The human brain remains one of the great mysteries of our time. This remarkably complex biological structure employs billions of nerve cells and even more connection points to execute every thought, movement, function, and emotion in our bodies. All humans are equipped with what is essentially a supercomputer between their ears, yet we lack a complete understanding of how it works, or how to maximize its full potential. But this is starting to change.
Advancements in neurotechnologies, combined with billions of dollars in public and private funding flooding the fields of cognitive neuroscience and behavioral neuroscience, have made the “thinking brain” one of the hottest areas of scientific research.
President George H.W. Bush declared the 1990s the “decade of the brain” to mark the start of a federal-level funding and awareness campaign around brain research. In 2013, President Obama, during the launch of the public-private BRAIN Initiative, likened the mapping of the brain to the “space race” of the 1960s.
Indeed, the race is on to unlock the secrets of the brain—to find a cure for diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s; to treat disorders like Autism and PTSD; to enhance treatment of acute brain injuries; and to gain a better understanding of cognition and human behavior.
The excitement surrounding brain research has piqued the interest of business leaders, who traditionally have relied of experience, intuition, and tried-and-true methods for many facets of business, from sales and marketing to recruitment/retention to operations.
Why do people make the decisions they do? And, more importantly, how can we effectively influence people in their decision-making? The answers to these questions have the potential to transform any business organization, including AEC firms.
With this understanding, the SMPS Foundation, the research arm of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, set out to explore the known principles and most recent research surrounding the human brain and behavioral science. The goal: to discover connections between the science and the AEC business.
This six-month research project, headed by psychologist and behavioral scientist JonRobert Tartaglione, Founder of Influence51, culminated in August with the release of a 20-page report, “The Neuropsychology of Influence and Decision-Making.” In it, Tartaglione presents distinct concepts related to influence and decision-making, with advice on how AEC firms can apply these concepts.