What resources are there for consumers who wish to get a detailed analysis of their personal brain function? (besides consumer EEG machines… )
That is, how do I get access to an fMRI scan? What's the current price range for such a thing? Do I have to be a grad student/researcher?
Furthermore, how do I get a detailed analysis of anything that could be interesting/out of the ordinary?
The easiest way to get an fMRI (and many other brain) scan is to volunteer to be a participant at your local university, hospital, or research center. They will let you keep a picture of your brain, provide some interesting information at de-briefing, and usually even give a bit of monetary compensation for your time. Since the research group has to have an MD on board in order to do these tests, they will also notify you if they detect something abnormal or dangerous in your scan. The only caveat is that the selection criteria for being a participant are usually a little bit more involved than in a standard psychological study. Thus, you might have to volunteer for a few studies before you are selected.
If you want further analysis, you might consider companies like this. There you can submit your brainscans after you've received them for further analysis.
The on-campus (face-to-face) master’s degree in psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program at McNeese is accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and provides students with a well-rounded educational experience. Students acquire a firm foundation in behavior analytic principles and procedures through coursework, completion of an empirical thesis, and on-site supervised practicum experience at the McNeese Autism Program (MAP). Our online-only program is not accredited by ABAI, however, does feature a VCS approval.
MAP is an outpatient treatment center that provides ABA services to individuals diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and genetic disorders such as down syndrome. These services are designed to improve patients’ quality of life by reducing maladaptive behavior and establishing adaptive, academic, communication, feeding, independent living, social, and vocational skills. MAP serves approximately 30 patients of various ages and diagnoses, whose programs are implemented by graduate students, supervised by a team of BCBAs, and overseen by the ABA program faculty. Students in the campus program gain a breadth and depth of clinical experience that will prove invaluable following graduation.
The combination of a rigorous course sequence, research experience, on-site practicum, and outstanding faculty creates scientist-practitioners who excel in their professional environments.
Prepare to sit for your Board Certified Behavior Analyst® exam
A Board Certified Behavior Analyst is a nationally certified behavioral health care professional who provides and supervises behavioral health care services. A BCBA® is qualified to address behavioral problems of social significance, within their areas of expertise, at an individual or group level. McNeese’s ABA program prepares students with all coursework requirements necessary to sit for the BCBA® exam. The campus program provides students with the supervised experience (practicum) required to sit for the board exam. Students obtain on-site supervised experience through internships at MAP.
McNeese’s on campus ABA program is the only graduate program in the State of Louisiana—and one of only twenty-two programs worldwide—that is accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The online-only degree program is not currently accredited by ABAI. Our on campus, online, and graduate certificate programs are ABAI Verified Course Sequences (VCS) meaning the Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
At a Glance
Degree Type: Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree Program: Psychology
Availability: online, in person
Explore More for Applied Behavior Analysis Majors
Here are a few reasons McNeese’s ABA master’s program is the first choice for students across the United States:
McNeese’s ABA master’s degree program provides students with high-quality graduate training, yet it is one of the most affordable programs of its kind. The curriculum emphasizes basic learning principles and their application to problems of social significance experienced by diverse populations. Students develop critical thinking and scientific communication skills, particularly as they relate to real-world applications of behavior analysis. Students gain experience consuming and conducting behavior analytic research with diverse populations. Students are encouraged to attend and present at regional and national conferences. Psychology graduate students have the opportunity to earn a dual-concentration master’s (in a second concentration of their choosing) by taking courses in both concentrations concurrently.
All courses in the ABA program are taught by BACB-approved faculty whose expertise includes intensive behavioral intervention acquisition of verbal behavior, social skills, and self-care skills functional assessment and treatment of problem behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injurious behavior) caregiver training nonhuman animal research gambling and substance abuse. Faculty members conduct and supervise applied, nonhuman, and/or translational research, with which students actively assist.
The McNeese ABA program’s five-course internship sequence allows students to obtain more than 1500 hours of supervised practicum experience. As interns, campus students will obtain diverse, hands-on experience implementing and designing ABA assessments and interventions for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders at our on-site facility, MAP. Campus students also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in basic research by working at our on-site non-human animal research laboratory.
