Testing the Neuroscience of ‘Viral’ Video


The science of advertising and marketing is both incredibly compelling and incredibly creepy. Case in point: a study written up on the Neuromarketing blog which used physiological data collected from test subjects to see if there was a way to quantify a uniform emotional response to particular pieces of content. The scientists claim they had 77 percent accuracy in predicting behaviors of users of the website.

From the press release issued by One to One Interactive and Innerscope Research, who jointly conducted the study:

In order to test the level of emotional engagement of each respondent, each was outfitted with a state-of-the-art garment with embedded biometric sensors that Innerscope uses to non-invasively measure physiologic manifestations of brain activity. While wearing this garment, the respondents observed the eleven viral videos and their biological responses, including skin conductivity, heart rate, respiration, motion and eye tracking, were captured.

Innerscope SmartShirtFirst demographics, then psychographics — now it’s neurographics? All I know is that while ‘going viral’ has become something of a punch line, this sounds more like something from a dystopian science fiction novel.


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