Customer Research Gimmicks for 2009: EEG Brain probes
It seems rather wacky that some usability practionners are going to wacky extremes to quantify the “customer experience”. Here’s Foviance, a UK UX company that uses EEGs to assess customer reactions to brand appetite.
Electroencephalographs were first used on humans by Hans Berger in 1920 in an effort to understand epilepsy.
For basic cognitive research, this technique has a high margin of error – reflecting mostly in changes in stimuli which make causality interpretive at best. EEG results are also very imprecise due to the filtering caused by the scalp and scull. More accurate results can be obtained by drilling holes for intracranial EEGs – but that’s a bit intrusive for marketing purposes!
The fact that a UX company advertises EEGs as a proper method for evaluating a brand’s effectiveness should be cause for close scrutiny!