blog: “I GOT A FEELING!”

Understanding Implicit, System 1 and Explicit, System 2

[This is our first in a series of “video blogs”. Its content can be consumed by either viewing the video or by reading the script below. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can measure implicit associations via our IE PRO YOU® platform, go to or BOOK A CONSULTATION with Paul Conner. Enjoy!] … Read more »

How You Define Emotion Directs How You Measure It

[Note: This article was adapted from Paul Conner’s presentation at the 2018 Neuromarketing World Forum and from the ensuing article published in NMSBA’s INSights, Issue 23, May 2018.] The Importance of Emotion Emotion is among the top 5, maybe even among the top 3, issues in marketing these days. A couple of recent blogs make that … Read more »


These days, implicit, System 1 consumer research is running rampant! In large part due to Daniel Kahneman’s (1) and Dan Ariely’s (2) behavioral economics work, marketers have discovered that consumers’ purchases can be influenced by automatic, nonconscious processes, and consumer researchers are racing to invent and incorporate approaches to measure them. These approaches are most … Read more »

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applied behavioral insights in one minute or less!


Researchers found that a particular tint of … Read more »

How Can Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Customers Improve Sales?

Researchers found that because we process words phonologically when we read them (i.e., we silently repeat them to ourselves), words that are spelled differently, but pronounced the same — e.g., ‘bye’ and ‘buy’, known as “homophones” — are initially and automatically interpreted the same until cognitive resources are deployed to disentangle the similar meaning. Therefore, … Read more »

How Can This Emotion Reversal Help Improve Brand Attachment?

Researchers found that fear in the presence of a branded product can be a good thing, enhancing the degree to which one feels attached to the brand. Two conditions facilitated the brand attachment. First, consumers needed to have a need for affiliation; when this need was satisfied, the effect did not occur. Second, the effect … Read more »

Which Of These Would You Use To Promote Indulgent Purchases?

Across four studies, and across a variety of product domains (e.g., food utensils, office supplies, and cookies), researchers found that promoting products with cute images of actual human infants (a.k.a., “kindchenschema”) was LESS EFFECTIVE in in producing desired consumer behavior than promoting products with “whimsically cute” images. Their research determined that the effect was due … Read more »

How Can This Creature Improve Face-to-face Sales?

The Chameleon Effect happens when people unconsciously mimic others’ behavior to blend into social, including consumer/sales, situations. Research on mimicking shows that those being mimicked are more pro-social and act to help the mimicker achieve his or her goals, especially when those goals are made more evident. … Read more »

How Can Noses Be Used To Promote Higher-end Premium Purchasing?

Across several studies, researchers found that scents were cognitively interpreted as warm (e.g., cinnamon) or cool (e.g., peppermint) and that such interpretations impacted purchasing of higher-end, premium products via social density and the need to restore power. Specifically, warm scents in retail environments led people to feel less powerful because such environments were perceived as … Read more »

Who Is This Man And How Can He Conceptually Impact Your Sales?

This is legendary rock-star Eddie Money. Conceptually representing his last name (i.e., money) in brand or product promotions could impact sales. How? Researchers recently found that priming people with the concept of money made them focus on and value higher-order, primary features and benefits (like the primary sound quality of a clock radio) more than … Read more »

How Can A Launch Countdown Lead To More Pleasurable Use Of Your Product?

Researchers have recently found that counting down versus counting up in ways relevant to product usage (e.g., counting down from 25 to 1 versus counting up from 1 to 25 as exercise repetitions are performed with a hand gripper) results in (1) shorter perception of time using the product; (2) more positive perceptions of the … Read more »

How Can This Unproductive Mind-set Increase Sales Of Discounted Products?

Behavioral science has shown that how discounts are presented can increase their impact incidental to their actual dollar value. When horizontally “spacing out” regular and sale prices to be farther apart within the visual field, discount amounts were perceived to be 51% greater, values 31% greater, and purchase interest 11% greater for the discounted products. … Read more »

How Can You Use Dinnerware To Get People To Eat More Or Less?

Research has recently confirmed that larger dinnerware (i.e., plates and bowls with larger diameters) implicitly increases the amount one will serve himself/herself and vice versa, even if one becomes aware of the effect. However, decreasing the color contrast between the dinnerware and the table can lessen, but not eliminate, the effect. … Read more »

How Can This Price – Particularly Its Specificity – Earn You More Money?

Across several types of price negotiations (e.g., for jewelry, coffee vendors, textbook reselling, etc.), researchers found that when sellers or buyers initiated negotiations with more precise prices (e.g., $19 or $21) than round prices (e.g., $20), the recipients’ counter-offers were adjusted less in response to more precise initial offers. In other words, more precise initial … Read more »

How Can You Use This Picture To Increase Choice Of Your Brand?

Hidden within this picture are (among others) a shoe, a strawberry, a duck, a sailboat, and a fish. Much like the hidden or “incidental” placement of these objects in this picture, research has shown that repeatedly hiding brands within consumer environments – i.e., making them incidental and therefore below one’s conscious awareness – can actually … Read more »

presentations & articles

Best Ways to Measure Subconscious Implicit Emotions

(2017) This Quirk's Ask the Expert article provides advice on how marketers and consumer researchers can measure or assess subconscious implicit emotions that consumers have with various marketing assets.


For this podcast, Paul Conner of Emotive Analytics, is a guest of Priscilla McKinney's "Ponderings from the Perch". They discuss emotional research on consumers that can help companies improve their emotional marketing. In the podcast, Mr. Conner explains that "emotional dynamics", which includes experiences, cognitions, and emotion, are why consumers buy what they buy. Furthermore, they delve into the area of implicit emotions -- those that are automatic, uncontrollable, and nonconscious in some way. Approaches to measuring consumer emotions, including implicit consumer emotions, are discussed.

Measuring Implicit Associations with Non-Visual Sensory Stimuli: An Example Using Tropical Fragrances

(2016) This article was published in the NMSBA's Insights publication. It highlights a study we conducted that measured implicit associations with fragrances -- stimuli that are not commonly used in implicit measurement. The article demonstrates how implicit association measurement can help sensory product development by measuring implicit thoughts & feelings to stimuli other than visual -- i.e., smell, taste, haptics, and sound.

On The Importance of Emotions and Feelings in Consumer Behavior, Including Implicit Emotions and Feelings

(2016) Paul Conner and Lori Schwartz discuss this topic in a live podcast from IIEX.

Getting Up to Speed and Taking the Next Steps With Implicit Association Measurement Techniques

(2014) Paul Conner discusses this topic at the Nonconscious Impact Measurement Forum (NIMF).

Behavioral Economics: What It Is and Three Ways Marketers Can Use It

(2012) Published in Quirk's Marketing Research Review, this article defines and explains behavioral economics, which has taken marketing by storm. Three practical applications for behavioral economics effects are given.

Ingredients and Emotions

(2011) Published in the World of Food Ingredients, and co-authored with Aaron Reid, this article defines emotions in the context of their neuro-chemical substrates, making the point that emotions are activated by many ingredients in the foods we eat. Marketing is directed to leverage emotions that are consistent with food ingredient activation.

Home is where the heart is: Resort community uses hypnosis to get in touch with buyers childhood emotions

(2010) Solicited and written by Matt Schroder, QRCA's Director of Communications, the article features our study with Innsbrook in which we used hypnosis-interviewing to help Innsbrook develop operations and marketing for new land they had purchased. It's a very nice explanation of how our hypnosis-interviewing works and how it can be used for operations and marketing insights.

The Fine Points of Feeling: Why Discrete Emotions Matter and How to Reveal Them

(2013) Emotions can be discrete as they become more than "valence" (positive or negative) and "arousal" (intensity) phenomena. As cognitive appraisal and context enter into one's experience, discrete feelings — like pride, confidence, guilt, and disappointment — emerge. These are important to marketers and can be measured, including non consciously.

Emotions and Feelings: Drivers of Consumer Behavior

(2005) This lead article in QRCA Views explains what emotions and feelings are and why they are critical in understanding consumers. Furthermore, the article highlights five critical improvements that should be made to improve emotional consumer research toward better (i.e., more emotionally engaging) marketing.