Track 1.18: Applied Neuroscience for Consumer Wellbeing: A Randomized Controlled Trial


“Perhaps the most difficult thing that a human being is called upon to face is long, concentrated thinking”
-- Hugo Gernsback, 1925

In recent years, we have witnessed a surge in consumer interest in mental health. Thousands of research articles, popular press pieces, self-help books, and apps have proffered insights for improving mental health. A simple Google search for the term yields over 1 billion results and over 3 million research articles. One of the most common remedies for improving mental health entails some form of mindfulness. We have learned a great deal about the benefits of mindfulness, from its ability to reduce stress (Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, and Walach 2004), improve focus and cognitive functioning (Brown, Ryan, and Creswell 2007), and generally increase wellbeing (Brown and Ryan 2003). While the benefits of mindfulness are well known, consumers often struggle to maintain mindful habits (Israel 2016), describing the practices as elusive and vague (Liberman 2018). Hence, mindfulness may be beneficial, but its practices are not necessarily approachable for everyday consumers. 
Most prior research on mindfulness investigated the concept as a psychological construct or clinical intervention, often training people to use meditation techniques to invoke mindfulness. Such work has linked mindfulness to improved attention-related behavioral responses (Jha, Krompinger, and Baime 2007; Kabat-Zinn 2015), decreased mind wandering (Mrazek, Franklin, Phillips, Baird, and Schooler 2013), and improved blood pressure and survival rates of the elderly (Alexander, Langer, Newman, Chandler, and Davies 1989). Mindfulness is associated with higher pleasant affect, vitality, life-satisfaction, and self-esteem, among other things (Brown and Ryan 2003). The benefits of mindfulness are also observed in its ability to enhance moment-to-moment sensory experiences, and its ability to reduce habitual or automatic reactions (Csikszentmihalyi and Csikszentmihalyi 1990; Brown and Ryan 2003; Deci and Ryan 1985; Kabat-Zinn 2015). Neuroscientists have also studied the effects of mindfulness on the brain (Tang, Holzel, and Posner 2015) with studies indicating that mindfulness helps increase brain activity responsible for reducing stress (Creswell et al. 2016) and regulate brain activity associated with emotional response (Teren et al. 2015). The cognitive and neuroscientific findings on mindfulness suggest it can improve mental health if consumers find effective means through which to practice it. How can we make these benefits of mindfulness more tractable for consumers’ mental health?


To improve their mental health, consumers must learn how to identify their emotional reactions, what practices to use in these moments, and why and how these practices help. We aim to provide consumers with a deeper understanding of mindfulness and its practices by integrating applied neuroscience. Through our partnership with Founder and Executive Director of BeMindful (, AnneMarie Rossi, we plan to test the efficacy of the applied neuroscience approach to mindfulness with a 6-week program that fuses the core benefits of mindfulness with the neuroscience behind why and how these benefits occur. We will apply a mixed methods evaluation research approach (Bazely 2016) to assessing program effectiveness.

We invite scholars at all levels, including PhD students and junior faculty, and with varying expertise to join our track. Interested applicants should provide: Background related to this area (what triggers interest in this domain), theoretical approach they adopt for their research, methodological approach they use in their research, research and scientific publications produced to-date on related topics.

Track Goals:

  • Develop a program to instill healthy mental health habits that are bite-sized, approachable, and actionable for consumers
  • Provide consumers with a deeper understanding of why and how mindfulness works to improve mental health by integrating applied neuroscience and mindfulness
  • Provide consumers with a toolkit of practices to benefit mental health


  • Literature review of relevant mindfulness, neuroscience, and consumer mental health research
  • Zoom meeting to discuss literature and experiment plan, determine measures to assess efficacy such as, focused attention tests; response time; startle response (behavioral measures)
  • We will test the 6-week program ( against a control condition and against a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course PALOUSE Free 8-week Program (
  • Have virtual weekly check-ins with a moderator to further encourage participation and engagement. The moderator could be a trained RA.
  • To assess longitudinal efficacy, we will measure the same behavioral responses immediately after the 6-week program and over time.
  • All team members read through findings.


Conference Day 1

  • Morning:
    • Roundtable discussion of key findings 
    • Identify key literature bases
    • Outline marketing and public policy implications
  • Afternoon:
    • Finalize morning discussion into a poster of key findings


Conference Day 2

  • Morning:
    • Discuss TCR conference outcomes
    • Devise structure for academic article to be submitted to TCR-journal conference special issue
    • Discuss generative future research and potential subsequent projects
  • Afternoon:
    • Present outcomes 



  • Follow-up meetings as needed
  • Team members write sections
  • Co-chairs synthesize sections
  • Submission to an academic journal


For queries related to this track please email: Colleen Bee, or Gia Nardini,

To apply to this track, please email a Research Vision to Colleen Bee, or Gia Nardini,


Track Chair Bios

Gia Nardini is an assistant professor in Marketing at Florida Atlantic University. Gia’s research focuses on consumer well-being in the domains of consumption experiences and decision-making. She explores the theoretical underpinnings of how and why consumers engage in experiences and make decisions. Her work has been published in academic journals, such as the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, and Journal of Business Research. She has participated in past TCR conferences and continues to work on transformative consumer research projects. 

Richard Lutz is the Chairman of the Marketing Department and the Peter D. Sealey Professor of Marketing at the University of Florida, where he has taught since 1982. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Marketing, all from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  He is a past president of the Association for Consumer Research and a past editor of the Journal of Consumer Research.  He has authored over 100 articles and books, focusing primarily on consumer response to marketing communications.  In 2018 he was named a Fellow of the Association for Consumer Research. He currently serves as Special Guest Editor of JCR.  

Colleen Bee is an associate professor in Marketing and the Head of the School of Marketing, Analytics, and Design at Oregon State University. Colleen’s research examines consumer behavior in the contexts of experiential consumption and marketing communication with an interest in understanding how complex emotional experiences influence attitude change, decision-making, and well-being. She is an Associate Editor at the Journal of Business Research, and her research has been published in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Business Research, and European Journal of Social Psychology. She is also a past participant of TCR 2021.


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