When does explicit research give a distortion?
Much research into consumer behaviour uses self-reporting in the form of questionnaires or interviews. These methods lead to conscious, controlled and elaborate thoughts. Fine of course, if that is the purpose of the research.
But these methods can also give a distortion or not provide the insights we are looking for. A question like “Did you see this advertisement?”, respondents can recall reminders that spontaneously did not find place. By activating this reminder they are consciously thinking and elaborating. This creates an image that is not in conformity with reality. Our memory is quite limited when it comes to exact facts and details. During a psychological experiment, a part of the visitor knew that they had met Bugs Bunny. That’s impossible because Bugs Bunny is from Warner Bros. And not from Disney.
In addition, there are questions where consumers simply cannot know the answer and do not disappoint the researcher to invent an answer. We often have no idea about how and when we are affected because behavior is controlled by all sorts of unconscious processes and observations.
We devise clever strategies that do not play a role in real life. Everyone can tell you convincingly how you have come to this very smart purchase. The question is whether this whole process has actually happened.
Dr. Lisa Vandenberg recognizes in the SWOCC publication “Implicitly measuring is know” a five discrepancies which can occur in explicit research:
- Respondents have, through what the purpose or subject of the research is, and are going to show the assumed positive behaviour on the basis of that knowledge.
- Respondents use strategies that do not play a role in real life, so the research is not ecologically valid.
- Respondents have insufficient insight into the unconscious processes that send the behavior
- The limitation of our memory which is unconscious and influenceable. People are thinking of remembering things that are actually much different.
- Respondents have insufficient capacity, such as too tired, poor short, insufficient motivation, no self-understanding, etc.
These discrepancies may lead to the drawing of wrong conclusions or the creation of non-existent securities such as socially desirable behaviour or answers, naming non-existent securities or strategies, erroneous reminders Describe and rationalize post.
For better insights into the unconscious (unnoticeable) or automatic (unstoppable) effects of communication on thoughts, evaluations and behaviours of consumers, it is important that we do not ask any explicit questions. Thus, we can study what people actually influenced (mix consciously and unconsciously rather than what people think affects them (only conscious and supposed processes) (source SWOCC – Implicitly measure it).
That is why we make use of implicit techniques at BRAYNZ in this type of case. This is how we overcome these discrepancies for the most part. For example, if we want to predict future behaviour, we want to know the strength of unconscious associations. Make an appointment to see a demo or receive more background information.