CHAPTER 2The Neuroscience of Persuasion

I have with me two gods, Persuasion and Compulsion.

– Themistocles, Greek politician 480–479 BC

There are thousands of articles and very thick textbooks discussing how the brain works. Some brain areas are known to host functional specializations, and many have evolved over millions of years. Although the anatomical borders of such key areas are often contested, the existence of three critical systems has been widely discussed for decades. The reptilian complex and the limbic system – both of which form what we call throughout the book the primal brain – and the neocortex, the youngest and most “rational” part of our brain.

The purpose of this next section is to present accepted definitions and discuss findings that prove that a neuromarketing model can effectively help you crack the code of persuasion. By now you should have realized that traditional methods by which we continue to assess the effect of sales messages, ads, campaigns, websites and pitches have enormous flaws. People do not have the competency to access and therefore explain what effect messages have considering the speed at which the brain processes information. That is why collecting brain data is necessary to decode why few persuasive messages work and so many fail. Brain data is complex, but a considerable amount of knowledge has been produced over the past few decades on how critical functions influence the processing of marketing or advertising stimuli. It is important ...

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