Friday, December 31, 2010

20 Lessons Learned From Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg


The George Clooney effect – high-earning women ‘want older, more attractive partners’, Abertay research finds

Psychologists have found that George Clooney may be even luckier than previously thought…Research at the University of Abertay Dundee discovered that as women become more financially independent, they want an older, more attractive male partner.

Studies have previously found that women place greater emphasis on whether a man can provide for them, while men place more importance on good looks. The new study revealed that as women earn more and become more independent, their tastes actually change.

The finding suggests that greater financial independence gives women greater confidence in choosing their partner. Instinctive preferences for material stability and security become less important, physical attractiveness becomes more important, and the age of partner women pick also increases.

Lead researcher Dr Fhionna Moore, a psychology lecturer at the University of Abertay Dundee, said: “Previous research shows that men place greater importance on physical attractiveness when picking a partner, whereas women focus much more on whether someone can provide material resources.

“We’d assumed that as women earn more, their partner preferences would actually become more like those of men, with a tendency towards preferring younger, more attractive partners rather than those who can provide and care for children.

“However, the preferred age difference did not change as we’d expected – more financially independent women actually preferred even older men. We think this suggests greater financial independence gives women more confidence in partner choices, and attracts them to powerful, attractive older men.”

The study was conducted online with 3770 heterosexual participants, who were asked questions about their background and personal situation, and their level of financial independence. 1851 women and 1919 men took part in the research.

Participants ranked a series of criteria such as physical attraction, financial prospects and sense of humour in order of importance, with these results matched against their income and financial independence.

“The behaviour of men and women does become more similar as women earn more, but only in terms of the importance of physical attraction,” Dr Moore added. “But the similarities stop there: greater income makes women prefer even older men, and men prefer even younger women.”

The popular stereotype of powerful women adopting male patterns of behaviour is strongly questioned by these new results.

Instead, as women become more independent it seems they have the confidence to pick partners from a wider age range – and are much more confident in making physical attraction their number one consideration.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Virtual Runway by Google

 A Japanese 30 second TV commercial for the launch of the new brand campaign ‘Google and more’ in Japan. It features the Image Search functions ‘sort by color’ and ‘similar images’ and shows an un-geeky way to demonstrate new functions.

Fashion Show with Google from Robbin Waldemar on Vimeo.o

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Near Future of Our World (2011-2200 AD)


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Age Is Just a Number: Believe You’re Younger and Your Health Will Follow

Maybe age really is just a number. How young or old someone feels has a huge influence on their health and how other people view them. An article published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reviews the research and suggests that feeling young can actually make you look young—and have the health of a younger person, too.
Harvard psychological scientist Ellen Langer has been studying how the mind influences the body for over three decades. In one classic study, she had old men live in a retreat that was retrofitted to look like it was 20 years earlier, while they pretended that they were living in that year. “Their minds were in the past. Their vision improved, their strength improved, and so on,” she says. Langer cowrote the new article with Laura M. Hsu of Harvard and Jaewoo Chung of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In one study by Langer and her colleagues, women had their hair cut and dyed at a hair salon, and volunteers looked at before and after pictures of the women. Those women who believed having their hair dyed made them look younger actually did look younger after the salon visit, according to the observers who were shown photos of their faces only. Women who didn’t believe they looked younger with dyed hair didn’t have that benefit.
Past research has found that male-pattern baldness increases the risk of prostate cancer. Langer and her colleagues hypothesize that this might be because balding men feel older; every day in the mirror, they get a stark visual reminder that they’re aging. (Prostate cancer is more common in older men.) Some heart problems are also linked with balding. There’s no clear biological reason for why hair loss and heart problems would go together; the men’s own feelings about their age could be partly to blame.
Older first-time mothers are often healthier as they age than women who have their first children younger—maybe, Langer says, because they’re spending their time with younger women at playgrounds and preschools. And people who marry older partners have a shorter life expectancy, while those who marry younger partners live younger.
So if Langer and her colleagues are right, and feeling young makes you healthier, what can you do about it? One route is to dress like a teenager, dye your hair, and find a younger boyfriend. But Langer has another solution: “Don’t buy the mindset in the first place. Then you won’t be vulnerable to it,” she says. “I think we have far more control over our health and wellbeing than most of us realize.”

