Sentient Decision Science Hires Behavioral Scientist Yi Zhang, Ph.D., as Director of Subconscious Research Lab

Top Quote New Sentient Staffer to Lead Subconscious Research Lab. End Quote
  • Boston, MA-NH (1888PressRelease) February 15, 2011 - Sentient Decision Science, Inc. (, a leading consumer psychology consultancy and provider of behavioral science research methods, today announced that Yi Zhang, Ph.D., has joined the company as Behavioral Scientist and Director of the Subconscious Research Lab.

    In making the announcement, Aaron Reid, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Behavioral Scientist at Sentient Decision Science, said, "The future of market research is behavioral science. Yi brings significant expertise in applying implicit behavioral and neuroimaging measures to our company. Her years of research experience in cognitive neuroscience and social psychology will help continue our efforts to lead the business research industry into the future."

    In her new role, Dr. Zhang will further Sentient's work in consumer subconscious research and develop advanced applied research design for individual studies. In addition to directing lab studies and data analysis, Dr. Zhang will also expand Sentient's work translating research from the behavioral science literature into practical applied methods.

    The Sentient Decision Science Consumer Subconscious Research Lab, which opened in mid-2010, conducts a wide variety of neuromarketing and behavioral science research, including methods such as EEG and skin conductance response.

    "The lab is a powerful tool in helping companies connect more personally with their customers and delivering products and services that really benefit them," said Dr. Reid. "We conduct primary research into automatic brand associations, and discover the triggers of consumer choice. We know that emotion is quantifiable and at its essence is the foundation of consumer choice. Under Yi's direction, the lab will help us drill down even further into the decision-making process to discover fundamental human truths," Dr. Reid continued.

    Dr. Zhang is well-equipped for this role. She completed her master's degree and Ph.D. in social psychology at Brandeis University. Her research expertise lies at the intersection of social psychology principles and neuroimaging techniques. While at Brandeis, Dr. Zhang earned a number of academic awards and fellowships, and worked in several research areas, including the Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies. She graduated from Peking University in China with a bachelor of science in life science.

    Her publications include:
    Liang, X., Zebrowitz, L., Zhang, Y. (2010) Neural Activation in the 'Reward Circuit' Shows a Nonlinear Response to Facial Attractiveness. Social Neuroscience, 5:3, 320-334.

    Zebrowitz, L. & Zhang, Y. (in press) The Origins of First Impressions in Animal and Infant Face Perception. Handbook of Social Neuroscience. Ed. J. Decety & J. Cacioppo. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Zebrowitz, L. Wadlinger, H.W., Luevano, V.X., White, B.M., Xing, C. & Zhang, Y. (in press) Animal Analogies in First Impressions of Faces. Social Cognition.

    About Sentient Decision Science
    Sentient Decision Science, Inc. is a leading consumer consultancy and provider of behavioral science research methods for businesses that want to better understand the true drivers of their customer and prospect preferences and thereby achieve unrivaled business advantage in their market. The Sentient research approach works at the intersection of behavioral science, market research and its clients' key business objectives. The end result is clear, incisive recommendations that provide a strategic advantage in the marketplace by tapping into the conscious and non-conscious drivers of consumer behavior. Sentient's Automatic Brand Association methodology is the first in the industry to quantify gut feelings by tapping the consumer non-conscious and emotional associations with brands. Sentient Decision Science has a broad client base in retail, consumer packaged goods, home electronics and financial services. For additional information, please visit

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