Have you ever heard of neuropolitics?

Today, political climate, technology, marketing, and brain science are being blended together to read human reactions; this is neuropolitics. This field, which is a branch of neuromarketing, is based on the advances made in neurology to determine what kind of marketing works, and which campaigns leave a bit to be desired.

Political groups can use measurements of potential voters’ arousal — via their facial expressions, heart rate, and brain waves to figure out the best way to reach them, which means that campaign ads can read people just like they read the ads.


In Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s campaign and his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party employed tools to measure voters’ brain waves, skin arousal, heart rates and facial expressions during the 2012 presidential campaign. More recently, the party has been using facial coding to help pick its best candidates. Some officials even speak openly about their embrace of europolitical techniques, and not just for campaigning, but for governing as well.


In Turkey, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Justice and Development Party hired a Turkish neuromarketing company for the June 2015 election, according to the firm’s co-founder and chief executive. Using a mix of techniques — like tracking the brain waves, eyes, faces, skin and heart rates of volunteers in its laboratory in Istanbul — the company said that it warned that Mr. Davutoglu was not emotionally engaging voters in his speeches. The party had a major setback in the June vote, but then won in elections this month.

Cover credit: NYTimes.com


Christina Boutros