More Zombie Theory

In my previous post I talked of two theories/ideas that are popular in marketing despite having a preponderance of evidence that they are inneffective or untrue:

  1. Group brainstorming or focus groups for idea generation
  2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Several readers either posted or e-mailed suggested additions to the list (I did not vet their assertions):

You only use 10% of your brain. It seems the evidence for this claim came from an experimenter who slowly peeled brain material from a pigeon and looked for cognitive impairment(!)

Cost-cutting from preventative medicine. A friend in healthcare says that accept for a few conditions, evidence indicates that prevention costs money.

Product life-cycle. A marketing professor challenged me to find a study that predicts a life-cycle unless it is deliberately managed. If the model doesn’t predict it may be a tautology or even and ad-hoc justification for mismanagement.

Any thoughts on these or would you propose more???

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3 Responses to More Zombie Theory

  1. Christen F. says:

    I personally think that it’s interesting that you consider Group brainstorming and focus groups to be Zombie Theories. I was taught in High School to do brainstorming for papers or projects. Also, group brainstorming and focus groups are relied upon heavily even today. For example a lot of ad creative groups to come up with ideas for spots. Focus groups are used widely in marketing research.

  2. Deb Nystrom says:

    Thanks for putting the 10% of your brain on the Zombie list. Jill Taylor Bolte has some good stuff out on brain function.

    As for brainstorming, it’s a basic platform for getting groups engaged with each other when attempting to work collaboratively. Before dispelling it for idea generation, I’d want to see the evidence that it has no merit for the masses or any kind. I think that would be hard to prove, as systems thinking is I’d like to see more of, not less of via list making.

  3. pogomcl says:

    “Cost-cutting from preventative medicine. A friend in healthcare says that accept{sic} for a few conditions, evidence indicates that prevention costs money.”

    ALWAYS proofread your work. Do not use a spellchecker because spellcheckers aren’t intelligent.

    The word you wanted is except.

    and this statement is just plain bs.
    “If the model doesn’t predict it may be a tautology or even and{sic} ad-hoc justification for mismanagement.”

    tautology: redundancy consisting of needless repetition of meaning in other words. (MW New Collegiate Dictionary © 1951

    “or even and ad-hoc justification” syntax and gobbledygook

    or is a coordinate conjunction so violation of coordination by adding the intrusive adverb even

    “and” don’t use a spellchecker. Hire a proper proofreader because it is obvious you can’t write clean coherent sentences.

    gibberish that sounds good, but reads goobledygook.

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