Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Michael S. Minor

Second Advisor

Dr. Xiaojing Sheng

Third Advisor

Dr. Reto Felix


Although the rival theories for consumer decision making process, cognitive perspective and experiential perspective, have successfully contributed to the marketing discipline, there is an alternative point of view that cognition and emotions work together for a decision or even a behavior. However, the methodological limitation has been a big hurdle that interrupts insightfulness and fruitfulness of marketing research, especially in consumer research. This study thus aims to develop a brain map and functional connectivity of consumer decision making and emotions to show physiological and neurological evidence that emotional behaviors and cognitive behaviors are associated when consumers decide a behavior by analyzing functional magnetic resonance image (fMRI) data. Activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis and network analysis (correlation-based machine learning algorithm) are employed and performed. Findings of two individual studies show the neurological evidence that neural regions for emotional (fear, sadness, happiness, disgust, surprise, and anger as a proxy of emotional behaviors) and consumer decision making are interactive. The research successfully performed a consumer brain connectivity for consumer decision making and emotions based on the network theory. With the findings, this research would have contributions to the marketing discipline by piling up neurological, physiological, and behavioral knowledge to better understand consumer behaviors.


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