Read more about the research by clicking here.

Demystifying Social Media


The Effect of Product Variety and Inventory Levels On Misplaced Products at Retail Stores

Sometimes it is a good idea to take a look in the archive. As the economy is recovering, vendors will present new products and categories to buyers. But even though the economy is developing in the right direction, it is a good idea to do your homework before saying yes to increasing assortment. 

Zeynep Ton and Ananth Raman at Harvard Business School, wrote a research paper back in 2004, were they, after four years of researching the subject, concluded:

"From a four-year longitudinal study of 333 stores of a large retailer, we show that increasing product variety and inventory level per product is associated with an increase in misplaced products. We also show that increasing misplaced products at a store is associated with a decrease in store sales. Hence, we highlight a consequence of increased product variety and inventory level per product that had been previously overlooked in studies of retail product variety and inventory management. In addition, we make two contributions to the literature on quality management. One, we provide empirical evidence to support earlier assertions that higher product variety and inventory levels lead to an increase in defects. Two, we show empirical support for studies that demonstrated the beneficial impact of increased quality on firm performance."

Read their research paper by clinging here.

Deal or No Deal: Hormones and the Mergers and Acquisitions Game

Maurice LeviKai Li and Feng Zhang from University of British Columbia published an article in Management Science arguing that hormone levels of young male CEOs are influencing their business decisions. Young male CEOs appear to be combative: they are 4% more likely to be acquisitive and, having initiated an acquisition, they are over 20% more likely to withdraw an offer. Furthermore, a young target male CEO is 2% more likely to force a bidder to resort to a tender offer. The authors argue that this combative nature is a result of testosterone levels that are higher in young males. Testosterone, a hormone associated with male dominanceseeking, has been shown to influence prospects for a cooperative outcome of the ultimatum game. Specifically, high-testosterone responders tend to reject low offers even though this is against their interest. It has been argued that this is consistent with a low offer being seen as dominance seeking. The acts of attempting or resisting an acquisition can be viewed as striving to achieve dominance. Authors argue that the evidence reported in the paper is consistent with the presence of a significant hormone effect in mergers and acquisitions.o

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Facebook Factor in Your Brain

Having to few friends? Blame it on your amygdala:
Daily Mail writes: 
"Magnetic resonance imaging scans found a positive link between big amygdalas and the richest social lives. Professor Lisa Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, reported the findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience.
She said they were consistent with the social brain theory, which suggests the human amygdala evolved to deal with an increasingly complex social world. Other studies of primates have shown that those living in larger groups tend to have larger amygdalas." 
Read the full article by clicking here.

Read the research document by clicking here.o

100 Things to Watch in 2011


Study pinpoints part of brain that suppresses automatic responses

Research from York University is revealing which regions in the brain “fire up” when we suppress an automatic behaviour such as the urge to look at other people as we enter an elevator.
A York study, published recently in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, used fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to track brain activity when study participants looked at an image of a facial expression with a word superimposed on it. Study participants processed the words faster than the facial expressions. However, when the word did not match the image – for example, when the word “sad” was superimposed on an image of someone smiling − participants reacted less quickly to a request to read the word.

“The emotion in the word doesn’t match the emotion in the facial expression, which creates a conflict,” said Joseph DeSouza, assistant professor of psychology in York’s Faculty of Health. “Our study showed − for the first time − an increase in signal from the left inferior frontal cortex when the study participant was confronted by this conflict between the word and the image and asked to respond to directions that went against their automatic instincts.”

