unique internal intelligence. As such, this study explores the academics' usage of digital images to educate curriculum studies students at a university in South Africa. Ten academics were purpos-ively and conveniently sampled for this study. Online reflective activities, focus-group discussions, observations, and semi-structured interviews were used for data collection. A pragmatic paradigm with participatory action research, content analysis, and a natural identity framework were used to frame this study. The findings reveal that academics were able to educate students to understand both large and small pictures of the digital images. The large and small pictures represented performance based and competence-based curricula. However, it was difficult for the students to apply or link what they experienced by way of the digital images to their curriculum studies and real-world problems until the participatory action research was extended from Phase One to Phase Two. Consequently, this study suggests that the reflection stage of participatory action research is the dominant stage of the education process. Reflection supports students in their quest for understanding their internal intelligence, thus naturally addressing their personal, societal, and professional needs.
... 6, wherein a larger number means larger links between two references. We also found that the strongest links between two references were seven links between Cartocci et al. (2017) and Harris et al. (2019), followed by Ramsoy et al. (2018) and Ramsoy et al. (2019) with five links between them. The links between Bosshard et al. (2016) and Goto et al. (2017) ...
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Despite several neuroscience tools existing, electroencephalography (EEG) is the most used and favoured tool among researchers because of its relatively low cost and high temporal resolution. Our study aimed to identify the global academic research trends of the empirical EEG studies in neuromarketing. This paper adopted the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol to identify relevant articles. A bibliometric analysis software (VOSviewer) was used to evaluate thirty open-access articles found in the Scopus database between 2016 and 2020. We found that the USA is the most productive country with five research articles that used the EEG tool in marketing studies, followed by Australia, Italy, and Malaysia with three articles each. According to the most prolific journals in neuromarketing, it has been found that Frontiers in Neuroscience journal (CiteScore 5.4) is the most prolific journal with two articles and 25 total citations, followed by Scientific reports (CiteScore 7.1) with two articles and eighteen total citations, which lead us to infer that the publications’ number does not necessarily reflect the citations’ number. The study provides a profound and comprehensive overview of academic research that used EEG in marketing research. © This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
... Future studies can delve deeper into this subconscious preference, via neurophysiological markers, e.g. eye tracking and EEG [77,78]. ...
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The role of social robots as advisors for decision-making is investigated. We examined how a robot advisor with logical reasoning and one with cognitive fallacies affected participants’ decision-making in different contexts. The participants were asked to make multiple decisions while receiving advice from both robots during the decision-making process. Participants had to choose which robot they agreed with and, at the end of the scenario, rank the possible options presented to them. After the interaction, participants were asked to assign jobs to the robots, e.g. jury or bartender. Based on the ‘like-me’ hypothesis and previous research of social mitigation of fallacious judgmental decisions, we have compared participants’ agreement with the two robots for each scenario to random choice using t-tests, as well as analysed the dynamical nature of the interaction, e.g. whether participants changed their choices based on the robots’ verbal opinion using Pearson correlations. Our results show that the robots had an effect on the participants’ responses, regardless of the robots’ fallaciousness, wherein participants changed their decisions based on the robot they agreed with more. Moreover, the context, presented as two different scenarios, also had an effect on the preferred robots, wherein an art auction scenario resulted in significantly increased agreement with the fallacious robot, whereas a detective scenario did not. Finally, an exploratory analysis showed that personality traits, e.g. agreeableness and neuroticism, and attitudes towards robots had an impact on which robot was assigned to these jobs. Taken together, the results presented here show that social robots’ effects on participants’ decision-making involve complex interactions between the context, the cognitive fallacies of the robot and the attitudes and personalities of the participants and should not be considered a single psychological construct.
... The former involves common brain regions, including the anterior frontal cortex, striatum, and amygdala. It might be activated when judging preferences in the choice of objects, such as food (Tashiro et al., 2019), goods (Ramsoy et al., 2018;Wang et al., 2016), and travel destinations (Ramsøy et al., 2019). The latter involves hedonic hotspots, such as the nucleus accumben and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. ...
Users' affective preference for voices has become a topic of great interest with the prevalence of humanoid robots. Nevertheless, the affective preference formation for humanoid voices remains unknown, and its evaluation lacks objective methods. Consequently, we conducted an EEG experiment to unravel the underlying neural dynamics and evaluate users' affective preference for humanoid robot voices. Significantly larger P2, P3, and LPP amplitudes, enhanced theta, and decreased alpha oscillations were observed when users affectively preferred humanoid robot voices. The results suggest that the neural dynamics underlying users' affective preference for humanoid robot voices might primarily consist of early detection of affective information in voices, further processing of affective information, and later evaluative categorization of affective preference. Moreover, the neural indicators could distinguish users' affective preferences for humanoid robot voices. The study contributes to understanding the auditory affective preference formation for humanoid robot voices and providing a neurological evaluation method.
