Hang-Yee Chan received the ERIM annual dissertation award for his dissertation "Brain responses during consumer experiences"

Hang-Yee Chan received the ERIM annual dissertation award for his dissertation "Brain responses during consumer experiences"

The outstanding achievements of researchers at ERIM were recognised in its annual awards on 24 November. Six awards were presented for work that contributes to new knowledge and societal impact in international business and management through dissertations and articles across a range of subject areas. New knowledge that was recognised in the ERIM Awards focused on neural representations of consumer experience; social identity and information exchange; collaboration across boundaries; disaster relief logistics; and bringing the principles of open science forward to younger generations.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Prof. Pursey Heugens, Scientific Director of ERIM and also Dean of Research for RSM, and Jessica Dekkers, Acting Executive Director of ERIM. This was the 20th annual ERIM Awards for fellows, members, doctoral candidates, alumni and other members of the research community.

Brain responses during consumer experiences

A dissertation that investigated how consumers’ minds work by measuring their brain responses using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) won the ERIM Dissertation Award. Decoding the consumer’s brain: Neural representations of consumer experience was written by Dr Hang-Yee Chan who is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Amsterdam and the University of Pennsylvania. His three studies show how analysis of brain responses uncovers nonverbal and ephemeral experiences of consumers. Chan’s dissertation, while mindful of the technical and ethical challenges, aims to lay the groundwork for the expansion of consumer neuroscience from resolving how consumers use their minds to focusing on what consumers have in mind. His promotors were Prof. Ale Smidts and Dr Maarten Boksem.

The jury said Dr Chan’s winning dissertation combines real novelty and interdisciplinary advances, a rare feat, they said. Chan brings presents insights from brain imaging in a way that is valuable to people working with neuroimaging and has already appeared twice in the journal NeuroImaging. It also has relevance for the study of marketing and business and has appeared the Journal of Marketing Research. “Chan’s insights have the potential to change both academic thinking and the world of practice,” said the jury, who agreed unanimously.