Previous research on the prefrontal cortex has found this region to be implicated in higher order cognitive functions including longterm planning, response suppression and response selection. This experiment, conducted by graduate student Shima Ovaysikia under DeSouza’s supervision, allowed researchers to study inhibitory mechanisms for much more complex stimuli than have been studied in the past.
The inferior frontal cortex is located near the front left temple. People who have problems with inhibition, including stroke or schizophrenia patients, may have damage to this inferior frontal cortex zone, says DeSouza. As a result, when they see something that is inconsistent – such as the image of a smiling face with the word “sad” across it – they would be expected to take more time to react, because the part of their brains needed to process it has been damaged or destroyed.

The research, conducted by York’s Centre for Vision Research with the use of fMRI technology at Queen’s University, was partially funded by the Faculty of Health at York University, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and Research at York (RAY) program. Future fMRI research at York will be conducted in a state-of-the-art neuroimaging laboratory at York’s new Sherman Health Science Research Centre, which opened in September. o

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa´s Brand Platform


Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 NYC Holiday Windows

Watch the great 180+ picture gallery on Flickr for true retail experiences by clicking here.o

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No More "Habla Inglese?"...

Just point your Iphone to the text to be translated!

With the mission set to be “the dictionary of the future,” it uses optical character recognition and augmented reality to translate text. o

Attractive People Attract More Attention…to Their Unique Personality Traits

Beautiful people get all of the breaks. For one thing, they’re beautiful. Also, other people think their personalities are better, too. A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that people not only see beautiful people more positively, but they also see the beautiful people’s unique selves. That is, people see personality more accurately in pretty people than in people with average or not-so-good looks.
Psychological scientists spent a lot of time about a half-century ago trying to figure out who is the best judge of personality. You can see how this would be a useful skill for, say, a therapist or someone who conducts job interviews. But that research ground to a halt when they realized this was actually a much more complicated question than anyone thought, says Jeremy Biesanz, who cowrote the new study with Genevieve L. Lorenzo and Lauren J. Human, all from the University of British Columbia.
Biesanz and his colleagues decided to look at this old question from the other side. Rather than trying to work out who’s better at perceiving personality, they wondered whether there are some people whose personality is better perceived. In this study, they considered whether attractiveness changes other people’s ability to get a sense of your personality.
For the study, volunteers met in groups of five to 11 people. The group carried out something a little like a cocktail party, without the alcohol; every person chatted with every other person, in three-minute conversations. After each chat, each participant filled out a questionnaire on the person they’d just been talking with, rating their physical attractiveness and what psychologists call the “big five” personality traits—openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Each person also rated their own personality.
As expected, people saw attractive conversation partners more positively. But they also saw their personalities more accurately. This seems a little counterintuitive—how could they have a positive bias and also be more accurate? But it’s true. For example, if Jane is beautiful, organized, and somewhat generous, she’ll be viewed as more organized and generous than she actually is, but she’ll also be seen correctly as more organized than generous.
Biesanz suspects this is because we’re more motivated to pay attention to physically attractive individuals. “You do judge a book by its cover, but a beautiful book leads you to read it more closely,” he says. Interestingly, this wasn’t only true for people who everybody agreed were attractive. If someone talked to a person who they found particularly attractive, they’d perceive their personality more accurately. Biesanz notes that this is about first impressions of personality, in a setting like a cocktail party; the same might not be true for people who have known each other for longer.

The Psychology of Wrapping

Low on cash? Well maybe you should spend on wrapping this year instead of content. Daniel Howard wrote a research paper on the subject back in 1992 based on his research:

"The study subjects' positive moods were supported by finding parallel effects of gift wrapping on mood and attitude and by finding greater effects of happy mood strengthened the subjects' attitude towards the gift. These results are consistent with the premise that the happier one's mood, the more that one seeks to maintain that state of mind by developing of favorable attitudes toward owning the gift received."

