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Combining different neurosciences and experimental economics methods for investigating consumers’ preferences and willingness to pay for new controversial food technologies.

  • Full or part time
    Dr D Asioli
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

A large number of studies have attempted to investigate consumers’ preferences for new food products produced using new controversial food technologies (e.g. GMO) using traditional surveys and well established experimental marketing methods (i.e. conjoint analysis, experimental auctions, etc.). However, these methods are affected by several issues (i.e. consumers might lie or give socially acceptable answers on surveys, consumers often do not know why they do things they do, etc.) that limit a more realistic understanding about consumer behaviour towards new controversial food technologies. Recently, new research approaches based on neuroscience are helping us to open the "black-box" (i.e. consumer brain) which might help to trace the consumer decision making process when approaching new food controversial technologies. In the context of neuroscience, neuroeconomics contribute to explaining in a descriptive and predictive way the human decision-making process by investigating the neural functioning and associated implications for economic and consumer behaviour. Different neurosciences techniques are available to investigate consumers’ preferences and decision-making such as for example Electroencephalography (EEG), Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), eye-tracking, mouse-tracking, etc.). These techniques have shown to improve our understanding about consumer behaviour, however, some difficulties of combining these techniques with more traditional survey and experimental approaches have been detected as well as the use of method at the time might limit our better understanding. The main goal of this project is to combine different neurosciences and traditional marketing research methods for better investigating consumer decision-making using food products produced with new controversial food technologies. For more detailed information, please contact: Dr. Daniele Asioli (email: ).

Funding Notes

Applicants should hold or expect to gain a minimum of a 2:1 Master Degree or equivalent in an appropriate neuroeconomics/neuroscience/behavioural economics subject. Applicants should have an interest in and preferably some practical experience of neuroscience/behavioural and experimental economics.
Applicants will need to secure their own funding.


Bruce, Amanda S.,Lusk, Jayson L.,Crespi, John M.,Cherry, J. Bradley C.,Bruce, Jared M.,McFadden, Brandon R.,Savage, Cary R.,Brooks, William M.,Martin, Laura E. Consumers’ neural and behavioral responses to food technologies and price.Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, Vol 7(3), Sep 2014, 164-173. Lusk, J. L., Roosen, J., & Bieberstein, A. (2014). Consumer Acceptance of New Food Technologies: Causes and Roots of Controversies. Annual Review of Resource Economics, 6(1), 381–405. McFadden, Brandon R. & Lusk, Jayson L. & Crespi, John M. & Cherry, J. Bradley C. & Martin, Laura E. & Bruce, Amanda S., 2012. "Consumer Response to Controversial Food Technologies and Price: A Neuroeconomic Analysis," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124071, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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