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Hilke Plassmann

INSEAD's Octapharma Chaired Professor of Decision Neuroscience, Marketing Area, France

Hilke's research combines theories, methodologies, and formal models from psychology, economics, and cognitive neuroscience to better understand how consumers decide. This stream of research is often referred to as "neuroeconomics", "decision neuroscience" or "consumer neuroscience".

Her research in this field explores the neuropsychological mechanisms underlying the assignment of subjective values or utilities to options that guide consumer decision making. Her primary interest is in how the human brain represents the different value signals that inform consumer preferences and decision making. In particular, Hilke seeks to (1) identify the major drivers of subjective valuation processes, (2) to evaluate how marketing actions such as pricing and branding can influence consumer decision making, and (3) to understand how exercising self-control alters consumer decision-making processes and what role our "second brain" -our gut- plays for it.

Besides her work on these three broad research questions, Hilke has also contributed to establishing consumer neuroscience as a new research area by writing non-empirical pieces describing the theoretical and methodological contributions and limitations of consumer neuroscience for marketing research. The goal of this fourth research stream is to provide interested marketing researchers with a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand overview of the methodologies used in this new research area and of research published in venues other than marketing journals.

Taken together, Hilke has written over 40 articles in peer-reviewed and applied journals and edited books that have been frequently cited (~6450 Google Scholar citations, H-index 27). Her work has received several awards & grants and also extensive international media coverage through diverse outlets, including CNN, NPR, ScienceNOW, Scientific American, The Economist, the New York Times, Le Monde, Pravda, Die Welt, and Das Handelsblatt in addition to science shows such as “Thinking Money: The Psychology Behind our Best and Worst Financial Decisions” (PBS), “Specimen” (tsr), and “Black Box Gehirn” (arte).

Hilke's teaching interests lie in customer value managment and consumer neurorscience. She has developed several case studies and various background notes and experiential learning exercises.

The growing interest in consumer neuroscience is not confined to academia. Hilke's consumer neuroscience work has garnered interest from market research, food, and pharmaceutical companies; institutions involved in food education and public policy administrators. Hilke gives talks and consults for a number of organizations in her areas of expertise.

At INSEAD Hilke has been serving on he MBA & PhD Admisions commitee, organizing the Marketing Research Seminar Series (2013-2018) and serving on the INSEAD-Sorbonne Behavioral Lab academic committee (2010-2018) & ethical review committee (2012-2014). She also is affliated with two of INSEAD's Centers of Excellence, namely the Centre for Decision Making and Risk Analysis (CDMRA) and the Healthcare Management Initiative (HMI).