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  • 00:03

    [RESEARCH METHODS case study]

  • 00:14

    MARK ROSENBAUM: So I'm Mark Rosenbaum.[Mark Rosenbaum, PhD, Professor and Chair,Department of Retailing, University of South Carolina]I'm the Chair of the Department of Retailing at the Universityof South Carolina.And I'm also a Professor of Retailing.My research interests have changed over the years.I'm always fascinated by customer-to-customerinteractions in service environments.And years ago, I always used traditional research methods

  • 00:35

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: like surveys.And I did run a few experiments.And as well as I've used qualitative methods,especially when I was researchingvery emotional topics.Well, recently my research has changed to using neuroscience.So given the affordability of the EEG headsets,

  • 00:55

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: the prices have fallen to less than $1,000.So I've been using the EMOTIV headsetswith the EMOTIV software.And with neuroscience, you're able to probesix human cognitions and emotions that maybeare at a subconscious level.So for example, I'm looking at people's responses

  • 01:17

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: to the mere social presence of others in a mall.I look at the retail environment in the United States.And people say that Amazon is to blamefor the demise of the enclosed malls.Or retail advocates want to say that it'sthe growth of internet retailing.

  • 01:38

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: But I truly believe that people werescared to be in enclosed malls.And that sense of fear cannot always be verbalizedon a questionnaire.So my latest research project entails using neuroscienceand to have people in an experimental setting

  • 01:58

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: watch a series of videos.So we created a series of videos.Video one is just a customer's journeythrough an enclosed mall.And the video lasts about 10 minutes.So the mall is empty.There isn't a single person in the mall.So we want to get a base reading of howconsumers respond to just the physical environment

  • 02:21

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: in the mall.Then the next video has respondentslook at the same journey through the mall on a weeknight.So the mall isn't extremely crowded,but it has a few people inside it.And then we looked at the journey on a weekend day.So it's not a holiday crowding.

  • 02:42

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: This is not a crowding paper.It's simply the mere social presence of others.Now, what we found is that the enjoyment of shopping,the enjoyment, the part of your brainthat says happiness and enjoyment,actually began to decrease as we wentfrom just the physical to the weekend pattern

  • 03:06

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: and then fell dramatically when we had the grouplook at the mall on a typical weekend.And we saw stress levels escalate as the customer went--as we had the three groups, we saw that one group that we hadthe baseline figure--and they weren't very stressed.

  • 03:26

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: But then as we had more people, the stress levelsstarted to skyrocket.I don't know if this is the answer as to whyenclosed malls are shutting down in the United States.However, I think that neuroscience gives yousomething new.It gives you something that a questionnaire can't probe.

  • 03:49

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: It gives you something more that can't be verbalized, easilyverbalized.Again, customers can't always verbalize stress and fear.And yet the brain is picking that up.So I actually find that the new meth-- one of my newest methodsis to use neuroscience in conjunction with another method

  • 04:12

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: like, let's say, survey methods or experimental methodsto see what the brain's doing.[How did you recruit participants for the study?]So I do most of my research now in Bogota, Colombiain conjunction with Externado University.

  • 04:33

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: So one of the reasons why is we have a wonderful relationshipwith a very large mall in the city.So we're able to conduct research on site.In addition, we have a research lab at Externado.And we can use actually participants from Bogota.We could bring them in to do research.

  • 04:55

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: So we try to stay away from student samples.Either residents of Bogota in the lab, or the best way's mallintercept.I still enjoy mall intercept research.[Were there any ethical considerationsfor your research?]Of course, in the sense, people have to sign a waiver.

  • 05:17

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: But with the EEG headsets, it's non-obtrusive.It's not putting people through to traditional MRI machines.This is simply a headset.And there's two types of headsets.There's one that's five nodes.And there's one that's 14 nodes.So once consumers understand it and they receive

  • 05:37

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: a small gift for their participation,there's very little harm that's done.In fact, people are mesmerized by the sensethat someone could actually read their brain.[How did you collect and analyze the data?]We collected the data in two ways.

