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Witness and Silence in Neuromarketing: Managing the Gap between Science and Its Application
Univ Oxford, England; Univ Amsterdam, Netherlands; Univ Groningen, Netherlands.
Univ Oxford, England; Univ St Gallen, Switzerland.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Univ Oxford, England.
2020 (English)In: Science, Technology and Human Values, ISSN 0162-2439, E-ISSN 1552-8251, Vol. 45, no 1, p. 62-86Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the past decades commercial and academic market(ing) researchers have studied consumers through a range of different methods including surveys, focus groups, or interviews. More recently, some have turned to the growing field of neuroscience to understand consumers. Neuromarketing employs brain imaging, scanning, or other brain measurement technologies to capture consumers (brain) responses to marketing stimuli and to circumvent the "problem" of relying on consumers self-reports. This paper presents findings of an ethnographic study of neuromarketing research practices in one neuromarketing consultancy. Our access to the minutiae of commercial neuromarketing research provides important insights into how neuromarketers silence the neuromarketing test subject in their experiments and presentations and how they introduce the brain as an unimpeachable witness. This enables us conceptually to reconsider the role of witnesses in the achievement of scientific credibility, as prominently discussed in science and technology studies (STS). Specifically, we probe the role witnesses and silences play in establishing and maintaining credibility in and for "commercial research laboratories." We propose three themes that have wider relevance for STS researchers and require further attention when studying newly emerging research fields and practices that straddle science and its commercial application.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC , 2020. Vol. 45, no 1, p. 62-86
Keywords [en]
markets; economies; academic disciplines and traditions; methodologies; methods; witness; neuroscience; neuromarketing
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-162488DOI: 10.1177/0162243919829222ISI: 000497210000003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-162488DiVA, id: diva2:1379022
Note

Funding Agencies|ESRC Open Research Area (ORA) [ES/I013458/1]

Available from: 2019-12-16 Created: 2019-12-16 Last updated: 2020-01-22

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