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Inspiring Green Consumer Choices

Leverage Neuroscience to Reshape Marketplace Behavior

Author: Micheal E. Smith

Neuromarketing research often raises ethical issues involving subjects who participate in neuroimaging studies, consumers who experience the effects of research results and the researchers who conduct such studies. But first, we should always consider the purpose of the studies, as nowadays there is an important interest in finding the right way to persuade the consumer to make "green" choices. This topic is the focus of the latest book published in our area of interest, by Michael E. Smith, PhD. His guide proposes a post-consumerism mindset: Inspiring Green Consumer Choices: Leverage Neuroscience to Reshape Marketplace Behavior.


The author is an applied cognitive neuroscientist and consumer insights professional with over three decades of research experience in the human brain and behavioral sciences. The book offers a cutting-edge view on consumer decision-making, exploring a wide variety of studies with advances in neuroscience, experimental psychology and behavioral economics and diving into how our brain works and impacts the choices in the marketplace.

The book is well-structured and divided into nine chapters that focus on identifying ways to reduce barriers to making green choices and encouraging more sustainable consumption decisions. The book is also rich in references and cites research articles that, for curious minds, will lead to new horizons.

The journey starts with an analysis of how we got where we are in terms of sustainability and why there is a gap between the reported "green" intentions of consumers and their actual behavior. On this topic, the author hypothesizes that cognitive resource limitations and associated mental shortcuts override mindful decision-making. Then, the reader takes a deep dive into the brain mechanisms underlying purchase decisions and how they can be influenced by marketing efforts to drive unsustainable consumption.

Michael E. Smith offers interesting aspects that are of great importance to anyone interested in promoting green consumer choices and facilitating consumer engagement with the green economy. Green marketers will be given tactics to use, but also some to avoid, to maximize the impact of their message. At the end, the book focuses on reducing barriers to green consumption, sketching the emerging portrait of the consumer in a green economy.

Although readers need to stay critical about the amount of power marketers may have on consumer choices, this is an an inspiring read for all those interested in neuromarketing. Even more so for the green marketer, or marketers interested in promoting green consumer choices.

Reviewer: Monica Diana Olteanu

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