Missouri S&T researcher wants to electronically pick your brain

Missouri S&T News and Events

Nikhil Dusane, a graduate student in information science and technology, puts one of the business and information technology department’s EEG headsets on Samuel Smith, a senior in information science and technology, in the university’s Laboratory for Information Technology and Evaluation.A researcher at Missouri University of Science and Technology wants to scrap the traditional electronic and paper survey approach to gathering marketing and information systems data in favor of scanning your brainwaves. Dr. Keng Siau, professor and chair of the business and information technology department, is looking at using an electroencephalogram (EEG) headset to pick your brain.
An EEG tracks and records brain wave patterns. Small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) are placed on the scalp, and then send signals to a computer to record the results.
“We’re actually trying to go deeper inside,” Siau says. “Because when you ask someone to fill out a questionnaire, there are a few issues.”
Chief among them are time and accuracy.
“I receive a lot of questionnaires. But do I have time to fill them out? Most of the time, I don’t. I just put them aside,” says Siau.
He uses the common problem of getting accurate survey responses as an example.
“A lot of times, we want to get information from CEOs, but CEOs don’t have the time and just pass it to their secretaries. The secretaries are the ones that fill out the questionnaires, not the CEOs. A secretary’s opinion will be somewhat different from the opinion of a CEO.”
Siau also says that people often answer survey questions based on what they think the surveyor wants to hear.
“‘This is what I think, but this is what they want. OK, I’ll give them what they want’,” he says. “When I look at something, maybe I have a first response. But then I …

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