2 min read

The Neuroscience of Disneyland

By Paul J. Zak on Oct 26, 2020 3:37:59 PM

Pirates of the Caribbean—that's easily the best ride at Disneyland. At least for me.

Topics: Entertainment Customer Journey
1 min read

On Being One's Own Rabbit

By Paul J. Zak on Oct 1, 2020 8:47:12 AM

On Being One's Own Rabbit is the title of a 1927 article by British scientist and mathematician J.B.S. Haldane (1892-1964). Haldane wrote about a scientific approach with a long history: self-experimentation.  Haldane first did this at the age of eight in his scientist father's home laboratory testing poison gases.  A self-experiment he did as an adult testing high levels of oxygen saturation caused a violent seizure that crushed several of Haldane's vertebrae.  That's commitment.

Topics: Science Prediction
1 min read

5 Ways to Create Immersive Training@ Training Magazine

By Paul J. Zak on Sep 21, 2020 10:26:41 AM

The editors at Training Magazine asked me if I could identify best practices from the training data collected by Immersion's clients. Excellent idea! Immersion is a prediction engine, so I reviewed anonymized data to identify training that generated high immersion.   Across several analyses, we have found the correlation between immersion and recall runs from 0.60-0.70.   In human-speak, this means if one delivers high immersion training, participants will remember more of the content weeks later. I contacted learning architects at companies that consistently generated high immersion and asked them to share how they structured their training.  The approaches they shared with me are immediately applicable now that the majority of training is being done remotely.

Topics: Training Events
2 min read

Face Freaks

By Paul J. Zak on Sep 2, 2020 8:00:00 AM

It was such a great idea.  Capture people's emotional states from facial twitches.

Topics: Science Prediction
1 min read

How to Optimize Training with Immersion @TD Magazine

By Paul J. Zak on Sep 1, 2020 4:11:59 PM

TD Magazine invited me to write an article discussing what our clients have learned using the Immersion platform to optimize the delivery and impact of training.  The article explains that the problem with post-training surveys is that people lie.  Yes, shocking! People have great difficulty identifying the value of training and how it can be improved because value comes from the unconscious and emotional regions of the brain.  This is why measuring neural activity during training is absolutely necessary.

Topics: Training Education Science
2 min read

Sweating the Data?

By Paul J. Zak on Aug 31, 2020 8:00:00 AM

I love to sweat.  When working out.

Topics: Science Prediction
2 min read

Why not EEG?

By Paul J. Zak on Aug 26, 2020 11:10:18 AM

That's me and Dr. Jorge Barraza, Immersion's co-founders, calibrating a high-density electroencephalogram (EEG). Immersion's foundational studies measured brain activity multiple ways using EEG, electrocardiograms (ECG), skin conductance, and changes in neurochemicals in blood.  Over and over.  For hundreds of people. 

Topics: Science Prediction
3 min read

Neuromyths Debunked

By Paul J. Zak on Aug 24, 2020 12:34:49 PM

Immersion is full of neuro-nerds. In the last 15 years I've done about 10,000 blood draws to measure neurochemicals in order to figure out when the brain knows that an experience is extraordinary.  That's part the comprehensive science that forms the foundation for Immersion—years and years in the lab. 

Topics: Training
5 min read

Immersion & Pandora Collaborate to Predict Hits

By Paul J. Zak on Aug 19, 2020 9:39:25 AM

The Problem

Topics: Entertainment
3 min read

The Science of Superfans

By Paul J. Zak on Jul 28, 2020 5:13:33 PM

Superfans are thrilled by an experience and they respond in an oversized way.  The scientists at Immersion wondered if superfans just appeared randomly during an experience or if they shared commonalities.  We traced a propensity to superfandom to two personality traits: agreeableness and empathy.  These warm and friendly human beings have high "affect intensity" meaning that they experience stronger emotional responses to experiences compared to other people. 

Topics: Entertainment marketing
3 min read

Why we give to charity

By Paul J. Zak on Jul 20, 2020 8:19:00 AM


Ben.  The little boy's name is Ben.  He looks so happy.  So, why is his father heartbroken? 

Topics: marketing Giving
2 min read

Immersion on the Move

By Paul J. Zak on Jul 6, 2020 3:20:34 PM

Every year cars have more automated features, but some people still want to get on the road simply for the fun of driving.  Driving is especially enjoyable when one has the right vehicle for the journey.  I have a Hummer that my dog and I take out to the mountains. I did some research on on off-road vehicles before I bought my Hummer, drove a couple of used ones, and then took the plunge.  Just like dating, it is hard for people to know which car is the right match for them. 

