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Online Ads Can Change How You Perceive the World
By: Business Insider
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Do you ever get the sense that advertisements you see online know more about you than you might expect? Have you ever wondered why you’re being shown an ad for a product, only to realize later that you might actually be the kind of person who would want to buy it?

If so, it’s likely that the ads appearing on your screen have been behaviorally targeted.

Behavioral targeting uses information about nearly everything you do online – clicks, searches, social media, what you’ve bought and browsed – to select ads that marketers think will appeal to you based on your unique online behavior.

Our recent research shows, however, that these ads do more than reflect your past or future preferences. They can change how you see yourself in fundamental ways.

What kind of person are you really?

What makes this practice unique is that it does not involve advertising the exact things you have already shown an interest in, as is the case when ads for the shoes you bought two weeks ago follow you around online.

Instead, behavioral targeting predicts what you might like based on a profile of you that was created by tracking your online actions. To adopt Hollywood parlance, behavioral targeting typecasts you.

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About the Author
This article originall appeared on BI, and a link to the original can be found at the end. www.businessinsider.com
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