Sensory evaluation incorporates methodologies from different scientific disciplines. Studying humans’ reactions to different stimuli, such as foods or beverages, is complex as multiple dimensions are involved in sensory perception. Currently, traditional sensory protocols (discrimination, descriptive, and affective) are heavily employed in the industry and/or academia for testing a wide variety of stimuli. Nonetheless, these methodologies have drawbacks such as physiological and psychological biases when evaluating participants’ behaviors and choices. Novel methods have been developed to capture more holistic responses from sensory panels. This brief review article provides a snapshot of these current novel methods. New techniques such as the use of biometrics (facial expressions, heart rate, skin conductance, body temperature, and eye-tracking), virtual environments (virtual and/or augmented reality), and artificial smart senses are being explored as tools to understand the complex nature of human perception to foods and beverages.
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Hizmetin özellikleri (soyutluk, ayrılmazlık vb.) ve tüketicilerin duygusal, bilinçsiz ve bilinçaltı durumlarından dolayı, turizm pa-zarlaması karmaşık bir olgudur (Boz vd., 2017). Turizm endüstrisi içerisinde işletmelerin içinde bulunduğu yoğun rekabet ortamı da düşünüldüğünde, pazarlamaya yönelik karmaşık analizleri doğru yapabilmek işletmeler için hayati önem taşımaktadır. Pazarlama araştırmaları, yöneticilere ihtiyaç ve talepleri anlama konusunda önemli veriler sunmakla beraber, kullanılan geleneksel yöntemle-rin başarısı sorgulanabilmektedir. Katılımcıların farklı nedenlerle kendini doğru ifade etmemesi veya edememesi hatalı pazarlama faaliyetlerine neden olabilmekte, bu da kaynakların verimsiz kul-lanılmasının yanı sıra, mevcut müşterilerin dahi kaybedilmesine neden olabilmektedir. Bu durum, pazarlamacılarda "tüketici ger-çekte ne ister?" sorusunun doğmasına neden olmuştur. Pazarlamadaki en önemli sorulardan bir diğeri ise tüketicileri bir ürün yerine başka bir ürüne karar vermeye iten şeyin ne olduğu-dur (Jordão vd., 2017). Pepsi yerine neden Coca Cola tercih edil-mektedir? Kadınlar neden bilimkurgu filmlerini tercih etmez? Er-kekler neden spor arabaları tercih eder? İşletmeler tüketicileri sa-tın almaya ikna etmek için bu tür soruları yanıtlamaya çalışmalı ve her zaman tüketicilerin nasıl düşündüklerini öğrenmenin yeni yollarını bulmalıdır (Ciprian-Marcel vd., 2004).
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In the past decade, neurophysiological and physiological tools have been used to explore consumer behaviour toward advertising. The studies into brain processes (e.g., emotions, motivation, reward, attention, perception, and memory) toward advertising are scant, and remain unclear in the academic literature. To fill the gap in the literature, this study followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) protocol to extract relevant articles. It extracted and analysed 76 empirical articles from the Web of Science (WoS) database from 2009–2020. The findings revealed that the inferior frontal gyrus was associated with pleasure, while the middle temporal gyrus correlated with displeasure of advertising. Meanwhile, the right superior-temporal is related to high arousal and the right middle-frontal-gyrus is linked to low arousal toward advertisement campaigns. The right prefrontal-cortex (PFC) is correlated with withdrawal behaviour, and the left PFC is linked to approach behaviour. For the reward system, the ventral striatum has a main role in the reward system. It has also been found that perception is connected to the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and ventromedial (Vm) PFC. The study’s findings provide a profound overview of the importance of brain processes such as emotional processes, reward, motivation, cognitive processes, and perception in advertising campaigns such as commercial, social initiative, and public health.