Topics: marketing Events
2 min read

Why do some TED Talks go viral?

By Paul J. Zak on Jun 2, 2020 10:00:00 AM

My knees were shaking as I walked onto the stage at the Edinburgh International Conference Center.  I had been invited to give a talk at TED Global, the biggest of the big leagues of public speaking, and I was beyond nervous.  So nervous, that a TED production assistant agreed to click through my slides because I couldn't do it myself in rehearsal.  Speaking at TED was a life-changing experience—my talk has been viewed over 1.6 million times.  But not every TED talk goes viral.  TED curator Chris Anderson warned the speakers that only 80% of what appears live at TED makes it online; the other 20% are just not good enough. So, what makes a TED talk great? 

Topics: Events
2 min read

Customized Classroom

By Paul J. Zak on May 26, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Teachers get too much and too little credit for student outcomes.

Topics: Training Education
2 min read

Creating Extraordinary Customer Experiences

By Paul J. Zak on May 21, 2020 10:00:00 AM

After two days, I resolved that Canberra is the world's most boring city.  That is why I went back to Sydney. 

Topics: marketing Events
1 min read

Best Practices When Running Remote Meetings

By Paul J. Zak on May 18, 2020 12:00:00 PM

The global pandemic has forced meetings, teaching, and training to be remote.  Running a remote event, as we have discussed before, is not like running an in-person meeting.  It needs to be structured to keep people immersed when the social pressure of being in a room together is missing.  Immersion's scientists combed through client data who are using our Distributed NeuroscienceTM platform and spoke to users to identify best practices when running remote events. Here's what we have learned.

Topics: Training Events
1 min read

What Your Brain Wants To Watch

By Paul J. Zak on Apr 15, 2020 1:14:02 PM

News or entertainment?

Topics: Entertainment
2 min read

Size Matters. How Facebook & Immersion Figured Out What People Love

By Paul J. Zak on Apr 7, 2020 8:23:00 AM

The largest advertiser in the world, consumer products company Proctor & Gamble, cut their digital advertising by over half a billion dollars between 2018 and 2019 because they could not show it was effective. 

Topics: Entertainment marketing
2 min read

Your Virtual Events are the New TV

By Scott Brown on Apr 3, 2020 6:15:00 AM

Will your attendees stay tuned or click away? 

Topics: Training marketing Events
1 min read

The Power of Distributed Neuroscience

By Paul J. Zak on Mar 12, 2020 6:00:00 AM

Fears of the COVID-19 variant of the coronavirus are impacting all unnecessary gatherings, including attending conferences and date nights at the movie theater.  While many of us are now working from home, how is this impacting industries where gathering groups of people are the core of their business?

Topics: marketing
2 min read

Fewer Brains Mean Bigger Data

By Paul J. Zak on Mar 11, 2020 1:11:34 PM

Many companies built their reputations on surveying a thousand or more people to capture national opinions or TV watching habits.  Today, online survey companies may maintain panels of respondents and can deliver several thousand data points in a week.  We all know bigger is better.

Topics: Entertainment
2 min read

Getting Schooled: How Immersion Works in the Classroom

By Paul J. Zak on Feb 19, 2020 6:00:00 AM

At Immersion, we are "on the ground" technologists.  By that I mean we have partners not clients.  When our partners find new applications for our technology we ask to observe what they are doing to see if we can suggest improvements.  This is just what we did when a partner brought Immersion into K-12 classrooms.

Topics: Training
2 min read

Why We Remember

By Marketing on Feb 13, 2020 3:28:21 PM

The first time you met your life partner.  Birth of your child.  The destruction and death of 9/11/2001. They are seared into your memory. 

Topics: Training marketing recall
2 min read

The Neuroscience of Failed Product Launches

By Marketing on Jan 20, 2020 6:15:00 AM

In the 1980’s Coca-Cola was losing market share to Pepsi. The solution, the Coke people thought, was to make a new formula that tasted more like, ahem, Pepsi.  Coca-Cola conducted 30,000 blinded taste tests and found that 55% of people said "New Coke" was better than the original. People also said New Coke tasted better than Pepsi.  Coca-Cola spent over four million dollars to decide if they should launch New Coke.  The people had spoken so the launch was on.

