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Where do we draw the line between persuasion and manipulation?

As the design industry increasingly draws on neuroscience to understand the modern day consumer’s psyche - where do we draw the line between persuasion and manipulation in the pursuit to create successful design? 

This was a thematic exploration drawing on ideas from Vance Packard’s ‘Hidden Persuaders.’ The essay explored how the advancements in technology and neuroscience processes are impacting the design industry, focusing on designers social responsibility to preserve the autonomy of consumers. The central theme aimed to enforce the importance for designers to remain conscious of where the boundaries lie between manipulation and persuasion. The essay heavily draws on consumer psychology, exploring consumers subconscious, whilst highlighting the impact that design can have on consumers' cognitive and affective reactions. 

My intention for the design outcome was to present the essay through a series of X-Ray sheets using personal brain scans. The idea behind this was to use a format that would require the readers to have to examine the design in order to read the content. In the same way that neuromarketing researchers have to hold scans up to the light to assess the consumers neural responses, the readers would have to apply the same process. 

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