, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 473-485
Date: 26 May 2012

Decision neuroscience and consumer decision making

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Abstract

This article proposes that neuroscience can shape future theory and models in consumer decision making and suggests ways that neuroscience methods can be used in decision-making research. The article argues that neuroscience facilitates better theory development and empirical testing by considering the physiological context and the role of constructs such as hunger, stress, and social influence on consumer choice and preferences. Neuroscience can also provide new explanations for different sources of heterogeneity within and across populations, suggest novel hypotheses with respect to choices and underlying mechanisms that accord with an understanding of biology, and allow for the use of neural data to make better predictions about consumer behavior. The article suggests that despite some challenges associated with incorporating neuroscience into research on consumer decision processes, the use of neuroscience paradigms will produce a deeper understanding of decision making that can lead to the development of more effective decision aids and interventions.