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Leadership

Aaron Reid, Ph.D.—Founder and Chief Behavioral Scientist
Aaron is Founder and Chief Behavioral Scientist at Sentient Decision Science. A psychologist by training, and a businessman by trade, Aaron founded Sentient Decision Science to bridge the gap between behavioral science and business. With a Ph.D. in experimental psychology and a published research record in consumer decision-making, Aaron has developed advanced methods of assessing the subconscious drivers of consumer behavior at industry and academic conferences. He is an adjunct Professor of Psychology at Middlebury College where he has taught his course on Emotion and Rationality and coursework on the Ethics of Subconscious Marketing. Aaron is a member of the American Marketing Association, the Marketing Research Association, the Society of Judgment and Decision-Making, and the European Association of Decision-Making. Aaron enjoys mountain climbing, poetry, piano, and competitive soccer. Aaron finds that running his pugs on the beach is a great way to start off his day.

Paul Conner—VP of Behavioral Science
Since 1982, Paul has served a wide variety of industries, has conducted numerous types of research, has used almost all data collection techniques, and has direct client, agency, and supplier experience. Paul came to Sentient from being founder and Chief Emotive Officer at Emotive Analytics, a firm devoted to comprehensively and accurately studying the emotional dynamics of consumer behavior so that its clients can develop more emotionally-engaging brands, products, services, and their marketing. At Sentient, Paul conceives of, designs, and directs the execution of advanced studies, while also playing a role in the development of new behavioral science techniques. Paul is a member of the American Marketing Association (AMA), the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), and the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama. In addition, he has published and spoken frequently within the market research industry. Examples of his published works include Quirk’s and QRCA Views cover stories; Paul has spoken at AMA, QRCA, and the Design & Emotion Society National/International Conferences. He thoroughly enjoys a good round of golf, bicycling for fitness, and mountain hikes. Also, Paul can’t do without a good bowl of oatmeal in the morning, especially when on the road!

Faith James—VP of Strategic Marketing
With a degree in Communications and a minor in Psychology, Faith started her advertising and marketing career at Ogilvy & Mather NY where she spent five years on the global IBM account. She has subsequently held increasingly senior roles at a range of advertising agencies across the country and has developed strategic insights for both multi-national and start-up brands. Faith’s brand experience spans across CPG, Financial Services, Retail, Advertising, Public Relations/Media, and Wine and Spirits. Before joining Sentient, Faith founded The James Sphere, a brand strategy and qualitative research consultancy, focused on ethnographic and in-depth projective methods. Faith serves as Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Sentient and is responsible for translating consumer insights into actionable marketing strategies and tactics for Sentient’s clients. She is Riva-Certified Moderator and a trained qualitative researcher. Faith is a member of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), Minnesota Arts Institute Critique Panel, and is President of the board of Krieger Creative Group. As an avid shopper, Faith believes there is never a purchase that she can’t justify.

Yi Zhang, Ph.D.—Behavioral Scientist and Director of the Sentient Decision Science Subconscious Research Lab
Behavioral Scientist Dr. Yi Zhang is Director of Sentient’s Subconscious Research Lab. 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. In addition to directing lab studies and data analysis, Yi is expanding Sentient’s work translating research from the behavioral science literature into practical applied methods. Yi 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, Yi 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.

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