This chapter surveys methodological advancements in consumer research as a result of recent developments in neuroscience and behavioral genetics. This new approach is highly interdisciplinary and is termed as “neuromarketing”, paralleling similar developments in related fields such as neuropsychology and neuroeconomics. Researchers of this approach consider our behaviors to be results of psychological processes embodied physiologically in the brain and nervous system. Thus, the biological influences may be rooted in our genes and shape the activities in our brain, and thus behaviors through actions on hormones and neurotransmitters. In this paradigm, our genotypes may be interpreted as a measure of individual differences, while brain activities may be observed and taken as more direct measures of the underlying psychological process. Such a neurobiological approach may take consumer research to another level and help answer some historically difficult questions. These questions are not confined to marketing scholars’ interest in theory development; they encompass real-world marketing implications of concern to practitioners. To illustrate this, we review some recent findings in neuromarketing that make use of neuroimaging, twin study, and molecular genetics. We then discuss some recent trends in neighboring fields and their implications for the future of neuromarketing.
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