Inside The Mind of The Consumer Reading Ielts Answers and Questions

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  • IELTS Reading Summary Completion

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IELTS reading passage – Inside The Mind Of The Consumer

Inside The Mind of The Consumer

Marketing professionals are no longer willing to believe you when you say you prefer one product over another. To determine which one you actually prefer, they want to scan your brain. They are attempting to understand more about the thought processes underlying purchase decisions by utilising the techniques of neuroscientists, like electroencephalogram (EEG) mapping as well as functional magnetic-resonance imaging (fMRI). Neuromarketing is the inevitable name given to the ensuing confluence of neuroscience and marketing.

Gerry Zaltman of Harvard University was the first to use brain imaging technologies in this manner in the late 1990s. The concept was unknown until 2001, when Atlanta, Georgia-based marketing firm BrightHouse established BrightHouse Neurostrategies Group, a division specifically devoted to neuromarketing. (Among BrightHouse’s clients are Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Home Depot.) The firm name, though, might just be a cunning marketing ploy in and of itself. Instead of using MRIs to scan people when they are shown specific products or campaign ideas, BrightHouse instead relies its work on more extensive study into consumer preferences as well as decision-making conducted at Emory University in Atlanta.

Can marketing actually benefit from brain scanning technology? The fundamental idea is quite similar to focus groups and other conventional methods of market research. While lying in the fMRI machine, a volunteer is shown pictures or videos. Instead of using an interview or questionnaire, brain activity monitoring is used to assess the subject’s reaction. f MRI offers real-time views of brain activity, with various regions “lighting up” in accordance with the amount of blood flow. This gives hints about the subject’s automatic cognitive processes. For instance, neuroscientists are aware that the medial prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain, is connected to the sense of oneself. When the subject is gazing at a specific logo, blood flow to that location may indicate that the person identifies with the brands.

At first, it appeared that only businesses in Europe were willing to acknowledge using neuromarketing. In 2003, two automakers, the European division of Ford and DaimlerChrysler in Germany, conducted pilot projects. Yet, US businesses have recently been more transparent regarding their utilization of neuromarketing. The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Lieberman Research Worldwide, a marketing company based in Los Angeles, are working together to make it possible for movie studios to market-test movie trailers. More contentiously, the New York Times recently revealed that FKF Research, a political consultancy, has been researching the efficacy of campaign advertisements using neuromarketing strategies.

It’s unclear whether all of this amounts to much more than a contemporary application of phrenology, the Victorian fascination with correlating skull bumps and lumps with personality traits. Because there haven’t been any extensive research, scans of a small number of people might not be a trustworthy indicator of consumer behaviour as a whole. Of course, focus groups and surveys have flaws as well: people are untruthful in case of thought pollsters, and strong personalities can influence focus group results. Yet even honest people occasionally struggle to articulate their desires.

Perhaps therein lies the greatest promise for neuromarketing. Most people who are asked about cola drinks say they have a favourite brand, but they are unable to explain why they like the flavour of that brand better. an unpublished investigation into opinions of two well-known cola beverages. Brand A and Brand 13 were the two brands tested in the study, which indicated that more participants preferred Brand B in a blind tasting. fMRI scans revealed that drinking Brand B significantly brightened the ventral putamen, one of the brain’s “reward centres,” compared to Brand A. However when asked which drink they liked, most participants answered Brand A, suggesting that its stronger brand trumps the other beverage’s more agreeable taste.

“People acquire many unconscious views that are definitely beyond typical methods that exploit introspection,” says Steven Quartz, a neurologist at Caltech who is partnering with Lieberman Research. Any company that can more precisely analyse how consumers react to products, brands, and advertising may make a fortune given that over $100 billion is spent annually on marketing in the United States alone.

Pro-consumer groups are cautious. Gary Ruskin of the lobbying organisation Commercial Alert believes that current marketing strategies are effective enough. Marketing is already “deeply implicated in many significant pathologies,” according to him. “This is especially true for children, who are experiencing an epidemic of illnesses linked to marketing, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. A way to enhance these tendencies is neuromarketing.

Dr. Quartz disagrees, arguing that neuromarketing strategies might also be applied for good. There are ways to use these tools, he believes, to produce more ethical advertising. Brain imaging might be utilised, for instance, to ascertain when people are capable of making free decisions in order to make sure that advertising stays within certain parameters.

Concerns about privacy invasion and unauthorised use of data about certain people’s preferences are also raised by brain-scanning technology. Yet, since volunteer individuals make only a minor portion of neuromarketing studies, that appears improbable. The use of medical equipment for non-medical, recreational activities is often criticised. Nevertheless, Tim Ambler, a neuromarketing researcher at the London Business School, argues that “a tool is a tool,” and that “everyone wins” if the instrument’s owner receives a fair wage for renting it out. Perhaps more brain imaging will someday clarify why some people find neuromarketing appealing while others do not.

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Inside The Mind Of The Consumer Reading Questions

Questions 1-6

Reading Passage has ten paragraphs A-J
Choose the correct heading for Paragraphs B-G from the list of headings below. Write the correct number (i-x) in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

i. An explanation of the process
ii. a global research initiative
iii. An investigation into consumer reactions through a test
iv. promoting a different name
v. An incorrect name
vi. A research area with the potential to be profitable
vii. risks to health from the technique
viii . Cons of marketing tactics
ix.  expanding the applications
x. Neuromarketing: What is it?

  1. Paragraph B
  2. Paragraph C
  3. Paragraph D
  4. Paragraph E
  5. Paragraph F
  6. Paragraph G

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Question 7-9

Look at the following people (Questions 7-9) and the list of opinions below. Match each person with the opinion credited to him.

Write the correct letter A-F in boxes 7-9 on your answer sheet.

7. Steven Quartz
8. Gary Ruskin
9. Tim Ambler

List of opinions

  • Neuromarketing could be used to contribute towards the cost of medical technology.
  • Introspection could be used as a tool in marketing research by neuromarketing.
  • Medical issues may be treated through neuromarketing.
  • Neuromarketing may exacerbate an already existing issue.
  • Neuromarketing may result in the improper use of medical technology.
  • Neuromarketing could be used to stop consumer exploitation.

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Questions 10-13

Complete the summary below using words from the passage. Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 10-13 on your answer sheet.

Neuromarketing can offer insightful data on sentiments towards specific 10………………..In comparison to surveys, where participants may be 11……………….., or focus groups, where they could be influenced by others, it might be more reliable. Also, it enables researchers to recognise the 12……………….. thinking patterns of the subject. Some individuals are worried that it can cause issues like a spike in sickness among 13………………..

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Inside The Mind of The Consumer Reading answers

1. V
2. I
3. IX
5. III
6. VI
7. F
8. D
9. A


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