Merit based applications for graduate assistantships (GAs) are available for all ABA graduate students. Applications are reviewed by ABA Faculty and MAP Clinical Staff. Typically, our GAs are given the opportunity to accrue paid hours at MAP. GA roles and responsibilities at MAP are similar to those required during the 5-course internship however, GAs also receive a stipend based on the number of paid hours earned per month along with a 50% tuition reduction for in-state graduate students or a 100% waiver of out-of-state tuition for non-Louisiana residents. Historically, over 80% of ABA graduate students have the opportunity to serve as GAs during their first year in the program. For more information regarding this opportunity, please reach out to our On-Campus Program Coordinator.
Two ways to earn your degree
Accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International, McNeese's on campus program incorporates a five course internship sequence and on-site placement at MAP.
Earn your ABA master's degree on your own schedule with our online-only degree option. The online-only program is not accredited by ABAI. This program does have VCS approval. Students obtain off-campus internship placements through approved supervisory Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Off-site experience/practicum sites and supervisors must be approved by the ABA program faculty.
What can you do with a degree in applied behavior analysis?
According to the BACB (2021) “Over the past 11 years, demand for behavior analysts holding BCBA or BCBA-D certification has increased by 4,209%. Annual demand for individuals holding BCBA/BCBA-D certification has increased each year since 2010, with a 17% increase from 2019 to 2020” (p.1).
Past McNeese ABA graduates have been successful in securing clinical BCBA positions prior to or within weeks of graduation. Many students have secured job placements as board-eligible candidates prior to sitting for their BACB credentialing exams. Recent McNeese ABA graduates work as clinical BCBA staff members in local/regional centers in Southwest Louisiana and Texas. Employers have reliably found that our alumni are highly skilled and well-rounded in their knowledge of ABA. Alternatively, some students choose to pursue doctoral degrees upon graduation. Opportunities for further study and career paths with this degree include:
Graduate Schools or Programs
Potential Credential and Job Titles
- Board Certified Behavior Analyst®
- Clinical Supervisor
- ABA Service Provider
- Behavioral Consultant
- Training Coordinator
- Animal Behavior Consultant
- School Behavior Analyst
- Special Education Assistant
- Non-human Animal Behavior
- Developmental Disabilities
- Behavioral Gerontology
- Behavioral Health and Technology
- Verbal Behavior
- Organizational Behavior Management
- School-Based Behavior Analysis
- Gambling, Addiction, Substance abuse
Students can join a variety of clubs and networking opportunities on campus, including the Autism Society at McNeese, the international honor society in psychology Psi Chi, and the Student Association for Methods in Behavior Analysis (SAMBA).
Our students stay active in the ABA community by presenting at local, regional, and international conferences, including the Louisiana Association for Applied Behavior Analysis Conference, the Texas Association for Applied Behavior Analysis Conference, and the annual convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Students are also encouraged to participate in regularly held fundraising events for MAP.
The Department of Psychology and MAP are located in Farrar Hall on the McNeese campus, which houses office suites, session rooms, classrooms, and research laboratories including a rat laboratory and vivarium.
The Meta-Analysis of Neuro-Marketing Studies: Past, Present and Future
One of the new topics that has attracted the attention of researchers in recent years is neuro-marketing. The purpose of the present study is to achieve an insight into the progress of studies on neuro-marketing through review of scientific articles in this field with methodology text-mining. A total of 394 articles were selected between 2005 and 2017 using the search for “neuro-marketing” in valid databases. By reviewing the title, abstract, and keywords at various stages of screening, the researchers selected 311 articles related to the neuro-marketing topic in order to carry out the text mining process. Then, pre-processing of data was performed and using cluster analysis, 6 optimal clusters were obtained according to Davis Bouldin index. Using the multi-attribute decision-making technique (SAW), the most important roots were ranked in each cluster. The results showed that interest in research on neuro-marketing has increased in recent years and clusters created around topics such as marketing strategies, advertising and video ads, ethical issues, advertising message components, neuroscience in marketing, economics and consumer behavior, and decision making and brand selection. The study shows that the researchers’ attention is moving from the concepts and principles of the use of neuroscience in marketing, economics and consumer behavior to design and develop marketing strategies using neuroscience.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Collecting consumer behavior data
As the motivations that influence consumer behavior are so wide, a research mix including a variety of data will be the most robust. Some are more cost effective than others.
