Behavioural Economics is largely based on the idea that they are two main systems in the brain. System one is impulsive and emotional, whilst system two is rational.
There is a growing body of evidence that now says most of our decisions are made by system 1 and post-rationalised by system 2, giving us the illusion that our conscious mind is in control. This sits at the heart of our philosophy about why it is more important to measure emotional rather than rational responses and indeed you may well recognise the term from BrainJuicer’s emotional ad testing paper which devotes a section to it.
There are a number of research methodologies that are trying to uncover insights into system 1, many of them using various brain scan technologies. My feeling on these is that at the moment they are too intrusive, too expensive / non-scalable, don’t tell you ‘why’ and are lacking rigorous proof about their effectiveness. Dan Hill recently posted an interesting article on this very topic (it’s fairly short!).
There are also a couple of facial expression reading methodologies – one by Dan Hill, and another one that requires electromyography (?!) to measure the movement of two facial muscles. It’s not as good as Dan Hill’s methodology though*
*according to Dan Hill