CorruptUser wrote:How is neuromarketing different from fast food companies doing the exact same thing to determine the combinations of grease substitutes and salt to bring maximum pleasure to your think bladder when you cram your noise hole?
I'm not arguing that McDonald's is ethical.
And besides, while theoretically possible I highly doubt we've actually reached the point where we even can use MRI scans to determine advertising. For starters, MRI's don't measure brain activity; they measure blood flow. They notice that during activity X, region A of the brain gets more blood. It's not particularly accurate for any but the largest of sample sizes, and it just means that activity X causes region A to activate, doesn't mean you get the response you want out of your consumer-creatures.
An action taken with intent to deprive agency doesn't have to succeed to still be considered unethical.
And how is that morally different from using hundreds of focus groups to determine the ad that does the same thing? Using the flavorist example, the old method was using thousands of random combinations of spices and ingredients to hope for what makes the best panini, versus the new method of using computer models to determine the exact amount of ingredients and spice for the perfect panini.
Again, I'm not arguing that that's ethical.
I don't really care whether you're literally operating on the consumer's brain with a scalpel, or merely printing a flyer with specific wording. I believe that using intrusive behavior that, if an individual did it would be considered harassment, to manipulate someone else into doing something is unethical. That's not necessarily equivalent to "advertising" -- like I said, it's possible to just put your message out there, be honest with consumers, and not try to mislead them through lies of omission, employing logical fallacies, or simply spouting falsehoods.
But it would be foolish to pretend that deceitful and manipulative advertising is not very much the norm.
This. It's not mind control in any real sense. It's...a very small amount of feedback. And calling it industry standard is a little much. It exists. It's not as if every ad agency has a pile of folks around to test endlessly. Merely designing more effective ads does not amount to mind control. Yes, everyone wants their ads to be more effective. They always have. Even the dude hawking stuff on a street corner is going to adapt his pitch. Or the charity asking for donations, or whatever. Everything is trying to evolve to be more effective all of the time. That is utterly normal for life.
Specifically using MRI? Sure, that's rarer. Employing psychologists, neurobiologists, and scientists of addiction (not sure what term is) to try and figure out exactly how to exploit how people think? Very much standard.
The phrase "mind control" implies a loss of agency for the one being controlled. This isn't the case. Determining what someone wants is wildly different from forcing him to do something.
And determining what words are needed to exploit the imperfection of how human's interpret the world around them is very different than "determining what someone wants". For heaven's sake, man, a large fraction of big money advertising is designed with how to make the product or service addictive. A large fraction is figuring out just how close you can skirt fraud laws, or whether the payout would be worth the later fines anyway.
I'm not accusing a mom and pop store who put their contact info in the yellow pages of being shadow illuminati, but COME ON.