Customer Reviews – Reading customer reviews can highlight common problems or wishes.
Q&A sites – These sites can give you an idea of the questions and concerns that people have in relation to your brand, service or product.
Surveys – Online surveys can be easily set up with sites like Survey Monkey and allow you to ask specific questions.
Focus groups – Bring a group of consumers together and ask them questions directly.
Keyword research – A mainstay of SEO, keyword research can tell you what consumers are interested in and the relative level of interest. It also helps to reveal the language they are using.
Google Analytics – Analytics can be used to tell you where your traffic is coming from. The Audience tab shows geography, interests, and a range of demographics.
Competitor analysis – This can provide useful information about consumers that are shopping in your vertical but don’t buy from your brand. Read our post on the top competitor analysis tools.
Blog comments – Comments on your blog can be a good way of discovering any questions your audience might have.
Twitter Insiders – Twitter recently launched Insiders , a 12,000 strong focus group of US & UK Twitter users.
Google trends – Google Trends can help you to understand if a topic is becoming more or less popular.
Government data – Government data is available for free and can help you understand a group, and several other sources can also be accessed without charge.
Social media – Millions of people reflect their lives on social media, so information that can enrich several strands of consumer behavior can be uncovered with the right tools.
Adhere to the reciprocity principle
Reciprocity psychology basically means that in order to get something, you must give something first. In business, this may mean that in order for your business to get a sale, you must first give something to the customer.
By offering your new customers an added value, you will be opening the door towards a business relationship with them. For example, if you own an HVAC service, reciprocity may be offering a free in-home evaluation of energy loss resulting from an insufficient HVAC system. In return, the customer will be thankful for the "free" service you provided, and they might then purchase a new HVAC system from your company. Utilizing reciprocity psychology in marketing can be beneficial for a variety of things, such as gaining new customers and gaining customer loyalty.
James Russell and José Fernández-dols stated in 1997: “Linking faces to emotions may be common sense, but it has turned out to be the single most important idea in the psychology of emotion” . While the details of that link to emotions remains a source of debate, it remains one of the few tools available that can provide objective data connected to emotional expressions.
There are various ways in which facial expression analysis can be carried out, and determining which is best for your research will depend largely on the resources you have available, and how they are prioritized. The best decision you can make is an informed one. To keep learning about facial expressions, download our free guide below.
5 Ways You Can Use Gestalt Principles For Powerful Imagery
Gestalt psychology is a visual perception theory – developed by German psychologists in the early 1920s – that tries to explain the way our minds navigate the chaotic world to make meaningful conclusions. The word “gestalt” itself means “unified whole,” a phrase that perfectly captures how we perceive, process, and piece together fragmented parts.
A major misconception of Gestalt principles goes back to an incorrect English translation: “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
But in truth, the essence of Gestalt is that “the whole is other than the sum of its parts.” This essence here implies our perception of the whole can be created independently of its parts. Or in other words, putting together something as a whole can help it take on a new dimension of its own.
Gestalt principles: proximity, similarity, closure, continuity, and Prägnanz (figure-ground).
For visual marketers, this is great news.
Because as wonderful as the human mind is, it doesn’t reliably use logic when it comes to visual perception. Optical illusions are just one example of this.
And humans don’t actually make their decisions on their own – instead, they are subject to internal biases, external pressures, and a host of other factors. This means that having an understanding of how humans react to visual stimuli can be very beneficial not only will you be able to deliver your visual message with greater efficiency, but knowing Gestalt psychology gives you room to be creative as well.
So, let’s take a look at how the five Gestalt principles above influence visual perception and what you can do to apply the principles to your visual marketing.
Law of Proximity
The Law of proximity says that we subconsciously perceive objects that are close to one another as within the same group. Since our brains seek continuity, this subconscious grouping lets your brain create a clear interpretation of the relationship between objects.
Marketers and advertisers can also use the Law of Proximity to deliver a memorable and eye-catching visual message, just like Prada did in this print ad below. By arranging different elements close to one another at an equal distance apart, a clear pattern forms for a striking visual impact.
