Navigation Links
Small 'neural focus groups' predict anti-smoking ad success
Date:4/25/2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Brain scans of a small group of people can predict the actions of entire populations, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon and the University of California at Los Angeles.

The findings are relevant to political advertising, commercial market research and public health campaigns, and broaden the use of brain imaging from a diagnostic to a predictive tool.

As opposed to the wisdom of the crowd, the study suggests that the neurological reactions of a fewreactions that people are not even consciously aware of and that differ from the opinions they expresscan predict the responses of many other people to ad campaigns promoting specific behaviors.

"Brain responses to ads forecasted the ads' success when other predictors failed," said Emily Falk, director of the U-M Communication Neuroscience Lab and lead author of the study, which appears online in Psychological Science.

"Our findings could help design better health campaigns. This is a key step in reducing the number of smokers and reducing deaths from cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related illnesses."

The findings, she said, might also help produce more effective political campaign ads and provide a neural roadmap to why some videos, fashions, behaviors and ideas go viral, moving from one person to many thousands of others via social media.

Falk conducted the study with Elliot Berkman of Oregon and Matthew Lieberman of UCLA. The researchers were supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

For the study, the researchers recruited 31 heavy smokers with a strong desire to quit, and examined their neural responses to three anti-smoking ad campaigns, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). All of the ads directly urged viewers to call the National Cancer Institute's tobacco quit-line (1-800-QUIT-NOW).

Following the fMRI, participants rated the effectiveness of the ads they had just viewed in a variety of ways. The researchers compared their brain scans to their reports on the ads' effectiveness.

To obtain population-level measures, the researchers compared the number of calls to the tobacco quit-line in the month before and after each media campaign first aired in three different media markets.

When asked what they thought of the ads, participants rated Campaign B the highest, followed by Campaign A and then Campaign C. Industry experts familiar with the campaigns also disliked Campaign C. The three campaigns used very different strategies. Raters found Campaign C annoying and guessed that it would be ineffective. By contrast, Campaigns A and B resonated with participants, but in the end were less effective in actually driving calls to 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

But brain scans, which focused on the medial pre-frontal cortex, an area of the brain identified in earlier studies as linked to positive responses to persuasive messages, showed a completely different order, with Campaign C eliciting the strongest response.

At the population level, each ad campaign led to increases in call volume to the quit-smoking line, compared with a no-media control month before the launch of each campaign. The increases ranged from 2.8 times to 32 times higher than the control month, and the researchers found that Campaign C led to the highest increases, followed by Campaign B and lastly Campaign Ajust the opposite of the participants' guesses but precisely the same as their brain scans showed.

"It seems that the brain is picking up on important features of these ads, but we're not sure what these features are yet," said Falk, assistant professor of communication studies and a faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research. "We're doing follow up studies now to translate what the brain is telling us about how to design better messages."

This study broadens the use of neuroscience data from predicting individual behavior to predicting the responses of much larger groups of people.

"It seems that the brain can predict the responses of entire populations to ad campaigns," Falk said. "The behavior of people whose brains are never examined may be inferred from the brains of a small 'neural focus group.'

"These findings could help us improve the success of campaigns. In the long run, we hope this will help us fight cancer and other preventable diseases."


'/>"/>
Contact: Diane Swanbrow
swanbrow@umich.edu
734-647-9069
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Study examines drug regimen for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer among older patients
2. Normalizing tumor blood vessels improves delivery of only the smallest nanomedicines
3. Pesticides May Be Linked to Slightly Smaller Babies, Shorter Pregnancies
4. Giving Birth to Small Babies Linked to Heart Disease in Moms: Study
5. Desk Jockeys Urged to Take Small Steps to Get Exercise
6. Many babies born to immigrants are being labeled too small incorrectly
7. Study finds prior preterm delivery indicates subsequent baby will be small even if carried to term
8. Small Stem Cell Study Claims Early Success in Treating Eye Disease
9. Gender differences in liver cancer risk explained by small changes in genome
10. Researchers find malignancy-risk gene signature for early-stage non-small cell lung cancer
11. Smaller sibling protein calls the shots in cell division
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/27/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2017 , ... In any ... Regardless of the talent of your dental team at presenting treatment, there will always ... invest a lot of time and money on best practices when it comes to ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... , ... Mediaplanet is proud to announce the launch of its newest edition ... readers on how to take care of all aspects of their skin. , On ... Dancing with the Stars professional, Witney Carson, shares her journey with the disease that ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) ... legislative activity and the latest regulatory concerns impacting RBMA members. The Legislative Education ... will continue through Monday, Sept. 11, at the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner in Mclean, ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... A new analysis of community ... healthiest seniors are located in the Midwest. With the average cost of healthcare rising ... are concerned with both the quality and affordability of where they live. An annual ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... On May 24, the ... narrowly passed the U.S. House on May 4, would result in 23 million Americans ... continued implementation of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/9/2017)... , May 9, 2017  Demonstrating its commitment ... of directors for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers ... membership. Biopharmaceutical companies will now have to meet ... to be eligible to join PhRMA. ... board is sending a clear message that being ...
(Date:5/8/2017)... 2017  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO)., has completed ... a health care service center company based in ... in relationship management programs for leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and ... WRB will join Envoy Health Management, LLC ... manufacturers, biotech firms, and other service companies. Together, WRB ...
(Date:5/4/2017)... -- Fortuna Fix Inc. (" Fortuna "), a private, clinical-stage ... the need for embryonic and fetal stem cells by using ... Fortuna announced today the launch of its ... MD, PhD; Father Kevin FitzGerald , S.J., PhD; Col. ... James Giordano , PhD. "We are excited and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: