A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty and staff from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.
Fox School in Financial Times
Recently, business schools are weaving into their curriculum study in neuroscience. Fox’s Dr. Angelika Dimoka, the director of Temple’s Center for Neural Decision Making, speaks with Financial Times about Fox’s PhD program in this space. Read more>>
Leading by example
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Brooks, a Super Bowl champion, is also a champion of mental health awareness. Honors students in a leadership course led by Fox’s Dr. Crystal Harold invited Brooks to Alter Hall to speak with Fox students at a de-stress event. 6 ABC and student newspaper The Temple News provide coverage. Read more>>
‘Performing at the highest level’
Fox’s Dr. Crystal Harold is among the recipients of Temple University’s annual teaching, research, and creativity awards. Temple Now, the university’s weekly newsletter, announces all of the 2018 awardees. Read more>>
Technically Philly | April 9, 2018
Three leaders of a local venture firm—including its CEO—have stepped down recently, amid calls from its investor groups for speedier returns on its stake sell-offs. Fox’s Dr. TL Hill provides subject-matter expertise on these processes. Read more>>
The Legal Intelligencer | April 5, 2018
Fox’s James Lammendola contributes an op-ed to The Legal Intelligencer, detailing a nonprecedential opinion by the Superior Court. Read more>>
Sydney Morning Herald | April 3, 2018An editorial in Australia’s second-largest daily newspaper discusses the pitfalls of a current marketing strategy, and it cites the research work of Fox’s Dr. Joydeep Srivastava. Read more>>
Media requests: Please send requests to Christopher A. Vito, associate director of communications & media relations, Temple University’s Fox School of Business, at email@example.com
Angelika Dimoka’s job is to get inside your head.
As the director of the Center for Neural Decision Making at the Fox School of Business, Dimoka finds how you make the choices you do—and she does not need to ask you.
Instead, she looks to the human body for answers.
A trained biomedical engineer and neuroscientist, Dimoka came to the Fox School in 2008 to study how people make decisions. From air traffic controllers to victims of traumatic brain injuries to average consumers, Dimoka and her colleagues investigate—and predict—our everyday choices.
Getting inside your head
In 2008, Dimoka established the Center for Neural Decision Making, the first neuroscience center located within a business school, and currently the largest such center in the country.
“[The Center’s goal] is to provide a more objective understanding of the driving forces of a subject’s decision making,” says Dimoka, who is also an associate professor in the Department of Marketing. In the past, researchers have had to rely on self-reported data, asking consumers why they choose this product or made that decision. This, however, left room for error, as perhaps the consumer could not—or would not—divulge the true reason for their decision.
Today, with state-of-the-art tools like eye tracking machines, heart rate monitors, and MRI scanners, the Center’s research eliminates the subjective bias of decision-making research. “We don’t have to ask the subject anymore,” says Dimoka. “We can observe their physiological state.”
Dimoka and her colleagues, Vinod Venkatraman and Crystal Reeck, assistant professors of marketing, use these tools to study the body’s responses in experiments like the ability to recall print ads versus digital ads.
“With eye trackers, we can observe where the subject is looking at any given point,” says Dimoka, allowing the researcher to understand exactly what information the subject is taking in at what time. Heart rate monitors, skin conductors, and breathing monitors analyze the person’s emotional state—whether you sweat more, breath heavier, or have a faster heartbeat when making a decision.
What the brain reveals
The Center also has a new functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine, brought to campus this fall in partnership with the College of Liberal Art’s Department of Psychology and with support from the National Science Foundation. “The fMRI scanners show us the brain’s functionality,” Dimoka says. “We can put people in the scanner and observe how their brains function when they make decisions.”
The areas of the brain that activate during different activities can reveal how consumers take in information and make decisions. Consider what happens when a person looks at a physical advertisement versus a digital advertisement. In a series of experiments funded by the Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Postal Service, Dimoka and her colleagues studied subjects’ brains as they reviewed ads in both print and online formats.
“The area of the brain associated with memory, the hippocampus, showed higher levels of activation for ads that subjects had seen before in a physical format,” says Dimoka, “as opposed to digital ads.” By using the brain scanning tools, the researchers found that print is still sticky, even in today’s digital age.
The third phase of the experiments are currently underway. Dimoka says this new round will further investigate generational differences and brand awareness.
Are there any differences between the purchasing decisions of Millennials and Baby Boomers when looking at online versus print ads? “We did find some preliminary results [from earlier experiments] that were quite interesting,” Dimoka says, “and the opposite of what you would expect.” The full results will be published later this summer.
The Center investigates all kinds of decision making—including consumer, financial, and privacy decisions—that can have real impact on average people and companies. The impact of their work extends from marketing to fields like management information systems and finance.
For example, Crystal Reeck, assistant professor of marketing, found that how you review your choices during the decision making process can impact your ability to be patient. She is currently working on a study that involves how people disclose private information.
Companies are also affected by the Center’s work. “By looking at the brain of how 30 subjects were responding,” says Dimoka, “we can predict how millions of consumers in the United States would decide.”
“That’s the magic, the power of these tools.”
Learn more about Fox School Research.
Would you rather have $5 today or $10 in a month? Eat a donut or an apple? Save for retirement or buy something new?
When making these choices, you’re weighing two kinds of options: a short-term reward that is worse for your longer-term outcomes, or a less immediately satisfying reward that’s better for your future.
But what if you could be more patient? Dr. Crystal Reeck, assistant professor of the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, has recently found that how you approach making these decisions can impact your ability to be patient and choose the longer-term option.
In Reeck’s study, participants chose between receiving smaller amounts of money delivered sooner (such as $44.80 in two weeks) or larger amounts of money delivered later (such as $51.50 in six weeks). Using mouse-tracking software, Reeck and her fellow researchers, Daniel Wall of Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Dr. Eric Johnson of Columbia Business School, tracked which pieces of information participants looked at as they hovered over the options.
About 50 percent of the participants took in all the information for the first option—the amount of money and time it would be delivered—and then all the information for the second option. The other half compared features between the options—first comparing the amounts of money, then comparing the delivery dates.
“What we found fascinating was not only were there these two groups of people with respect to their strategies, but they also differed in patience,” said Reeck, who is also the associate director of Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making. “People who were comparing between options were much more patient overall than those who were integrating the features of options.”
This increased patience when comparatively searching held true even when the research team manipulated the participants’ strategies. The team added a one-second delay in accessing information when hovering over a box on the screen, so that participants were subtly encouraged to search either comparatively (dollar vs. dollar, then time vs. time) or integratively (dollar and time vs. dollar and time).
“This change was so subtle that most people didn’t realize anything was different, yet it changed almost instantly how people made their choice,” said Eric Johnson, the Norman Eig Professor of Business and director of the Center for the Decision Sciences at Columbia Business School. “More importantly, it changed what they chose.” Participants who were assigned to search comparatively were more patient than those who were assigned to search integratively, regardless of how they searched before.
The results of the study indicate people are more likely to practice patience when the trade-off in value is easy to compare between options. “I’m a pretty impatient person. This research has helped me reframe the self-control decisions I struggle with as comparisons between salient options,” said Daniel Wall, a Ph.D. student in social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon. “My mom is always trying to give me junk food, but when I compare a bag of Peppermint Patties to not fitting into my jeans, it’s easier to abstain.”
For the researchers, they hope these insights encourage people to decide to save for retirement by anticipating how much the investment will grow in the future, or to choose an apple over a donut by considering the time on a treadmill needed to work off the pastry’s calories.
“Everyone encounters these intertemporal choices, often with decisions that are very important to us. Our research shows that by subtly changing how people search for information during these choices, we can encourage patience,” Reeck said.
Reeck’s paper, “Search Predicts and Changes Patience in Intertemporal Choice,” has been published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.
Learn more about Fox School Research.
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Even in today’s digital age, a printed advertisement is more likely to stick with a consumer than its online counterpart.
Mixed-media marketing campaigns are much more likely to succeed when they incorporate a print medium, according to researchers from Temple University’s Fox School of Business.
Neuromarketing research by three Fox School professors explored which combination of digital and print media left the strongest imprint on the brain. A grant from the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General (USPS OIG) helped finance the study.
The laboratory component of their study asked participants to view the same combination of advertisements on two occasions over a two-week period. The study relied on traditional, self-reported measures and the recording of brain activity through a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner.
When test subjects submitted to self-reported measures, the researchers found that the participants who had seen advertisements in only one format (whether twice in print or twice in digital, as opposed to one of each) were best at recalling the ads and their content.
According to data procured from the fMRI portion of the study, there was evidence that the same format shown twice, particularly with the physical format, produced associations with higher memory. Lastly, greater activation in brain areas that have been associated with desirability or subjective value was found for products advertised twice in the physical format, denoting greater engagement of these regions in the computations of the underlying subjective value and desirability.
“The primary finding for us was that sequencing, the order in which a test subject saw the ads, does not seem to matter as much as the presence of a physical component,” said Dr. Angelika Dimoka, Associate Professor of Marketing and Management Information Systems. “Under these circumstances, we noticed a stronger activation of the memory center of the brain. This is known as the hippocampus, which is located in the medial temporal lobe.”
Dimoka completed the study with Dr. Paul A. Pavlou, the Milton F. Stauffer Professor of Marketing and Management Information Systems, and Dr. Vinod Venkatraman, Assistant Professor of Marketing. Dimoka and Venkatraman serve as Director and Associate Director, respectively, of Temple’s Center for Neural Decision Making.
The research team’s findings complemented their May 2015 study. This previous study, also commissioned by the USPS OIG, sought a better understanding of consumer decision making through human response to physical, printed media and its digital counterpart. (In that study, printed ads generated a greater neural response than did digital ads.)
“Our newer study differed, in that we examined whether sequencing would play a role,” said Pavlou, who also serves as the Fox School’s Senior Associate Dean of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives. “In the end, it did not matter whether a physical ad was viewed before or after a digital ad had been viewed, so long as a physical ad was included somewhere within the combination.”