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Emotions and the individual's external circumstances are key in consumer decision making.

Gonzalo Arrondo, researcher of the University of Cambridge, presented at the ICS of the University of Navarra the conclusions of his latest study, in which he shared a hedonistic and emotional decision making with a more hedonistic and emotional one. internship

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PHOTO: Manuel Castells
03/10/14 17:27 Carlota Cortés

The emotions and external circumstances of the individual play an important role in making decisions related to consumption. This was stated by Gonzalo Arrondo, researcher post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge, on the occasion of a seminar that he gave at the Institute for Culture and Society(ICS), the research center in Humanities and Social Sciences of the University of Navarra. The activity was organized by the project 'Emotional culture and identity', which is funded by Zurich Seguros, of which he was researcher before joining the British campus .

Gonzalo Arrondo presented his latest study at the ICS, in which he compared "a more hedonistic and emotional decision making with another more internship". To do so, he used partnership with 22 women between 21 and 39 years of age, who were shown two car models and asked two questions: which one they liked and which one they would buy.

"The goal was to go beyond purely mechanistic or simplified explanations of decision making," he stressed. " The more concrete question was whether the individual's goals modify his or her response to stimuli or whether, instead, the response to stimuli is always the same automatic and does not influence where you are going, what you are looking for or what your goals are.

According to the expert, the brain - specifically the medial orbitofrontal cortex - plays an important role in decision-making, but the interaction between this structure and the person's external circumstances must also be taken into account.

The researcher concluded that when deciding, the specific value given to an object is not static: "If this were the case, the activity in the medial orbitofrontal would always be the same, and it has been shown to change depending on the question".

Consumption and advertising

The study of how the brain functions when making decisions -especially those related to consumption- has been frequently addressed by Psychology and Microeconomics and, recently, by Neuroscience.

According to Gonzalo Arrondo, his work is not "directly applicable" to advertising, but it can be useful for an advertiser who wants to "know if what he is doing in his work is working or not".

I don't think we are more consumerist now," he says. Human beings have always consumed and this has been a driving force in the history of mankind. What has changed is that the ways of consuming are much more varied than they were 500 years ago".

Gonzalo Arrondo is graduate in Psychopedagogy and PhD in Medicine from the University of Navarra, and graduate in Psychology from the UNED. He also completed the Master's Degree in Child and Adult Neuropsychology at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the Matía Foundation.