Summer reading recommendations: Decision science reveals purchase behavior and ad impact


Did you already purchase your holiday books? Our first 2 picks reveal what decision and neuro science explains about people’s purchase behavior and the impact of ads. The books fundamentally re-evaluate the long-standing approach to marketing and will give you new ideas to maximize your marketing efficiency. Our 3rd pick is a great read about how humans got smart; it is also recommended by Daniel Kahneman, Bill Gates and Barack Obama!


1. Decoded: The Science Behind Why We Buy

EyeSee Research book recommendation Decoded

“The book shares the latest research on the motivations behind consumers’ choices and what happens in the human brain as buyers make their decisions. Phil deciphers the ‘secret codes’ of products, services and brands to explain why people buy them. And finally, he shows how to apply this knowledge in day to day marketing to great effect by dramatically improving key factors such as relevance, differentiation and credibility.”

From Sean Gogarty, Senior Vice President, Household Care, Unilever:
“When Phil first introduced me to this new and important understanding it crystallised my fears that the long-standing approach to marketing needed to be fundamentally re-evaluated. In his book, he not only persuasively and cogently argues his case but also shows how we need to think in new ways to maximise our marketing efficiency and effectiveness”

About the Author:
Phil Barden is a proven marketer with over 25 years’ experience, including senior and international roles at high profile companies such as Unilever, Diageo and T-Mobile. Fascinated by the insights from decision science and by the value these can bring to marketing, he has latterly immersed himself in this new field. In this book he bridges the gap between the world of marketing and decision science, taking the reader on his fascinating journey.

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2. Seducing the Subconscious: The Psychology of Emotional Influence in Advertising

EyeSee Research book recommendation Seducing the subconscious

“A must-read for anyone intrigued by the role and influence of the ad world. Seducing the Subconscious explores the complexities of our relationship to advertising. Robert Heath uses approaches from experimental psychology and cognitive neuroscience to outline his theory of the subconscious influence of advertising in its audience’s lives. In addition to looking at ads’ influence on consumers. Supported by current research, Seducing the Subconscious shows us just how strange and complicated our relationship is with the ads we see every day.”

From Jerry Wind, Lauder Professor and Professor of Marketing at the Wharton School:
“An articulate, compelling and, at times, disturbing explanation of how advertising works. The theory and examples in Seducing the Subconscious offer new insight into how advertising works and are a must read for any advertiser, consumer, and policy maker.”

About the Author:
Dr. Robert Heath has a worldwide reputation as an expert in the role of emotion and attention in the field of brand communication. In 2001 he developed the Low Attention Processing Model of advertising, after which he published the best-selling monograph The Hidden Power of Advertising. His published research has garnered him major prizes, including the dual award of the MRS David Winton and ISBA Prizes.

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We think the following book, recommended by Daniel Kahneman, Bill Gates and Barack Obama, is probably the best book ever!

3. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

EyeSee Research book commendation Sapiens a brief history of humankind

How did humans get smart? “How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, Dr Yuval Noah Harari explores the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions.”
Perhaps the insights industry needs to have a behavioral insights revolution as well?

From Barack Obama:
“Interesting and provocative…It gives you a sense of perspective on how briefly we’ve been on this earth, how short things like agriculture and science have been around, and why it makes sense for us to not take them for granted.”

About the Author:
Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in history from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Department of History, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, specializing in world history. Sapiens has been translated into 26 languages, and has already become an international bestseller in the UK, Spain, Slovenia, Taiwan, and Israel.

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