We Know, Effectively, Nothing About Behavior – Let’s Admit


Take Away – Time to accept that we know a little bit about behavior — but not much.  But at least we are on the path to finally have a fact and evidence-basis for future work.

We Have No Idea What Drives Behavior and What We’re Sure Does – Probably Doesn’t
I have a radical, but sensible (evidence-based), proposition – most of our ideas (all?) about human behavior are wrong and obsolete.

Brain research changes everything — just like the telescope and accurate data about celestial bodies did centuries ago — and attacked by everyone, especially those in power.  The average curious HS student knows more about brain >behaviors then Aristotle, Descartes, Kant, Adam Smith, Einstein and all the great midst of the past — combined.

We have to accept that pretty much everything academics, businesses, marketers, policy, ideology, intuition and pop beliefs preaches and follows is just dead wrong.  This probably also includes accepted psychology, economics (of course), sociology, anthropology, political science, cognitive theory, etc.  Throw it all out.  Continue reading

” We don’t have time to waste on theoretically plausible but infrequent [and pop(ular) biz, science and econ] mechanisms [and ideas] for which there’s no evidence.”


This should be the slogan for marketers and neuro-anything!

How “Decisions” Really Get Made – Instantly and Unconsciously


My views on decision making, choice, executive function, cognitive workspace, emotions, consciousness I take from Paul Cisek – bottom line: “decisions” get made in the premotor brain areas, instantly.  The following is a bit technical but if you don’t understand something — Google it! Continue reading

“I think/feel, therefore I buy” — Probaby Not


Here’s a good rule of thumb for brain stuff, psychology, econ, etc – what we all naturally , talk about, tell ourselves and each other and our subjective experiences, feelings, etc are probably bad indicators of how our brains operate to control behavior.  It seems more likely that the opposite of what we believe is true!  So critical thinking is really necessary.  It’s hard.

Let’s, briefly, look at our beliefs about why we ourselves, and everyone else buy stuff.

Pretty much everyone, including most economists, scientists, policy folks, business folks and marketers – go along with the naive realism view that the subjective experiences we all chat about cause buying behavior.  That is likely an illusion.  A set of illusions that waste a lot of marketing time and money. Continue reading

Key for Marketers, Biz and Policy Folks – The Biology of Motivation


It is a shame economists are so clueless about this basic biology – but they live in their own world.  The related strange world of behavioral econ has no understanding over even awareness of this complexity.

The term motivation refers to a construct that is widely used in psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. As is the case with many psychological concepts, the discussion of motivation had its origins in philosophy…..According to a more recent definition, motivation is ‘‘the set of processes through which organisms regulate the probability, proximity and availability of stimuli’’ (Salamone, 1992). Generally speaking, the modern psychological construct of motivation refers to the behaviorally-relevant processes that enable organisms to regulate both their external and internal environment (Salamone, 2010)… Continue reading

“…depressed people often have a relatively normal self-rated experience of encounters with pleasurable stimuli and that, over and above any problems with the experience of pleasure, depressed people appear to have impairments in behavioral activation, reward-seeking behavior, and exertion of effort. Indeed, most depressed people suffer from a crippling constellation of motivational impairments that include psychomotor retardation, anergia, and fatigue…”


Branding Theories and Practice Need to Evolve and Mature to Include Physiology


Theories about branding can now mature to the next level and look at physiological drivers — not just words and ideas.  Continue reading