Today, Pedro Almeida, the CEO and Co-founder of MindProber, joins Sima on the podcast to share his background and discuss the innovative work they are doing at MindProber.
Pedro studied social psychology with a strong emphasis on market research. As an undergrad, he worked as a research assistant at a small cognitive neuroscience lab and he later did an internship in social psychology. After graduating, he became a market research consultant while also pursuing his research on electrophysiology. His field of interest was effective processes, emotion, and populations with emotional impairment. Pedro did his Master’s in experimental social psychology. He has always combined his two passions of applied psychology on the one hand and the business side of things on the other.
Social psychology is an experimental field. It looks at social cognition and processes, and how people make social inferences and process social information. That sometimes has to do with social identity- with how people build their social identity and interact with the social identity of others. Social psychology also provides a toolkit for those who want to go into market research and understand data.
Cognitive neuroscience is a field that looks at the neurobiological implementation of cognitive processes. In other words, what happens in the brain when we think. Even though people tend to make a distinction between cold cognition and hot emotion, all of those processes are still mental processes.
Pedro and his business partner founded MindProber with the idea of taking the principles of consumer neuroscience (also known as neuromarketing) and applying them in business settings to understand whether or not certain messages were effective. They took the opportunity to start a consumer neuroscience company in Portugal back in 2010-2011 because there were none there at the time.
Scaling consumer neuroscience
There were hurdles to overcome because consumer neuroscience studies were expensive and non-scalable. So Pedro began thinking of ways to scale consumer neuroscience and make it faster and more agile.
Getting more input
In 2012- 2013, Pedro came up with the idea of taking consumer neuroscience out of the lab and making it remote to make it more agile. He and his partner also started thinking of ways to get more physiological and behavioral input from people while they were on the floor, and came up with the idea of building a platform to allow them to get and distribute data, and centralize and synchronize it with something. Pedro was fortunate to know someone who could build a sensor to capture people’s physical responses while they were in their homes.
The MindProber platform has crystalized into becoming a way to access electro-dermal activity in scale, collected from whatever people get exposed to in their homes.
The data provided by the MindProber platform gives an objective, quantifiable, and valuable metric for understanding the quality of the impressions people are getting exposed to, and also the quality of people’s involvement with that content.
MindProber rewards people for wearing a sensor while they watch television. The sensor is a small device that gets held in the hand while watching something, and people sometimes even forget that they are holding it. Sports tend to produce the highest emotional responses.
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Pedro Almeida on LinkedIn
Pedro Almeida on Twitter (@Pedro_R_Almeida)