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A history of theories of decision-making and technologies for observation in the service of marketing

Joshua M. Penrod (Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Merrick School of Business, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 26 January 2023

Issue publication date: 16 February 2023




Brain and behavioral research is a hallmark of knowledge and understanding within modern society and has taken on greater importance in the commercial context; as this area unfolds, the intersection of the science, technology and marketing is an important and topical area for exploration.


This work tracks the parallel history of the technologies and science of the brain because it grows in relevance for the study of marketing and consumer behavior. It is an historical review of the usage of technologies to measure brain activity and behavior, parallel to the development of psychological theories created to account for human decision-making from the 1940s until the present.


This essay presents a new conception of “closure” and “momentum,” as envisioned by social construction of technology and technological momentum theories, arriving at a new concept for inclusion called “convergence” which offers a multifactor explanation for the acceptance, technical implementation and its commercial application.


It is an original adaptation of theories from across several fields that yields insight into the integration of science, technology, society and business.



The author wishes to thank his doctoral committee of: Ashley Shew, PhD (Virginia Tech), Dipankar Chakravarti, PhD (Virginia Tech), Ven Sriram, PhD (University of Baltimore), and Janet Abbate, PhD, Committee Chair (Virginia Tech).


Penrod, J.M. (2023), "A history of theories of decision-making and technologies for observation in the service of marketing", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 52-75.



Emerald Publishing Limited

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