The 1925 edition of In Our Time, by Ernest Hemingway. Back when he was virtually unknown by readers, Hemingway turned to blurbs, too — getting endorsements from the likes of Sherwood Anderson and Ford Madox Ford.
Whatever the old adage might warn, there is a bit of merit to judging a book by its cover — if only in one respect. Consider the blurb, one of the most pervasive, longest-running — and, at times, controversial — tools in the publishing industry.
Despite the importance and pervasiveness of marketing, almost nothing is known about the neural mechanisms through which it affects decisions made by individuals.
We propose that marketing actions, such as changes in the price of a product, can affect neural representations of experienced pleasantness.
We tested this hypothesis by scanning human subjects using functional MRI while they tasted wines that, contrary to reality, they believed to be different and sold at different prices.
Our results show that increasing the price of a wine increases subjective reports of flavor pleasantness as well as blood-oxygen-level-dependent activity in medial orbitofrontal cortex, an area that is widely thought to encode for experienced pleasantness during experiential tasks.
The paper provides evidence for the ability of marketing actions to modulate neural correlates of experienced pleasantness and for the mechanisms through which the effect operates.
Keywords: orbitofrontal cortex, modulation by marketing actions, neuroeconomics, taste
…any claim about sodium, preventing disease or lowering blood pressure made the product more appealing.
When asked about a variety of health issues, including losing weight, constipation, and diabetes, participants in the survey said that lower-sodium products would prevent all of them.
Alas, reducing sodium helps only to reduce blood pressure.
“What we saw there was a halo effect [with the low-sodium claim],” says Christina Wong, a graduate student and lead author of the study, which was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
“They see a whole range of health benefits that are totally unrelated to the nutrient.”