Law of Similarity
The Law of Similarity says that our brains perceive objects with common elements as belonging to each other, whether the“common elements” here are shape, color, size, texture, or any other visual element.
As far as web content goes, the Law of Similarity is useful when you need to organize dissimilar objects – such as images and texts of different sizes – into a group. One way to create a visual unity of dissimilar objects is to apply a common characteristic to them, such as the same background color.
In the above eBay homepage, images and text of various sizes appear to belong to the same group because of the common green color. This helps consumers link items together for faster and easier processing.
Another way to apply the Law of Similarity is to break it. If you want to draw attention to a particular element, make sure its design breaks away from the rest of the page. The CTA below is a perfect example of this. Since the red CTA button stands out from the uniform blue color of the page, it’s impossible for readers to miss.
Law of Closure
This law tells us that our brains usually associate disconnected elements with forms we already know. This means that our brains also tend to complete missing links without being asked to, though we must first be familiar enough with the implied shape for this to happen.
The image below is a great example of this. With a quick look at the image, your mind instantly fills in the missing parts with two shapes that you already know: circles and triangles.
Image source: Pinterest
You’ll find the Law of Closure in the innovative logos of several famous companies, such as WWF or Apple. When we see a logo like the WWF one below, our minds fill in the gap to recognize the panda as a whole, even if many of the lines aren’t actulally there.
Visual marketers can also use the Law of Closure themselves to create more engaging and memorable content.
WWF and Apple logos are great examples of the Law of Closure. Image source: Pinterest
Law of Continuity
The Law of Continuity explains how our eyes search for continuous forms and follow smooth paths. This means we prefer to interpret visual information as connected instead of disconnected. As an example, if we look at the image below, we’ll be inclined to see the disjointed dots as running in a smooth, curved line.
Because of our brains’ tendency to see lines in an established direction, the Law of Continuity is sometimes used in logos where broken lines form a continuous shape. In the example of the IBM logo below, the Law of Continuity makes the logo appealing to look at and easy to read despite the gaps.
Image source: Pinterest
Law of Figure/Ground
The Law of Figure/Ground shows how our minds find a visual focus by separating figure from the background. The “figure,” also called “positive shape,” is the part of a composition that we pay attention to.
This law explains that the “figure” emerges as the part of a visual element that takes us the least cognitive effort to process. In other words, it’s the part that jumps out to us the most. The rest of the visual element would be then be considered the “ground.”
There are 3 types of figure/ground relationships. Depending on your goal, all three of them create opportunities for effective visual communication.
In a stable figure-ground relationship, the figure can be clearly distinguished from the ground.
In an ambiguous figure-ground relationship, no part of the image stands out as either the figure or the ground.
In a reversible figure-ground relationship, both the figure and the ground will have an equal weight in the image. This means that our eye can “flip” the figure and the ground, such as in Rubin’s Vase below.
Rubin’s Vase demonstrates how a “reversible” figure-ground relationship works. Image source ibitimes.co.uk
For visual marketers, the most common figure-ground relationship is the stable type. You can use space and contrast to create a stable figure/ground relationship in your content that easily draws attention to your desired focal point.
The iPhone 7 homepage below is a very clear example of a stable figure/ground relationship.
On this page, the strong contrast between the white header text and the black background makes the text really pop out. Even the product itself almost blends into the background, making it impossible for the white text not to emerge obviously as the figure.
Apple’s homepage design for iPhone 7. Image source: Apple.com
Over the years, Gestalt theories and psychology have helped many professionals, including marketers and advertisers, understand how their audiences interpret visual information and make sense of the world.
The value of Gestalt principles lies in their power to help us create truly appealing content that drives engagement and inspires action based on our how our audience’s brains perceive info. In other words, it’s definitely worth learning how to engineer our content based on 1 or more of these principles.
And if you are hungry for more knowledge on the psychology of visual communication, check out these great articles on subliminal messages or visual storytelling rules.
If you’ve tried to apply any of these Gestalt principles, please share your thoughts and experiences with us in a comment!
When small commitments turn into big wins.
In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini, a psychology and marketing professor at Arizona State University, listed one of his six principles of persuasion as &ldquoCommitment and Consistency.&rdquo Some of us know it as the &ldquoFoot-in-door technique.&rdquo The science suggests that when people make certain choices, they use past decisions to determine future actions. Also, the research insists that when people make commitments they are more likely to follow-through with those tasks.
