Similar to EEG, MEG measures brain activity continuously by amplifying the magnetic field created by the neuronal activity (Morin, 2011). The method offers excellent temporal resolution and spatial resolution that is superior to EEG (Shiv et al. , 2005). The best spatial resolution is offered by fMRI, which uses powerful magnetic fields to image brain areas that are active by measuring the change in blood oxygen level dependant (BOLD) signals, since active brain areas receive more oxygenated blood flow and give off stronger signals(Shiv etal. ,2005;Morin,2011). Thetrade-offofthismethod however liesin its lower temporal resolution. Neurological methods have been increasingly applied in marketing in combination with traditional and physiological tools in the areas of branding research (Venkatraman et al. , 2012), advertising, media and product research (Fugate, 2007), and most recently service recovery research (Boshoff, 2012). In summary, each of the aforementioned tools comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. The main limitation is that these methods tend to be very expensive despite their limited sample size (Dubois and Isaac, 2011). They also constrain the multimodality of the consumption experience to the study of visual and olfactory stimuli, particularly in the case of fMRI (Woodward and Shiv, 2012). Yet, thought leaders in neuroscience and marketing believe that the answer lies in integration – using neurophysiological tools to complement traditional market research tools, in areas where traditional tools have limitations. For example, neurophysiological tools provide better measures of customers’ emotion, and automatic responses, which cannot be assessed effectively by explicit questions in traditionaltools,andhence these novel tools can be usedtocapture consumer responses to marketing stimuli free from interference of the conscious, rational mind (Woodward and Shiv, 2012). In the same vein, neurophysiological tools also offer direct measures of fluency, attention, comprehension, implicit memory, and engagement, which are outside of conscious awareness and hence cannot be assessed effectively by explicit questions in traditional tools. In addition to circumventing the cognitive biases, neurophysiological data is less susceptible to the social biases such as the social desirability bias that is inherent in traditional self-report research (Well, 2010; Dimoka et al. , 2012). Further, some of the neurophysiological tools offer the critical advantage of temporally-sensitive data that can be collected continuously in real-time as a service experience unfolds (Boshoff, 2012), allowing for the identification of causal relationships among marketing constructs (Dimoka et al. , 2012). Most importantly, thought leaders believe that the biggest contribution of these novel tools to marketing is the generation of conceptual models of consumer behavior that are derived and supported directly from the workings of the human brain, offering the potential to change our understanding of consumer behavior (Woodward and Shiv, 2012).
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