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Está comprobado que el neuromarketing es una herramienta efectiva para perfeccionar ciertas estrategias de venta. A pesar de esa afirmación, existen discusiones sobre cuáles son los límites reales de su efectividad y cómo debe ser la metodología en base a la que se establezcan las mediciones que reflejen los procesos neuronales de los sujetos de estudio. Un área concreta donde las estrategias de neuromarketing resultan más opacas y están menos validadas empíricamente por experimentos publicados en revistas científicas es en el sector cinematográfico. La incidencia potencial comprobada experimentalmente del neuromarketing en la industria cinematográfica contrasta con las informaciones difundidas por canales no científicos en torno a su eficacia controlando los procesos de decisión de los espectadores. En base a estas comunicaciones difundidas, el espectador puede resultar convencido de que el film que va a presenciar se ha servido de estrategias de neuromarketing diseñadas para que le afecten a un nivel biológico, sintiéndose más indefenso ante el film que si no se le hubiese condicionado por esta creencia. Esta predisposición conlleva que el propio anuncio de haber aplicado técnicas de neuromarketing para el diseño del audiovisual funcione a nivel efectivo como marketing que condiciona al espectador. Para analizar esta situación, compararemos casos concretos donde se publicita el uso del neuromarketing por parte de empresas centradas en el sector cinematográfico con la realidad empírica demostrable a partir de estudios científicos publicados que han abordado el neuromarketing aplicado en el medio audiovisual.
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The current paper investigates the value and application of a range of physiological and neuroscientific techniques in applied marketing research and consumer science, highlighting new insights from research in social psychology and neuroscience. We review measures of sweat secretion, heart rate, facial muscle activity, eye movements, and electrical brain activity, using techniques including skin conductance, pupillometry, eyetracking, and magnetic brain imaging. For each measure, after a brief explanation of the underlying technique, we illustrate concepts and mechanisms that the measure allows researchers in marketing and consumer science to investigate, with a focus on consumer attitudes and behavior. By providing reviews on recent research that applied these methods in consumer science and relevant related fields, we also highlight methodological and theoretical strengths and limitations, with an emphasis on ecological validity. We argue that the inclusion of physiological and neuroscientific techniques can advance consumer research by providing insights into the often unconscious mechanisms underlying consumer behavior. Therefore, such technologies can help researchers and marketing practitioners understand the mechanisms of consumer behavior and improve predictions of consumer behavior.
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Consumers frequently make decisions about how much they are willing to pay (WTP) for specific products and services, but little is known about the neural mechanisms underlying such calculations. In this study, we were interested in testing whether specific brain activation—the asymmetry in engagement of the prefrontal cortex—would be related to consumer choice. Subjects saw products and subsequently decided how much they were willing to pay for each product, while undergoing neuroimaging using electroencephalography. Our results demonstrate that prefrontal asymmetry in the gamma frequency band, and a trend in the beta frequency band that was recorded during product viewing was significantly related to subsequent WTP responses. Frontal asymmetry in the alpha band was not related to WTP decisions. Besides suggesting separate neuropsychological mechanisms of consumer choice, we find that one specific measure—the prefrontal gamma asymmetry—was most strongly related to WTP responses, and was most coupled to the actual decision phase. These findings are discussed in light of the psychology of WTP calculations, and in relation to the recent emergence of consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing.
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Purpose The purpose of this study is to understand the destination image perceptions about Australia – a Western culture country – as held by the rapidly increasing, high spending, culturally dissimilar new segment of travellers, the Emiratis[1] from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Design/methodology/approach A qualitative methodology was used to understand the cognitive, affective and conative images of Australia. A structured categorisation matrix was used to analyse the data so that only aspects fitting the matrix were selected. Findings Within the cognitive variable, Australia was found to be pleasant, family oriented, a fun place, laid back and the local people friendly. From an affective factor perspective, Australia was seen as being exciting, because of the variety of activities available for these tourists. Exciting was expressed by words like fantastic, amazing and extreme experience. In terms of the conative variable most of the Emirati tourists expressed strong feelings to go back to Australia and to even re-visit with friends. They also mentioned that they would recommend Australia to family and friends. Research limitations/implications A limitation of this study was that our sample comprised informants mainly from the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the two largest Emirates of the nation. The study offers destination marketing organisations’ (DMOs) insights into Emirati travellers’ perceptions about Australia, which would benefit destination marketing. Originality/value This study examines the under researched area of how Australia – with its liberal Western culture – could be better marketed to the growing numbers of culturally conservative, high spending Emirati outbound tourists from the officially Islamic UAE, and also more generally to the socio-culturally homogeneous Gulf Cooperation Council region that the UAE is part of. Whilst destination image is an intensively analysed topic within the realm of tourism research, and reportedly a powerful influence on destination choice, the extant literature on how Australia is perceived as a travel destination by Emiratis is scant. For DMO’s attempting to attract wealthy Emirati tourists into Australia, this research is valuable and timely, as several Emiratis are seeking newer travel destinations away from the Western hemisphere, where the general anti-Arab/Islamic sentiments are currently quite strong.
