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The Scientist Behind the Sale: Lindsay Sutton and the Psychology of Advertising

  • October 15, 2014
Lindsay Sutton could have taken her UAB doctoral degree in developmental psychology, accepted a job offer in Washington, D.C., and spent her career following the typical path of most developmental psychologists into government or academia. Instead, she took a more colorful, unconventional route, signing up with an advertising agency.
Lindsay SuttonLindsay Sutton could have taken her UAB doctoral degree in developmental psychology, accepted a job offer in Washington, D.C., and spent her career following the typical path of most developmental psychologists into government or academia.

Instead, she took a more colorful, unconventional route, signing up with an advertising agency. Sutton started working as a research psychologist and assistant strategic planner at Birmingham’s Intermark Group in 2013. While it’s a rare career choice in her field, Sutton says it’s a good fit for her—and an opportunity to put her education and curiosity about human behavior to use in creative ways. Advertising builds upon the emotional reactions and cognitive processes that influence people’s choices and opinions, and Sutton’s studies focused heavily on decision analytics. Adding science-based research gives the agency a new, powerfully effective means of helping clients identify and connect to a target audience, she explains.