© 2015

The Science of Why

Decoding Human Motivation and Transforming Marketing Strategy

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. David Forbes
    Pages 1-12
  3. David Forbes
    Pages 13-23
  4. David Forbes
    Pages 35-51
  5. David Forbes
    Pages 53-73
  6. David Forbes
    Pages 75-92
  7. David Forbes
    Pages 93-109
  8. David Forbes
    Pages 111-120
  9. David Forbes
    Pages 121-134
  10. David Forbes
    Pages 135-144
  11. David Forbes
    Pages 145-156
  12. David Forbes
    Pages 157-170
  13. David Forbes
    Pages 171-184
  14. David Forbes
    Pages 185-196
  15. David Forbes
    Pages 197-213
  16. David Forbes
    Pages 215-221
  17. David Forbes
    Pages 235-238
  18. Back Matter
    Pages 239-254

About this book


In this groundbreaking book, author David Forbes explains human motivation and provides ways that marketers can effectively reach the consumer. The book uses decades of psychology research and the author's own tool, the Forbes Matrix that identifies, organizes, and explains the nine core motivations.


Motivational marketing consumer behavior marketing advertising branding brand innovation market research Motive Promotion

About the authors

Dr. David Forbes founded Forbes Consulting over 20 years ago as a strategic market research consultancy dedicated to creating business advantage through deep psychological consumer insights. Since that time, he has built Forbes Consulting into a major resource for scores of corporations in the CPG, Financial Services, and Pharmaceutical industries, both domestically and internationally (client list appended).

His seminal publication on motivational theory has reshaped the dialogue on the topic, and the work of he and his team at the Forbes Consulting Group has revolutionized the way his clients think about their consumers, their products, and their marketing materials—leading them to create vastly more successful products and messages targeting these new consumers.

David Forbes holds a PhD in clinical and cognitive psychology from Clark University, USA, and was a member of the faculties of Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Laboratory of Human Development before beginning his career as a business consultant. He quickly developed a following of clients who understood the power of emotion in driving behavior, well before this became a topic of mainstream interest.

Since that time, Dr. Forbes has received numerous awards and recognitions. His work on the MindSight® tool won him the Advertising Research Foundation's Great Mind Award in 2012. He was also awarded the Brand Innovator Award at the 2012 World Brand Congress. He was a finalist for the Disruptive Innovation Prize at the Insights Innovation Exchange 2014 Amsterdam.

Bibliographic information


'In The Science of Why, David Forbes offers a deep dive into the psychology behind consumer behavior. By explaining the different kinds of motivation that drive purchases, he enables you to fine-tune your marketing. As a helpful bonus the book is peppered with real-world examples of how successful marketers have used a particular motivation.' Roger Dooley, author of Brainfluence

'Understanding 'why people do what they do' has puzzled mankind since the time of Socrates. Over the centuries, many, including Freud and Maslow, have furthered our understanding of human behavior. In The Science of Why, David Forbes distills the scientific body of knowledge into nine core motivations that drive behavior. Utilizing case studies and his experiences with the MindSight methodology, he effectively illustrates how brands can leverage emotional insights into core motivations to engage authentically with consumers.' Lisa R. Courtade, Head, Global Customer & Brand Insights, Merck & Co., Inc.

'Marketing must change in light of neuroscience, and this book is an invaluable roadmap to success in this new order.' Douglas Van Praet, Author of Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing

'This is a must read for all marketers. Dr. Forbes explains the psychology of how we are wired; our personalities, our intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, and how that influences our reactions to the external world. Using his own proprietary MindSight Matrix allows him to give real-life business applications, along with suggested marketing messages to better connect with consumers. Dr. Forbes makes a compelling case for why better understanding human psychology will unlock true emotional connections.' Michelle Adams, PhD, Founder of Marketing Brainology

'In today's person-centered marketing environment, success depends on understanding the deep emotional needs in consumers' lives, and then creating and marketing brands and products that will contribute to fulfillment of those needs in a truly meaningful way. In The Science of Why, Forbes offers a theoretically compelling, eminently practical, battle-tested, example-rich playbook for doing just that.' Stephen D. Rappaport, Author and Marketing Consultant, Stephen D. Rappaport Consulting LLC

'The Science of Why is a must-read for any business looking to develop products, services and campaigns that have deep psychological appeal.' Paul Marsden, blogger Brand Genetics