2 min read

Going Forward By Starting Backwards

By Paul J. Zak on Jan 13, 2020 6:00:00 AM

The American Psychological Association christened the 2000s "The Decade of Behavior."  They even invited me to give a keynote address on behavioral neuroscience at their national convention.  The result?  Research by prominent psychologists has shown that fewer studies that seek to explain and predict behavior are being published.  What psychologists have focused on, because it is faster to research and publish, are studies of introspection, feelings, intentions, and other self-reported data that copious research shows are only weakly related to actual behaviors.

2 min read

Psychological Safety & Measuring Readiness

By Paul J. Zak on Jan 9, 2020 4:49:55 PM

Are you ready?

Topics: Training
1 min read

Tech Trends Embrace the Future With These Latest Meeting Planner Trends

By Marketing on Jan 7, 2020 6:48:48 PM


3 min read

If Content Is King, Why Do Most Shows Play The Fool?

By Paul J. Zak on Dec 12, 2019 1:00:00 PM

Content is king. 

Topics: Entertainment
2 min read

How Do You Prove The ROI of Corporate Training?

By Paul J. Zak on Dec 9, 2019 5:30:00 AM

Great trainers are artists.  You may have seen a few of these: everything they present comes alive and tattoos itself onto your brain.  The experience is extraordinary.

Topics: Training
2 min read

I Believe in Software Not Slides

By Scott Brown on Dec 5, 2019 6:00:00 AM

There was a time when answers were delivered to you on paper, or in a PowerPoint slide deck.  If you wanted to know your monthly sales, a person printed it out on big sheets of green and white striped paper for you to review.  If you wanted to dig deep into your product plan for the next year, someone sent you a slide deck.

Topics: Entertainment
3 min read

Four Ways to Shorten the OODA Loop in Training

By Paul J. Zak on Dec 3, 2019 3:16:33 PM

"Do you mind getting beat up a bit?" 

Topics: Training
1 min read

The Risks of Using AI to Interpret Human Emotions

By Marketing on Nov 20, 2019 11:37:00 AM

What do people really feel?

Podcast: Predicting Market Outcomes

By Marketing on Oct 12, 2019 11:39:00 AM

Paul talks with our friends Derek Lundsten and Todd Staples about Immersion Neuroscience and it’s ability to accurately predict market outcomes.

Measuring Live Meeting Engagement

By Marketing on Sep 23, 2019 8:15:00 AM

"The challenge with meeting engagement is that it’s really, really tough to measure. Conference planners look at session attendance, session polling, social media buzz, post-event surveys, and more. But understanding the impact that certain ideas, speakers, or live-event environments have on attendees is an inexact science. That just might be changing. Immersion Neuroscience, a company founded by neuroscientist Paul Zak, has a wearable technology that measures immersion in live experiences and video content."

Meetings Today Podcast with Bishop-McCann powered by Immersion

By Marketing on Sep 19, 2019 2:03:00 PM

Meetings Today’s Tyler Davidson talks with Bishop-McCann’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Tracy Kinsey and Paul Zak of Immersion Neuroscience on using the Immersion Neuroscience software to measure the return on experience in the events/meeting space.

1 min read

Bishop-McCann Return on Experience powered by Immersion

By Marketing on Sep 13, 2019 2:18:00 PM

Bishop-McCann powered by Immersion Neuroscience has now created: Return on Experience.

Immersion at CableLabs Innovation Showcase 2019, presented by UpRamp

By Marketing on Aug 7, 2019 2:37:00 PM

People don’t always tell the truth – watch this video to see 5 examples of how Immersion measures unconscious emotional responses to let you create extraordinary content and experiences!

1 min read

How Our Brains Decide When to Trust

By Marketing on Jul 30, 2019 2:48:00 PM

Trust is the enabler of global business — without it, most market transactions would be impossible. It is also a hallmark of high-performing organizations. Employees in high-trust companies are more productive, are more satisfied with their jobs, put in greater discretionary effort, are less likely to search for new jobs, and even are healthier than those working in low-trust companies. Businesses that build trust among their customers are rewarded with greater loyalty and higher sales. And negotiators who build trust with each other are more likely to find value-creating deals.

Topics: featured
1 min read

Visitamos las nuevas oficinas de Accenture

By Marketing on Jul 10, 2019 2:54:00 PM

El pasado miércoles 5 de junio, estuvimos en las oficinas de Accenture Argentina en el barrio porteño de Parque Patricios.