More on this subject here.o

Deep Discounts, More Spending


Holiday Retail Winners


Large Companies vs Mobile Tech

Watch in larger size by clicking here.o

Paying less for goods and services today may cost more in the long run

The National Association of Business Economics November outlook predicts continued slow growth for the economy with the unemployment rate expected to hold above 9 percent.
As the recession drags on and money and job security are concerns, it’s not surprising that consumers continue to wait for sales before making a purchase.
In the short-run, the consumer “wins”— purchasing the item for less. But at what cost?
“When a brand goes on sale, it gives away part of the profit margin needed to invest in future innovation and quality,” says Sheri Bridges, associate professor of business at Wake Forest University and expert in branding and consumer behavior. “This affects the consumer’s satisfaction in the long run because the company cannot afford to develop the newer and better products we all want.”
In fact, says Bridges, firms that keep giving away margin will eventually have to reduce the quality of their goods and services.
“Too many brands think the only way to get and keep customers is by cutting prices. In reality, consumers are more interested in high value than low prices. Value is a function of the bundle of perceived benefits offered at a given price. Apple doesn’t discount its products, but it’s still one of the hottest electronics brands around.”
Continual price-cutting conditions consumers to wait for sales before making purchases and sends a message that, in the company’s eyes, the brand is not worth full price.
“Selling products at a discount is like paying someone to like you,” Bridges says. “Good marketers know that sales aren’t necessary, if you’re providing the right value to the right customer.”

What Does Your App Report About You?

Your smartphone knows what you did last summer:


Monday, December 20, 2010

What Makes a Face Look Alive? Study Says It’s in the Eyes

The face of a doll is clearly not human; the face of a human clearly is. Telling the difference allows us to pay attention to faces that belong to living things, which are capable of interacting with us. But where is the line at which a face appears to be alive? A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that a face has to be quite similar to a human face in order to appear alive, and that the cues are mainly in the eyes. 
Several movies have tried and failed to generate lifelike animations of humans. For example, the lifeless faces in Polar Express made people uncomfortable because they tried to emulate life but didn’t get it quite right. 
“There’s something fundamentally important about seeing a face and knowing that the lights are on and someone is home,” says Thalia Wheatley of Dartmouth College, who cowrote the study with graduate student Christine Looser. Humans can see faces in anything—the moon, a piece of toast, two dots and a line for a nose—but we are much more discriminating when it comes to deciding what is alive and what is not. 
Wheatley and Looser set out to pin down the point at which a face starts to look alive. Looser drove around New Hampshire visiting toy stores and taking pictures of dolls’ faces. “It was fun trying to explain what we were doing to shopkeepers. I got some strange looks” says Looser, who then paired each doll face with a similar-looking human face and used morphing software to blend the two. This made a whole continuum of intermediate pictures that were part human, part doll. 
Volunteers looked at each picture and decided which were human and which were dolls. Looser and Wheatley found that the tipping point, where people determined the faces to be alive, was about two-thirds of the way along the continuum, closer to the human side than to the doll side. Another experiment found that the eyes were the most important feature for determining life. 
The results suggest that people scrutinize faces, particularly the eyes, for evidence that a face is alive. Objects with faces may look human, but telling the difference lets us reserve our social energies for faces that are capable of thinking, feeling, and interacting with us. 
“I think we all seek connections with others,” Wheatley says. When we recognize life in a face, she says, we think, “This is a mind I can connect with.”
See examples of the morphed faces used in the experiments here:


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Future Trends: What´s Next for the Internet?


2010 in Review


Retail Trends in China 2011-2014

Download the 40 page report by clicking here.o

Brand Strategy 2011


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Warding Off the Evil Eye When the Fear of Being Envied Increases Prosocial Behavior

The fear of being envied makes people act prosocially, in an attempt to ward off the potentially destructive effects of envy. In three experiments, people who were in a superior position and could be envied were more likely than control participants to give time-consuming advice to a potentially envious person or to help a potentially envious person pick up erasers she had accidentally scattered. However, helping behavior increased only if envy was likely to be malicious rather than benign. People who were better off did not increase their helping behavior toward people in general, but increased their helping only toward the potentially envious. This finding is consistent with the idea that the better off act more prosocially as an appeasement strategy. The fear of being envied serves useful group functions, because it triggers prosocial behavior that is likely to dampen the potentially destructive effects of envy and simultaneously helps to improve the situation of people who are worse off.o

Getting Inside the Head of the Consumer - Literary!

