What we are up against in motivating health: Cognitive Science, Sex and advertising | The Economist

Cognitive Science, Sex and advertising: Retail therapy | The Economist – Cognitive sciences are now back in.

It is no wonder we are out-personned in motivating people to live healthy:

“It is now fashionable to study brain waves to see what lights up upon hearing the words “Coca Cola”, or to measure pupil dilation in response to brand logo.”

Mention of the IKEA effect:

“Baking is an expression of femininity, he explained, so when a woman pulls a cake or loaf out of the oven, “in a sense it is like giving birth”. Thus mixes that require the cook to add only water are threatening to women, since their role is marginalised; these days, thanks to Dichter, nearly all such mixes involve adding eggs, a symbol of fertility. In her book “Food is Love”, Katherine Parkin notes the way he encouraged advertisers to impress on women the importance of cooking as a way of showing love.”


Ted Eytan, MD