Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

374. Uncovering the Secrets of the Brain: A Tour of the Human Behavior Lab

In this episode of The Brainy Business podcast, Dr. Marco Palma, a researcher at the Human Behavior Lab at Texas A&M University, discusses the utilization of advanced technology, such as eye tracking devices, to understand and influence consumer behavior. Marco’s extensive research in the field of human behavior and decision-making offers a unique perspective, emphasizing the significance of small changes in behavior and the impact of understanding the brain’s wiring. 

His insights shed light on the practical applications of behavioral science in various aspects of life, including gender disparities in the workplace and food choices. By delving into the intricate details of eye tracking, anchoring, and the patterns of eye movement, Marco provides valuable knowledge that entrepreneurs and business owners can leverage to optimize their marketing strategies and enhance their understanding of consumer behavior. This episode presents a rare opportunity to gain insights from a distinguished expert in the field, offering actionable takeaways that can be applied to drive positive changes in business and beyond.

In this episode:

  • Understand human behavior and decision-making to optimize business strategies and drive consumer engagement.
  • Explore eye tracking and consumer behavior for insights that can revolutionize marketing approaches.
  • Implement small changes and behavior modification techniques for impactful business results.
  • Address gender disparities in the workplace to foster a more inclusive and productive environment.
  • Delve into food choices and brain wiring to unlock the secrets of consumer preferences and habits.
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00:00:00 – Introduction,
Melina introduces the episode and the guest, Dr. Marco Palma, and discusses the work being done at the Human Behavior Lab at Texas A&M University.

00:03:37 – Understanding Human Behavior
Marco explains the use of sensors in the lab to understand the drivers of human behavior, including attention, facial expressions, brain activity, and stress signals.

00:08:24 – Advancements in Experimentation
Marco discusses the significant reduction in experiment time at the lab, allowing for more experiments and collaborations with outside partners to understand and measure human behavior more effectively.

00:09:09 – Application of Research
The application of research in menu optimization and advertising is highlighted, focusing on driving attention, simplifying messaging, and utilizing incentives to influence consumer behavior.

00:12:17 – Importance of Simplifying Messaging
Marco emphasizes the importance of simplifying messaging to ensure that the intended benefits are effectively communicated and perceived by consumers.

00:13:39 – The Power of Anchoring in Pricing
Marco explains how anchoring influences purchasing decisions in fancy restaurants and wine tasting settings, guiding consumers towards higher-priced items.

00:14:13 – Eye Tracking and Consumer Behavior
Marco discusses the significance of eye tracking in understanding how people search for information on a computer screen, in a menu, and other settings, guiding them through what businesses want them to see.

00:17:23 – Establishing Causality in Laboratory Experiments
The importance of controlling details in laboratory experiments to establish causality is emphasized, allowing for a better understanding of behavior in real-world settings.

00:21:48 – Self-Control, Cheating, and Generosity
Marco shares upcoming research areas on self-control, cheating, and generosity, focusing on understanding behavior and drivers, such as goal setting, perceptions of large corporations, and fundraising campaigns.

00:25:25 – Promoting Competition Among Women
The discussion shifts to promoting competition among high-ability women and addressing gender disparities in leadership roles, exploring potential strategies for changing perceptions and promoting competition.

00:27:24 – The Impact of Title Changes on Participation of Women
Marco discusses how changing titles can promote the participation of women, demonstrating the potential for small changes to yield significant results in gender equality.

00:29:06 – Understanding the Brain’s Relationship with Food
Marco explains the importance of understanding our brain’s relationship with food, particularly the reward system associated with sugar consumption and its impact on our modern diet and health.

00:31:29 – The Role of A&M in Research and Education
Marco highlights the mission of Texas A&M University, emphasizing the importance of translating research into real-world applications and the value of formal education, research discovery, and entrepreneurship.

00:32:43 – Reflection on the Impact of the Human Behavior Lab
Melina reflects on the significant impact of her connection to Marco and the Human Behavior Lab, citing examples of collaborations, research, and the launch of a certificate program in applied behavioral economics.

00:36:00 –  Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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