This is a very interesting concept from BMW that flashes an image of the brand so that when the beholder of the ad closes his or hers eye after watching it, gets a projection of the brand name inside their head...


Turning Into Gods

TURNING INTO GODS - 'Concept Teaser' from jason silva on Vimeo.o

The World of Data

Watch larger version by clicking here.o

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Future of Loyalty


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Online Habits

Really interesting report on the development of habit online from Pewinternet says:
- the percentage of adults who watch video online jumped from 52% in 2008 to 66% in 2010.
- over half--51%--of adults listen to music online. That figure was just 34% in June 2004.
- 53% of adults have used classified sites like Craigslist--a number way up, from 32%, back in September 2007.
Download the report by clicking here.

Guerilla Marketing Ideas


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Want to Help a Friend? Give Them Invisible Support

There are many ways in which the provision of social support can be ineffective. Recent research suggests that the benefits of support may be maximized when it is provided invisibly. What remains unknown, however, is whether invisible support reflects the skillful behavior of support providers or recipients’ blissful unawareness, as well as how invisible support is delivered during spontaneous social interactions. We hypothesized that both providers’ skillful behavior and recipients’ unawareness are necessary for invisible support to be effective, and we sought to document what effective invisible support looks like. Eighty-five couples engaged in a videotaped support interaction in the lab. Support recipients whose partners provided more invisible practical and emotional support (coded by observers) but who reported receiving less support experienced the largest preinteraction-to-postinteraction declines in negative emotions. In the case of practical invisible support, the combination of more support and less awareness of that support also predicted increases in self-efficacy. These results indicate that invisible support is a dyadic phenomenon.


Recession and Technology as a Game Changer


Why Must We Compensate After Buying Gifts That Threaten Our Identities?

If a vegetarian has to buy a steakhouse gift certificate for a friend, her discomfort will lead her to buy something else that reaffirms her identity, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“When gift givers choose a gift that matches the identity of the recipient but is contrary to their own identity, they experience discomfort,” write authors Morgan K. Ward (Southern Methodist University) and Susan M. Broniarczyk (University of Texas at Austin). This discomfort leads consumers to choose other products that express their identities.
The authors investigated the consequences for gift-givers when the gifts threaten one of two central identities: school affiliation or political identity. In their studies, the researchers told participants to imagine they were choosing a gift for a recipient who had created a gift registry. In one experiment, gift givers from the University of Texas at Austin (the “Longhorns”) chose gifts for a close friend that attended either their own school or the rival school (Texas A&M, home of the “Aggies”).

The gifts on the registry were emblazoned with the schools’ emblems. “While making a gift choice, the givers of the rival Texas A&M gift were more likely to exhibit physical signs of discomfort such as chewing on their lips, averting their eyes, fidgeting, and crossing their arms,” the authors write. At the checkout, Longhorns fans distanced themselves physically from their Aggies purchases.

After they purchased the gifts, Longhorn-identified participants were then offered either an expensive silver pen or a cheap plastic pen with the Longhorn logo on it. Longhorn fans who gave the University of Texas gift were confident in their identities and much more likely to choose the more attractive silver pen for themselves. In contrast, Longhorn fans who purchased the rival Texas A&M gift were more likely to choose the cheap plastic Longhorn pen in order to reestablish their identities.

The authors also found that Democrats asked to choose gifts at odds with their political identities were more likely to choose a subscription to the New York Times, whereas Republicans who chose items emblazoned with donkeys chose the more conservative Wall Street Journal.
Morgan K. Ward and Susan M. Broniarczyk. “It’s Not Me, It’s You: How Gift Giving Creates Giver Identity Threat as a Function of Social Closeness.” Journal of Consumer Research: June 2011.

Climbing Mount Everest: Noble Adventure or Selfish Pursuit?

Adventure seekers are plunking down more than $50,000 to climb Mount Everest, but a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that people who pay for transformative experiences often lack the communitarian spirit that usually defines such activities.

“In order to escape the rules, contraptions, and stresses of daily life in the city, many people search for new and liberating experiences that transcend their normal bureaucratic and corporate existence,” write authors Gülnur Tumbat (San Francisco State University) and Russell W. Belk (York University, Ontario). However, it seems that competition and conflict rear their heads even on romanticized adventures like climbing to the top of the world.

The authors conducted an ethnographic study of commercialized climbing expeditions on Everest, which focused on paying clients. “Although we were initially guided by the expectation of more of a communitarian spirit, we came to realize that consumer behavior scholars had failed to appreciate and understand the competitive, individualistic, and status-seeking aspects of such activities,” the authors write.

The research discovered a tendency for paying climbers to jostle for position rather than cooperating in a communal atmosphere. “What they have is a forced companionship for many, far from any real spirit of community,” the authors write. “Money versus personal skill and experience compete as climbers argue that they deserve to summit the mountain while others there do not.”
The authors found that climbers were focused on their individual accomplishments and with proclaiming unique positions (for example, being the first British woman to climb Everest). “What we found in the context of Mount Everest is individualism, competitiveness, contradiction, and power-seeking through extreme experiences purchased from what is now known as the experience economy,” the authors write.

“Our study finds that extraordinary experiences, when bought in the marketplace, can be destructive of feelings of camaraderie and reinforce an individualistic and competitive ethos that I, the climber, am the only one who matters,” the authors conclude.
Gülnur Tumbat and Russell W. Belk. “Marketplace Tensions in Extraordinary Experiences.” Journal of Consumer Research: June 2011.

Imagine Your Future Self: Will It Help You Save Money?

Why do people choose present consumption over their long-term financial interests? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that consumers have trouble feeling connected to their future selves.

“This willingness to forego money now and wait for future benefits is strongly affected by how connected we feel to our future self, who will ultimately benefit from the resources we save,” write authors Daniel M. Bartels (Columbia Business School) and Oleg Urminsky (University of Chicago).

When we think of saving money for the future, the person we think of can seem different from the person we are now, the authors explain. People have trouble sacrificing in the present for that stranger in the future.
In one study, the researchers had graduating seniors read one of two narratives: the first indicated that their self-identity was already fully formed and would not change after graduation. The other passage indicated that graduation would change their self-identities. “When seniors were told that graduation would lead to major changes in identity, they reported feeling less connected to their future selves,” the authors write. “Those thinking about changes in identity were also more impatient, choosing less-valuable gift certificates that would be available sooner over higher-valued gift certificates that required waiting a year.”

In a subsequent study, the authors asked people to evaluate their sense of connectedness and similarity to their future selves. Three weeks later, they contacted them and asked them to choose between smaller gift cards they could use right away or larger gift cards that would require waiting. “Those who had felt more connected to their future selves then made more patient choices and were more willing to wait for a higher-valued gift card,” the authors write.
When people fail to save for the future, they may not be making a mistake or failing to exercise self-discipline; they don’t fully recognize benefits that their future selves will receive. “Countering this tendency, by helping people recognize the enduring aspects of their personal identity, may hold the key to making people more patient and more willing to sacrifice, save, and invest for the future,” the authors conclude.

Daniel M. Bartels and Oleg Urminsky. “On Intertemporal Selfishness: How the Perceived Instability of Identity Underlies Impatient Consumption.”Journal of Consumer Research: August 2011.

Will Material-Love-Smitten Consumers Do Anything for Their Cars and Guns?

