Monday, August 01, 2011

Darwinists' Monkeys Replace Humans in Ads Study

Based on the belief that humans are the evolutionary offspring of monkeys, an Ivy League psychologist and a New York advertiser have teamed up to use monkeys as stand-ins for humans to evaluate the effectiveness of certain marketing messages.

-- From "Can 'marketing' sway a monkey's choices?" by UPI 8/1/11

Yale psychology Professor Laurie Santos says the experiment is an attempt to determine if [human] susceptibility [to advertisements] is embedded in our DNA inherited from long-ago ancestors of both people and monkeys or whether it is a strictly human behavior, The Boston Globe reported Monday.

The new study seeks to find if human behaviors, such as responding to marketing to make what might seem seem like irrational decisions about wants and desires, are also present in animals.

The plan is to create a kind of visual message to see if advertising can change a monkey's preferences between two things he might like equally well.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Targeting an audience of monkeys" by Carolyn Y. Johnson, Boston Globe Staff 8/1/11

For years, researchers have been testing whether elements of complex human cognitive abilities, from language to altruism, are shared by other animals, and in many instances they have found we are less distinct than once thought. Santos and others are interested in the evolutionary origins of a less admirable set of traits - the biases in our thinking that can lead us to make bad decisions about money, such as overestimating the value of objects, or poorly assessing risk.

Then last summer, Santos met Keith Olwell and Elizabeth Kiehner of Proton Studio, the New York ad agency, at a conference where she was presenting her research. The ad executives were fascinated that the monkeys used money like people often do. Researchers wondered whether they would they act like consumers in other ways.

These types of experiments have critics. Alan Silberberg, a psychology professor at American University who published a critique of one of Santos’s studies, thinks researchers who test for human behaviors in animals are often too quick to draw broad conclusions from results.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.