PhD Defence Esther Eijlers
In her dissertation 'Emotional Experience and Advertising Effectiveness: On the use of EEG in marketing’, Esther Eijlers extends existing knowledge by elucidating two proposed aims of neuromarketing, using EEG: offering additional insight into implicit processes (here, emotions) and contributing to predicting behavioral, market level, responses or ‘advertising effectiveness’. Esther Eijlers defended her dissertation in the Senate Hall at Erasmus University Rotterdam on Thursday, 30 January 2020 at 13:30. Her supervisors are Prof. Ale Smidts (RSM) and Dr. Maarten Boksem (RSM). Other members of the Doctoral Committee are Prof. dr. ir. G.H. van Bruggen (RSM), Dr. D.J. Levy (Coller School of Management, Tel-Aviv University) and Prof. dr. J.W. van Strien (FSW).
Esther Eijlers was born in Vlissingen (The Netherlands) on November 10th, 1987. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Psychology (Brain & Cognition, cum laude) from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Prior to starting her PhD, she worked as a research assistant under the supervision of dr. Maarten Boksem and prof. Ale Smidts at the department of Marketing Management, at the Erasmus Research Institute of Management. With her research lying at the intersection of marketing and psychology, she uses electroencephalography (EEG) to investigate the brain’s response elicited by marketing related stimuli, and explores the role of underlying emotional processes associated with evaluating advertisements. She has presented her work at several international conferences, and published one of the dissertation chapters in Public Library of Science (PLoS) One.
The application of neuroscience methods and insights to the field of marketing theory and practice, has increased in popularity over the past two decades. This dissertation extends existing knowledge by elucidating two proposed aims of neuromarketing, using EEG: offering additional insight into implicit processes (here, emotions) and contributing to predicting behavioral, market level, responses or ‘advertising effectiveness’.
Emotions are fundamental in guiding our behavior and they have been studied extensively in marketing. However, it has proved difficult to measure emotional experiences unobtrusively, particularly for dynamic stimuli. The first chapter therefore demonstrates a method that could provide insight on the moment- by-moment specific emotional effect that a marketing stimulus, such as a TV- commercial, has, on consumers. In the second chapter, the relationship between an a priori identified process (arousal) and external measures of ad effectiveness in the population at large (as measured by notability, attitude toward the ad, and choice), is investigated in one and the same study. The third chapter shows a systematic re- analysis of data from four studies in which neural activity in response to a similar stimulus (here, movie trailers) was investigated using EEG to examine the association with population-wide commercial success of the movies.
In addition to the substantive findings, this dissertation also contributes methodologically to the neuromarketing field by i) applying novel multivariate methods to decode emotional experiences, ii) using a localizer task in an EEG study to reduce the reverse inference problem that commonly plagues neuroimaging research, and iii) conducting a major meta-analysis to address the issue of small samples sizes regarding both participants and stimuli in neuromarketing research.
Photos: Chris Gorzeman / Capital Images