The way people treat their possessions looks like love, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.
“Is it possible for consumers to be in love with their possessions?” ask authors John L. Lastovicka (Arizona State University) and Nancy J. Sirianni (Texas Christian University). When it comes to cars, computers, bicycles, and firearms, the answer seems to be a resounding yes.

The researchers visited five car shows in Arizona and conducted in-depth interviews with car enthusiasts (males and females, aged 19-68). They found that love-smitten consumers were more likely to use pet names than brand names when describing their cars and that some people seemed to use their attachment to cars to remedy pain and disappointment in their romantic lives.

“Material possession relationships may reduce the negative consequences of social isolation and loneliness, and can contribute to consumer well-being, especially when considered relative to less-desirable alternative responses like substance abuse, delinquency, and the side-effects of anti-depressant medications,” the authors write.
The researchers found various combinations of passion, intimacy, and commitment in consumers’ relationships. “Consumers felt a passion, or a relentless drive to be with their beloved possession, and this often manifested in gazing at and caressing their cars, and even some love-at-first-sight purchase decisions,” the authors write.
People nurture relationships with their beloved possessions, investing time and money into improving them and becoming fluent in understanding their details. “We found love-smitten consumers spent six times more on accessories and enhancements for their prized guns than firearm owners who did not demonstrate passion, intimacy, or commitment toward their guns,” the authors write.

These findings have significance for firms that sell accessories and after-purchase services such as cleaning, enhancements, and repairs. “For those in the throes of material possession love, it should be no wonder that they so freely spend their time and money on their beloved,” the authors conclude.

John L. Lastovicka and Nancy J. Sirianni. “Truly, Madly, Deeply: Consumers in the Throes of Material Possession Love.” Journal of Consumer Research: August 2011.

Choice Blindness

can explain a lot about how and why we make decisions:


Filmography 2010

270 of 2010´s movies all into one.


Smartphones may lead to more health-conscious future

The latest smartphones are equipped with a range of technologies that can pinpoint your location. It’s only a matter of time before they’ll also be able to detect your every movement, says Reetika Gupta, assistant professor of marketing.
The evolution toward mobile sensing devices has already begun. The first wave of baby boomers turns 65 this year, and nearly 80 million will follow them into retirement over the next 20 years—a “geriatric tidal wave,” according to The New York Times.
To prepare for this generational change, the healthcare industry has already partnered with computer scientists to create a mix of sensory technologies that will essentially monitor any changes of health. The technologies will allow quicker and more effective treatment for the elderly.
But those mobile sensing technologies have far greater potential, says Gupta. Within five years, all smartphones could very well be equipped with applications that track physical activity. The devices will not only monitor whether you’re sitting or walking, but they’ll also detect any changes to your workout regimen or physical fitness.  
“The big question becomes how people will react to these technological and cultural changes,” Gupta says. “These types of mobile applications will rely on the collection of personal data that many will consider an intrusion on their personal lives, regardless of the long-term benefit. There’s a fine line to walk.”
That fine line is what interests Gupta the most. An expert in consumer behavior and technological development, she says there’s been little marketing research to show just how consumers will adapt to the impending changes and whether such changes will impact consumers’ lifestyle decisions.
‘A part of our conscience’
The advent of mobile sensing technologies couldn’t come at a better time for the United States. While the devices may have a direct influence on the growing number of elderly Americans, they may also become important preventative tools for the country’s unfit youth, Gupta says.
Most estimates show that one out of every three Americans is obese—a problem that is trending in the wrong direction. These sensing technologies could promote personal responsibility by making sure at-risk children and young adults can see for themselves their personal health data, and adjust their daily physical activities and lifestyles accordingly.
“Smartphones are no longer just phones. For better or worse, they’ve become a part of who we are—part of our conscience,” Gupta says. “From a marketing perspective, mobile sensory technologies may help us all develop a different mindset, one that is more health-conscious.
“It will require a new way of learning and a different way of thinking that will be foreign to many Americans, even five or 10 years down the road. Successfully communicating those changes—and the impact they’ll have on people’s lives—will be key to its success.”