The Key to Success, Longevity and Health – Mindset

Dr. John Schinnerer shares the secret of the power of mindset. Numerous studies are pointing to the importance of the proper mindset in a variety of areas such as diet, exercise, aging, vision, success, intelligence, pain, stress and anxiety. Check it out!

Ads Targeted At How You Feel – Beware the Next Level of Marketing!

June 15, 2012

Microsoft has applied for a patent for  targeting ads to users based on their emotional state, using a Kinect type device, GeekWire reports.

Do you look happy? You’ll see ads for vacation packages and consumer electronics, but not weight-loss programs or self-help products. Do you look sad? You won’t see that over-the-top animated ad for children’s birthday parties at the local bowling alley. Feeling frustrated? It’s PC support ads for you.

Those are actual examples from the patent application, which incorporates some of the same ideas as the earlier filing for deducing the user’s mood — including scanning messages and social media postings.

Also included: audio and video capture devices (to detect facial expressions and tone of voice) in addition to the company’s Kinect sensor, which would be used to analyze body movements as another input for the emotion-detecting algorithm.

Protect your mind. It’s the only one you get!


John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Positive Psychology Coach

Author of the award-winning Guide To Self: The Beginner’s Guide To Managing Emotion & Thought

Guide To Self, Inc.

913 San Ramon Valley Blvd. #280

Danville CA 94526

GuideToSelf.comWeb site – 10-week online anger management course –  Awarded #1 Blog in Positive Psychology by PostRank, Top 100 Blog by Daily Reviewer


The Next Step is Here – Software To Measure Emotion While Surfing Web

From Science Daily…

New Software to Measure Emotional Reactions to Web

ScienceDaily (June 9, 2010) — While most people have intuitive reactions to Web sites, a group of Canadian scientists is developing software that can actually measure those emotions and more.Aude Dufresne, a professor at the University of Montreal Department Of Communications, led a team of researchers that are designing a new software to evaluate the biological responses of Internet users.Simply put, the new software measures everything in Web users from body heat to eye movements to facial expressions and analyzes how they relate to online activities.

The technology is now being tested at the newly opened Bell User Experience Centre, which is located at the telecom giant’s Nun’s Island campus. Bell will use the University of Montreal technology to investigate how people react to Web sites. Such studies will provide companies with facts on how they can improve online experiences.

“With e-commerce and the multiplication of retail Web sites, it has become crucial for companies to consider the emotions of Web users,” says Professor Dufresne. “Our software is the first designed to measure emotions at conscious and preconscious levels, which will give companies a better sense of the likes and dislikes of Web users.”‘

For full article, click here.

Between the fMRI, neuromarketing and emotional measurement software, we have to be more mindful about our media consumption.


John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Real Emotions for Real Men

Guide To Self, Inc.

The Salesman May Know What You Want Before You Do: Unconscious purchasing urges and brain scans

If you’ve been following my blog, Shrunken Mind, you’re aware of the vast power of the unconscious mind – that part of the mind which I refer to as the ‘back office’ of the mind. In the ‘back office’, activites take place that are automatic, uncontrolled and outside of your conscious awareness. Despite this, the workings of the unconscious mind have a profound effect on the consious mind and on your behavior. In science, we’ve been working on figuring this out over the past 20 years with the help of fMRIs and MRIs.

There are a few areas of expertise that continually seem to be at the cutting edge of this area of expertise – sales and marketing. Up until recently this has only been of some concern to me, as I stay on the bleeding edge of the area and can afford some awareness and protection to myself, my family and my clients.

However, a new study came out this week which caused me great concern. Check out the snippet from the article from New Scientist and see if you agree.

