SlideShare a Scribd company logo
1 of 15
Download to read offline
In Focus
1
Share this
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
Opinion LeaderResearch excellence
In Focus
2
Share this
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
Qualitative research is uniquely positioned
to uncover the true drivers of consumer
behaviour, but can only do so if it starts to
look beyond our articulated wants and needs
This report is based on an original paper first delivered at ESOMAR and subsequently the winner of the
prestigious WPP Research in Practice Atticus Award in 2013.
In Focus
3
Share this
A successful city trader walks into a fashionable New York City bar.
As he scans the bottles of spirits behind the bartender, he is excited to
see a rare bottle of single malt: his signature brand with a distinct taste
that he believes makes it the best whisky ever distilled. It’s expensive but
within his price range. However, when the bartender asks what he would
like, he pauses for a moment and orders a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black
Label instead. He also asks for four glasses.
In Focus
4
Share this
In New Delhi, a woman makes her way purposefully along the aisle of a
supermarket, quickly and efficiently picking out her regular purchases and
adding them to her basket. Next to the section filled with instant teas and
coffees, she pauses. She picks up a jar of Horlicks from the shelf, studies it
for a moment and then replaces it on the shelf and moves on.
In Focus
5
Share this
Another woman packs up her belongings at her desk in an office in
central London. She scoops up a gym bag from beside her chair, looks
at it and sighs. Then she walks downstairs, heads for the tube station,
and goes straight home.
In Focus
6
Share this
Situations such as these illustrate an issue with which qualitative
researchers are very familiar: the fact that that behavioural
intention, such as going to the gym, losing weight and staying
healthy, does not always translate into actual behaviour; that
strong, personal brand preferences do not always translate into
brand choices. Qualitative research offers marketers the greatest
opportunity for revealing why such intentions do not produce
the behaviour that we might expect. But its ability to deliver the
correct explanation depends on where it looks for the answers.
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
In Focus
7
Share this
Tell me what you want, what you really,
really want
Most qualitative research today starts from a
psychoanalytical view of human behaviour that is
derived from Freud and considers that apparently
contradictory behaviour results from hidden emotions,
wants and needs. Researchers prompt interviewees to
think in more detail about why they fail to make the
decisions their stated preferences suggest they should,
seeking to uncover deeper motivations or beliefs that
might explain the behaviour.
In the case of our whisky connoisseur, the deeper
belief that emerges might be a conviction that his
favourite whisky is best suited to quiet, contemplative
evenings at home rather than lively, buzzing nights
out. For our would-be gym-goer, the explanation
could be that she believes she is not in the best state
to visit the gym after long taxing days at work and
instead needs to unwind, recharge and visit in the
morning. For our supermarket shopper, the subject of
a test interview conducted by TNS to demonstrate the
results delivered by different approaches to qualitative
research, the answer lay in the fact that she used to
love Horlicks as a child or a young woman but she is
now an adult, and no longer ‘needs’ the ‘fattening’
milk that is the main ingredient in a Horlicks drink.
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
In Focus
8
Share this
Good answers, incomplete questions
Inviting consumers to consider more deeply the
reasons for their actions almost always produces
an answer. And if we ask the right questions we are
often able to avoid superficial, rationalised responses
and touch hidden layers of needs and motivations. The
problem, as advances in neuroscience and behavioural
economics keep reminding us, is that needs and
motivations are at best only half the picture.
There are few more powerful fits with motivations
than a gym and the desire that it embodies to be fit,
attractive and healthy – but many people still do not
go to the gym despite spending a lot of money on
their membership. There are other mental forces at
work that are not apparent to a needs-based approach
and cannot be revealed simply by exploring feelings
more deeply. In fact, they rarely feature in spontaneous
answers at all.
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
Behavioural economics teaches us that human
behaviour is often automatic and unthinking, and
is shaped far more heavily by momentary contextual
factors than we realise. These contexts can be both
internal and external. They include our automatic
habitual responses, the heuristics or rules of thumb
that we follow every day, and the constraints of the
physical environment. The problem for qualitative
researchers is that these factors, which we adapt to
without thinking, are not easily brought to mind when
we are asked to think about why we behave the way
that we do.
In Focus
9
Share this
What Freud wouldn’t do: the lessons of
behavioural economics
In this way, the ‘unconscious’ factors that often trigger
behaviour are not a pool of deep desires and feelings
such as that conceived of by Freud, but an active,
adaptive management system, focused on navigating
life and responding to the physical environment as
efficiently and effectively as possible. One frequently
observed outcome is that people do not usually seek
out ideal solutions; instead they ‘satisfice’, adopting
choices that are ‘good enough’ but avoid them
expending angst and energy seeking something better.
Our whisky connoisseur is a satisficer in action,
modifying his own strong personal convictions
because, in this situation, he is buying a bottle for a
group of four colleagues to share and his governing
heuristic or rule of thumb is to buy the bottle that
everyone will like – and consider suitably upmarket.
Setting aside his own preferences, he goes for the
brand that he knows everybody else is most likely
to approve of.
‘Fridge fit’ is a well-known example of a satisficing
heuristic that leads shoppers to make unexpected
choices in categories like salad dressing. They choose
their dressing not based on how well it fits with their
beliefs about food and nutrition, but on how well
it fits into their fridge. Rustic, wholesome, organic
brands which use rustic-looking, squat, wide bottles
for their dressing, often fall foul of this heuristic.