Marketers apply this to their trade by asking prospects to agree to small asks first. Then they use past customer compliance to influence decision-making later. Examples of small requests customers are likely to commit to include signing up for your email newsletter, following you on social media, attending a webinar, or downloading your ebook. After you have made several successful attempts at getting people to say &ldquoyes&rdquo to your requests, you increase your odds that they will respond positively to bigger commitments such as purchasing your products or services.
For the Unbounce blog, growth hacking expert Sean Ellis explains how Obama&rsquos presidential campaign used commitment and consistency to redesign its online donation form and generate millions of additional contributions. Ellis writes, &ldquoBy breaking the donation process up into sequential steps, the campaign increased donation conversions by 5 percent, collecting millions of incremental dollars&hellip. The first step in the process was to get the user to select the amount of money they wanted to donate. This first step got them to commit early on in the process, even with several screens left to go in order to actually complete the donation. People like to see themselves as consistent and rational -- getting started with the donation amount committed them to finishing what they had started.&rdquo
Marketers everywhere, like psychologists, employ the scientific method to generate results too. Quant-based marketers, for instance, constantly seek out new ways to approach customers, develop hypotheses to test, then try to validate those predictions with data, and optimize their approach based on their findings.
The psychology of color: what is its purpose?
Colors stimulate our brain in very different ways. Actually, in the past, Egyptians and Chinese linked the effect of color with the idea of healing, encouraging certain states of consciousness or emotions.
For example, red to the Egyptians was a reflection of life, the land, victory and also the fury of hostile gods like Seth or Apophis.
Color, in essence, is much more than an optical phenomenon. That is, all have their own meaning. All have a specific impact on our brain, and therefore, the psychology of color is today a basic and essential tool in neuromarketing.
Understanding how the consumer reacts to certain color stimuli can lead to higher sales. Although it’s not always 100% correct, we can see similar patterns of reaction that show us that, indeed, the psychology of color is useful.
Likewise, we can’t forget the effect that color has on the world of art and cinema. David Lynch, for example, is a director obsessed with escaping from the world of logic to immerse himself in the subtle kaleidoscope of emotions.
And in his productions he always uses the contrast of black and white because, according to him, it symbolizes the flight from the real world to the dreamlike.
Van Gogh also deliberately chose certain tones to express his emotional states, always leaving the more vivid shades of yellow and blue to give shape to his fields and starry nights.
Scientists Discover What Really Happens In The Brain When We Imagine The Future
When we imagine the future, the brain's DMN envisions that future and then evaluates it.
Joseph Kable got interested in imagination when he was studying how people make decisions about the future. “People can decide to do things like go to medical school or graduate school, where the goal they are trying to achieve can be 10 years (or farther) into the future,” said Kable. Decisions like that don’t make sense unless people have the “capacity to imagine what that distant future might be like.” But what really struck Kable, a professor at U. Penn and director of the mindCORE institute, is how little we know about how imagination really works in the brain.
To find out, Kable and his fellow researchers, looked at the default mode network (DMN), long suspected to be the seat of imagination in the brain. In their new study, they confirmed that the DMN is where we imagine the future. But even more importantly, they discovered more about how it really works. They found two sub-networks in the DMN working together: one that envisions the future event and a second that determines whether that event is a good or a bad one.
"It's a neat division," said Kable in a press release. "When psychologists talk about why humans have the ability to imagine the future, usually it's so we can decide what to do, plan, make decisions. But a critical function is the evaluative function it's not just about coming up with a possibility but also evaluating it as good or bad."
The study got Kable thinking about how we predict the future. “If you could go back in time and tell someone in February what their life would be like in April — lockdown, many businesses closed, children in remote school, widespread mask-wearing — they would have a hard time imagining it,” said Kable. “Now, having lived through it, it’s a lot easier to imagine. But where do these limits on our capacity come from? I think we have so much still to understand about imagination.”
Kable makes a great point. Most of us rely on our ability to make plans for the future based on what we imagine. But nothing shows just how surprising 2020 was than the SNL skit, Madame Vivelda, in which a fortune teller predicts the coming year to a group of people in 2019.