Unconscious purchasing urges revealed by brain scans

 15:56 09 June 2010 by Ewen Callaway   You spend more time window shopping than you may realise. Whether someone intends to buy a product or not can be predicted from their brain activity – even when they are not consciously pondering their choices.The ability to predict from brain scans alone what a person intends to buy, while leaving the potential buyer none the wiser, could bring much-needed rigour to efforts to meld marketing and neuroscience, says Brian Knutson, a neuroscientist at Stanford University in California who was not involved in the research.Neuromarketing, as this field is known, has been employed by drug firms, Hollywood studios and even the Campbell Soup Company to sell their wares, despite little published proof of its effectiveness.

Rather than soup, John-Dylan Haynes at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience in Berlin, Germany, attempted to predict which cars people might unconsciously favour. To do so, he and colleague Anita Tusche used functional MRI to scan the brains of two groups of male volunteers, aged 24 to 32, while they were presented with images of a variety of cars.One group was asked to rate their impressions of the vehicles, while the second performed a distracting visual task while cars were presented in the background. Each volunteer was then shown three cars and asked which they would prefer to buy.

First impressions

The researchers found that when volunteers first viewed the car that they would subsequently “buy”, specific patterns of brain activity could be seen in the brain’s medial prefrontal and insula cortices – areas that are all associated with preferences and emotion.These patterns of activity reflected the volunteers’ subsequent purchasing choice nearly three-quarters of the time, whether or not the subjects had given their undivided attention to the images of the cars when they were first shown them.Previous studies have shown similar patterns of activity when we make explicit purchasing choices. What this new study suggests is that these brain regions size up products even when we are not consciously making purchasing decisions. The brain appears to be imparting automatic or possibly even unconscious value onto products, as soon as you’re exposed to them, says Haynes.

Secret desires

While Knutson acknowledges that the volunteers’ choices might have been different if they had been making a real decision about which car to buy, he reckons the study may still be of use to neuromarketers – specifically as a subjective way of determining whether a consumer might buy a product or not, without having to be explicitly asked.’

For the full article, click here.

In the past, I’ve been involved in some neuromarketing and emotion studies with large health care providers and consumer goods manufacturers. At the time, it was fascinating, compelling and educational. The more I get to know about it, the more concerned I become. TV commercials, billboards, radio spots and magazine ads already have sufficient influence over our minds to make me highly uncomfortable. My unease is only reinforced by the piles of studies showing how Madison Avenue is influencing the ‘back office’ of our minds.

To protect yourself and your families, my best suggestion is pause the TV during commercials and skip over them if you have TIVO (or the equivalent. Even if you have TIVO, studies have shown the brain recognizes roughly 30% of the content of TV ads even when you are skipping through the commercials at high speed!

If you don’t, at least mute the radio or TV during commercials. From what we know in science, the brain is malleable like a lump of clay. And these commercials leave tracks in the brain like running a finger tip through wet clay. The more you are exposed, the deeper the groove becomes in the clay (your brain) and the more influence they have over you. Don’t let your children mindlessly watch tv commercials.

Your brain is impressionable. Guard it. Be mindful.

All the best,

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Teaching Real Men Real Emotions

Guide To Self, Inc.

Award-winning author

Award-winning blogger

Keynote speaker

Great new article on Pecha Kucha: 20 PowerPoint slides 20 seconds each then Sit Down

Check out this fantastic article at Wired on Pecha Kucha – a new form of presenting using only 20 power point slides while showing each slide for 20 seconds. It’s a great blend of slam poetry and corporate presentations. Slims them down, spices them up, cuts to the heart of the matter and allows for discussion by the audience.

Check out the sample presentation at the end about emotionally intelligent signage. Great novel topic. Empathy in signage.

Have a fantastic, wonderful, strengths-filled weekend!

John Schinnerer, Ph.D.

Positive Psychology Coach

Author of the award-winning book Guide To Self:The Beginner’s Guide To Managing Emotion & Thought

Guide To Self, Inc.

913 San Ramon Valley Blvd. #280

Danville CA 94526 – Web site – Award-winning Blog (recently named #1 positive psychology blog by PostRank and Top 100 blog by Daily Reviewer!)

@johnschin – Twitter