Is neuroscience the new ‘Freakonomics’?

April 9, 2012

The new generation of business thinking culls insights from the cutting edge of neuroscience, says The Washington Post Innovations blog.

We are, as a society, experiencing a profound reappraisal of traditional economics and its shortcomings. The world is suddenly a lot more irrational than we ever thought, full of black swans.

This new thinking about the way the human brain works is starting to impact everything — how supermarkets stock their shelves, when coupon offers are sent out to consumers, and how to devise the perfect title that will get you to click on a news article.

A retail store such as Target now knows that you’re pregnant before your parents do, thanks to the wonders of understanding customer purchase habits. On the Web, understanding human behavior is everything, given that the best and brightest of our generation are now engaged in an elaborate game of getting people to click on a specific button, text link or banner ad.