  • 05:60

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: We use EmotivPro software, which is in-house software createdby the EMOTIV company.It works in conjunction with the headset.Now, the EmotivPro software generates dataat different time intervals based upon the researchquestion.And you actually-- researchers receive a correlation almost

  • 06:21

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: of neural activity from zero, meaningno activity, maybe brain dead, to 1.0being extremely stimulated and high.So we have correlational data.So once I obtain the data, then Imove to a traditional method analysis of variance--

  • 06:44

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: ANOVA, MANOVA-- to analyze the data.So the data's obtained with commercial softwareand then use SPSS to analyze it in traditional experimentaltechniques.[Were there any methodological challenges & how did youovercome them?]

  • 07:06

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: So some of the challenges that I face using the EEG headsetis that the nodes have to be constantly moist.Well, if the experiment is, let's say, one to two minutes,then the nodes don't dry out.However, I was realizing that by 10 minutes,that 10, 12 minute mark was about as longas the nodes could go before they would signal

  • 07:28

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: from green to yellow to red.It's part of the internal softwarethat the node is no longer recording properly.Well, the minute that the red node came on,the experiment has to stop.The video has to stop.The headset has to be moistened.So I would recommend for all neuromarketers,

  • 07:48

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: stick with five minutes or less to be on the safe side.And in terms of the analysis of variance,I didn't really have an issue.But the reviewing process is interesting,because neuroscience can only tell youwhat the brain is doing.It can only tell you the brain was stressed.

  • 08:09

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: At three minutes into the video, the consumer indicated stress.But it can't say that it's the cause.We never know the cause.So we can infer, but we can't saythat what happened in 3.01 caused the brain.All we could say is that the brain

  • 08:30

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: showed this type of activity.And many reviewers actually don'tunderstand neuromarketing yet.So I think this is--some of the challenges are not just methodological.But it's also teaching others in the disciplineabout an emerging science.[What tools and resources are helpful for a student

  • 08:51

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: or researcher looking to do something similar?]Even though I use the EMOTIV brand,clearly I'm not a brand advocate.As EEG devices fall in price and become increasinglyeasy to use, I think that any neural techniqueoffers another insight that can't be picked upby a traditional questionnaire or an experimental method.

  • 09:14

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: Even using traditional, let's say, qualitativemethods where we are going to analyze the contents of, let'ssay, a Facebook post, I think that when researchersare dealing with topics that are sensitive, where respondentsmay not reveal the truth or how they feel when there'sa lot of bias, when there's a lot of emotions,

  • 09:37

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: I think that the neural piece canadd just new information that's not available with surveysor experiments.I would like to see more marketing researchers useneural techniques in conjunction with other methods.

  • 09:59

    MARK ROSENBAUM [continued]: I think understanding what goes on in the brain versus a surveyquestion or a lab-based experiment I thinkoffers so many new insights to research.[FURTHER READING, Rosenbaum, M.S., Kelleher, C., Friman, M.,Kristensson, P., and Scherer, A. (2017)] [Re placing placein marketing--A formal theory of place.Journal of Business Research, 79, 281 289.]

Video Info

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Publication Year: 2020

Video Type:Video Case

Methods: Innovative methods, Video research, Experimental design, Methodology

Keywords: equipment management; ethical considerations; malls; neural recording; neuromarketing; recruiting; Software; variance and covariance; video methods ... Show More

Segment Info

Segment Num.: 1

Persons Discussed:

Events Discussed:



Mark Rosenbaum, PhD, the Chair of the Department of Retailing at the University of South Carolina, discusses his video research into customer behaviors in malls.

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Researching Mall Customer Stress Levels Using Neuroscientific & Experimental Methods

Mark Rosenbaum, PhD, the Chair of the Department of Retailing at the University of South Carolina, discusses his video research into customer behaviors in malls.

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