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With the shopping season upon us, Derek decided to sit down and talk with someone who knows a bit about how to sway people using the power of marketing. neuroscientist, Dr. Peter Steidl, has been an adviser to the World Health Organization, represented Australia at the European Center for Social Science Research, and is an author and working professional in the world of Neuromarketing. Just how much power, or sway, can marketing really have on the spending habits of people?
Show Notes

– Date – December 3rd, 2013
– Send your cool ‘SCIENCE!’ shout-outs to
– Theme song by Steve Seamans of the Daisy Dillman Band. Get the song HERE.
– Thank you to everyone who has been purchasing books, Skepticality stuff, or using our Amazon link to help us!

Unnatural Virtue [1:20]
– Debiasing refers to methods, strategies, and techniques used to overcome biases in thinking.
– In 'Thinking Fast and Slow' Kahneman says, biased thinking doesn’t always lead to bad judgments or decisions, but when making decisions following instincts may not be the best course of action.
– When making decisions that involve planning for the future we should ask ourselves two questions: what could go wrong? and what would happen if I fail?
– Certain politicians might have benefited from reading Kahneman’s book before they moved forward with important decisions like going to war or creating affordable health care.
– This week’s episode was excerpted from my new book The Critical Thinker’s Dictionary: Biases, Illusions, and Fallacies and What to Do About Them, which should be out next month.
– Paperbacks of Unnatural Acts and Mysteries and Science are available from
The Skeptics Dictionary and Skeptic's Dictionary for Kids.

Wikipedia [12:20]
Mark Edward – Seance for Sylvia.
Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia Blog.
– You can find Susan Gerbic at her website.

Songs From The Science Frontier [15:08]
Monty Harper
Kickstarter, help get a cool, kids, science album made!

Skeptical Humanities [19:10]
– Loxton Abominable Science.
Bigfoot is Grendel?
Grendel was probably NOT a T-Rex.
– Underwater Bigfoot lairs?
– Find out more at Skeptical Humanities!

The Odds Must Be Crazy [24:40]
The Odds Must Be Crazy.
– This week's featured story "A Strange Adventure in Time".
– Story was submitted by friend of the blog Tom B.
– Please visit the story link for a more detailed analysis and to add your comments.
– Additional thoughts and considerations provided by Barbara Drescher.
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– Brian Keith Dalton is on Twitter: @MrDeity.
– Thanks to our friends Emery Emery and Heather Henderson for hospitality and support for the production of the segment. Visit them at Skeptically Yours.

Interview: Peter Steidl [33:27]
– From Austria now lives in Melbourne.
– Advisor to the World Health Organization in the area of childhood accident prevention.
Most vehicle accidents occur close to your home.
– People tend to ignore the reality of the risk of accidents, even when presented with compelling evidence showing them it is common.
Distracted driving is a perfect example. Most people do not believe they get distracted and falsely believe they can multi-task while driving.
– In the case of talking on a mobile phone while driving, however studies have shown that talking to someone on a mobile device is the same as driving intoxicated.
– Peter represented Australia at the European Center for Social Science Research.
– This can be seen in just one, fun, picture showing all the stuff we had to have in the 80's which now fits in our pockets just on our mobile phones.
– These days we seem to need to have zoos just so we can maintain a personal connection to wildlife.
– Peter wrote a book about 'Finding Your Happy Weight', his first neuroscience based book.
– We are supposedly intelligent, yet we have difficulty with some decisions. The book 'Thinking Fast and Slow', highlights our thinking fast and slow nature.
– Our bodies have evolved to respond to stress by creating more fat cells and a crave for things like 'comfort food'. Combine that with the other factors which drive us to consume more calories.
– His first book dealt with Neurobranding, then co-wrote the 'Neuromarketing for Dummies".
– Some people have issues with the idea of Neuromarketing, thinking it might be somehow immoral or 'wrong'.
85% of new products fail in the first 12 months after launch.
– One example is Apple, who creates and designs products and experiences which are purposely familiar.
Aligning brands, or companies with ideals is one way that many successful companies use to gain more visibility in the market.
– Consumers tend to purchase or consume the brand and not the actual product. There have been fMRI studies showing this effect.
Believing that a wine is more expensive or 'prestigious' actually does make the brain think that it must be better or more enjoyable.
– Is Neuromarketing just a 'fad'?
– Since the field is based on scienticfic research about how our brain works and isn't just a way of thinking created by a firm Peter thinks it will stay.
– Find out more about Peter his website and he contributes to and his books.

Help Out Skepticality By Shopping [1:16:53]
– Buy some of our new, official, Skepticality Logo Gear.
– Or, use our Amazon Link to do your holiday online shopping, doesn't cost you a thing!

Outro Music [1:16:33]
– Outro music donated by Trent Brusky of Dropfox.

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