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This research investigates how a relatively unknown town that is elected as cultural capital of Europe can use visual materials to attract visitors from totally different areas in the world, particularly China. The study uses visual cues for two purposes: first, to evaluate the motivating factors that lead travellers with different cultural background to select their travel destination, and second, to explore the influence of visual communication in the promotion of cultural tourism. The research studied the impact of visual information during several stages in the visit: before the visit in the decision-making process; during the visit in the experience stage; and after the visit in the post-experience evaluation. It was found that visual material can help to frame the experience in all three stages. For that reason it is advisable for destinations to employ some kind of visual identity system management to package the city image into a clear brand.
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Although an objective and increasingly common technique in marketing, media and psychology, psycho-physiological measures are rarely used in tourism research to detect tourism consumers’ spontaneous emotional responses. This study examines the use of psycho-physiological measures in tourism and in particular explores the usefulness of skin conductance and facial electromyography methods in tracking emotional responses to destination advertisements. Thirty-three participants were exposed to three destination advertisements while their self-report ratings, real-time skin conductance and facial electromyography data as well as post hoc interview data were obtained. The results demonstrate that, compared with self-report measures, psychophysiological measures are able to better distinguish between different destination advertisements, and between different dimensions of emotion. Participants’ affective experience reported in post hoc interviews was found to be consistent with emotional peaks identified from continuous facial electromyography and skin conductance monitoring. These results validate the ability of psychophysiological techniques to capture moment-to-moment emotional responses and it is concluded that psycho-physiological methods are useful in measuring emotional responses to tourism advertising. Methodological insights regarding the constraints associated with the use and application of psychophysiological methods are discussed.
Insights and tools from neuroscience are of great value to marketers. Neuroscientific techniques allow consumer researchers to understand the fundamental neural underpinnings of psychological processes that drive consumer behavior, and elucidate the “black box” that is the consumer's mind. In the following review, we provide an overview of the fundamental tenets of consumer neuroscience, selectively outline key areas of marketing that consumer neuroscience has contributed to, compare and contrast neuroscientific tools and methods, and discuss future directions for neurophysiological work in marketing. In doing so, we illustrate the broad substantive landscape that neuroscience can add value to within marketing.
In this article, we give an overview of the growing field of consumer neuroscience and discuss when and how it is useful to integrate neurophysiological data into research conducted in business fields. We first discuss the foundational elements of consumer neuroscience and showcase a range of studies that highlight the ways that neuroscientific research and theory can add to existing lines of research in marketing. Next, we discuss the new domains and questions that brain data allow us to address, such as an emerging ability to predict market-level behavior in a range of decision types. We conclude by providing insights about the emerging frontiers in the field that we think will have an important impact on our understanding of marketing behavior, as well as organizational behavior.
Place branding is complex due to its interdisciplinary nature, the highly competitive market, diverse stakeholder needs, and its ability to influence national priorities. This paper looks at the role of visual and auditory branding signatures in forming place attachment within three groups of stakeholders (nationals, expatriates, tourists). While research has focused on place consumers from either tourism or government perspectives, there is a need to take an interdisciplinary lens to look at new methodologies to see how place brands can manage multiple stakeholders. This paper presents new methodology for place brand studies called causal layered analysis. From a scholarly point of view, the paper presents a unique methodology in destination branding studies that aligns multiple stakeholder views yet still roots visual and auditory signatures of stakeholder perception of the nation's brand through its heritage. The paper justifies the importance of story-telling and collecting multiple brand interpretations to create place attachment. The findings highlight the importance of resolving multiple stakeholder perspectives and the importance of the stories that can link various narratives that are important for nation branding and building, since common visuals have layered interpretations. While this study is qualitative in nature, the findings show that there is a need for more theory building in this field. From a practitioner's point of view, organizations can use the methodology for perception mapping to create a distinct place communication platform. This, in turn, can reinforce a place's identity based on both heritage and modernity.
Emotional reactions to marketing stimuli are essential to tourist destination marketing, yet difficult to validly measure. A neuromarketing experiment was peformed to establish whether brain event-related potentials (ERPs), elicited by destination photos, can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of tourist destination marketing content in movies. Two groups of participants viewed pictures from the cities of Bruges and Kyoto. Prior to viewing the pictures, one group saw an excerpt from the movie In Bruges, which positively depicts Bruges' main tourist attractions. The other group saw a movie excerpt that did not feature Bruges (the Rum Diary). An early emotional response was osberved to the subsequently presented Bruges pictures for the In Bruges group only; no reliable between-group differences were found in ERPs to pictures from Kyoto. In conclusion, EEG-based neuromarketing is a valuable tool for evaluating the effectiveness of destination marketing, and popular movies can positively influence affective destination image.