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neuromarketing, marketing ethics, consumer opinion


Advancements in the development of neuroscience have created the capacity for neuroscientific methods to be applied to marketing science and ultimately marketing practice. As a relatively nascent subfield in marketing, neuromarketing applies neuroscientific methods to study consumer reactions to specific marketing related stimuli. This study analyzes the use of neuromarketing by for-profit and non-profit organizations from an ethical perspective based on consumers’ point of view. The implications of consumers’ ethical judgments are also explored. The empirical evidence indicates that consumers perceive the use of neuromarketing-based marketing tactics by for-profit organizations to be unethical, yet the same tactics are considered ethical when non-profit organizations use this tool. The implications of these ethical judgments show the most favorable consumer responses for non-profit organizations that do use neuromarketing based marketing practices and, interestingly, the most unfavorable response for non-profits that forego the use of such practices. Managerial implications are also discussed.


Originally published in:

Flores, Jason, Arne Baruca, and Robert Saldivar. “Is Neuromarketing Ethical? Consumers Say Yes. Consumers Say No.” Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues 17.2 (2014): 77-91.