Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Science, Technology and Society Program


James Fleming

Second Advisor

Melissa Glenn


Neuromarketing utilizes brain-imaging technology, such as electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines, to understand consumers’ neurological responses to marketing stimuli. In this paper, I demonstrate how neuromarketing connects to the history of subliminal messaging and our current neuro-obsessed culture (neuroculture). These factors affect how critics view neuromarketing and the implications involved for the future of this study. I hypothesize that, when used correctly, neuromarketing can initiate a new section of the marketing world that will serve as a useful component to more traditional marketing practices. By taking away social bias and inaccurate answers present in market research, neuromarketing will provide insights into the consumer brain that will ultimately be helpful to efficiently market products. However, when used incorrectly, neuromarketing can be invasive to the consumer, and results may be easily manipulated by vendors and misunderstood by readers. In order to support my hypothesis, I research the implications of neuromarketing as a market research tool in regards to consumer decision-making, price, and promotion. In three case studies I show a) how neuromarketing transforms or supports each case and b) if neuromarketing proves more effective than traditional marketing tactics. This will serve as a beneficial guide to understanding the impact of neuromarketing and the ability to which neuromarketers are able to understand how factors regarding product, price, and promotion may affect a consumer’s decision.


Neuromarketing, Neuroeconomics, Consumer decision-making, consumer neuroscience, psychology