Qualitative research has traditionally focused on
understanding the needs and emotions associated
with brands and categories: the connoisseurship
and distinction associated with single malt whisky,
the nostalgia and nurturance in a mug of Horlicks,
the warmth and homeliness of a rustic brand of
salad dressing. This approach aligns with the human
brain’s inherent striving for meaning, interpreting,
categorising and generally making sense of our
actions for future reference.
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
The need for rustic, wholesome dressing is in no
way less ‘real’ or ‘true’ than the inclination to buy
something that will fit in the fridge, but it is not the
full picture. And if we are to influence behaviour in
desired directions we need as full a picture as possible.
This is the real lesson of behavioural economics: the
importance of focusing on real choices; what people
really do, not just how they feel.
Focusing on needs and motivations helps us
identify positioning opportunities, shape brand
identities and give them meaning, and craft
compelling communication. Focusing on behaviour
helps unravel habits, shape usage and influence
choices at the point of purchase. Both are essential
for a complete understanding of how we make the
choices that we do – and for qualitative research to
make the fullest possible contribution to brand and
product strategies.
In Focus
10
Share this
Analysing the adaptive unconscious
In his book ‘Strangers to Ourselves’, psychologist
Timothy Wilson talks about how “It can be fruitless
to try to examine the adaptive unconscious by looking
inward.” Wilson argues instead that “It is often better
to deduce the nature of our hidden minds by looking
outward at our behaviour (…) and coming up with a
good narrative.”
Since habits and heuristics are shaped by contextual
factors, understanding their influence often requires
us to observe or recreate the contexts in which choices
are made. Diary formats give vital clues as to the actual
context within which choices are made, observation of
live behaviour is absolutely crucial for determining
what behaviour actually takes place within these
contexts. And where the behaviour of interest is not
current, it is vital to find ways of reconstructing past
events and behaviour in as vivid and accurate a manner
as possible. In this area, qualitative researchers can make
great progress by borrowing techniques from another
profession that involves a lot of similar questioning.
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
Police interviewing and unreliable eyewitnesses
Eyewitnesses who have unsuspectingly witnessed the
events surrounding a crime have often been exposed
to trivial details, which have since acquired vital
importance. The problem is, they had little interest in
recording or remembering these details at the time:
What was the number plate of the car that drove
past as they were walking down the street at 8 pm?
Was the window they passed open or closed? Were
they arguing or merely excited? Such details were
not accompanied by any emotional charge when
they were first experienced, to help lay down strong,
readily recalled memories. And in the absence of
those memories, officers must use other techniques to
activate the neural connections around the everyday
details that witnesses observed.
In Focus
11
Share this
Recreating context
The technique that police officers use to achieve this
is known as cognitive interviewing. It was developed
in the 1970s by the researchers Ronald Fisher and
Edward Geiselman and adopted by police forces
worldwide when it was shown to improve the
quality and accuracy of eyewitness recall.
Cognitive interviewing is based on
the idea that a failure to remember
something is a failure of recall rather
than a failure of encryption: once
something has been encoded in our
long-term memory, it is there to be
found, if we know where to look. An
analogy is a lost computer file: if we
have the right codes to retrieve it, we
will be able to do so.
The codes that cognitive interviewing uses to achieve
this are contextual: an event is stored in memory
along with the images, sounds, emotions and inner
states of being that accompanied it. Any one of these
contextual factors can help to bring back a memory –
think of the flood of memories we can unexpectedly
experience when we visit a childhood home, smell a
familiar perfume or hear a ‘forgotten’ piece of music.
The closer we can take the mind to a state in which it
originally experienced something, the more likely the
memory is to return. There is even evidence that an
event experienced when you are drunk is more likely
to be remembered if you become drunk again.
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
In Focus
12
Share this
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
The case for cognitive interviewing
Applying these cognitive interviewing techniques to
qualitative research can provide interviewers with
the tools to access the details of habitual behaviour
and heuristic-driven decisions that their subjects
do not consciously think about. Doing so requires
a patient, narrative-building approach to interview,
which follows the subject’s story and allows it to
proceed in a free-flowing manner that enables
contextual connections to emerge. And it requires
an interviewer with particular qualities: the ability
to allow meandering and avoid interruption, being
comfortable with silence, and above all, having deep
reserves of patience.
When TNS asked the lapsed Horlicks drinker to
describe her daily routine in this way, no longer
focusing directly on explanations for lapsing, other
clearly important factors started to emerge. Rather
than declining, her emotional need for Horlicks had
actually increased with the pressures of work – and
she deeply missed drinking it. Rather than changing
needs or motivations, the explanation for her change
of behaviour in fact lay in changing contexts and
internal and external cues: working long hours and
getting home late meant she did not have the time
or patience to make herself a cup of Horlicks late at
night; she had switched to drinking green tea as part
of a fitness regimen, and this started to spill over into
her evenings since the drink was easier to make; she
had also switched to soya milk to lose weight and
her occasional inclination to make a cup of Horlicks
at home was squashed because only soya milk was
available in her fridge; she had taken up smoking and
savouring her first cigarette of the day in the morning
did not leave her time to make Horlicks; besides, tea
went better with a cigarette than Horlicks did and
was easier to make as well. The heuristic that green
tea was more convenient to make became a habit
that triggered her to drink it in almost every situation,
despite the fact that on balance, she expresses a
strong preference for a comforting drink like Horlicks
on several of these occasions. Ironically, the need to
be healthy should have given a ‘health beverage’ like
Horlicks a firmer place in her repertoire of beverages.
However, the habits and heuristics resulting from new
contexts for her consumption pushed Horlicks out of
the picture entirely.
In Focus
13
Share this
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
The presence or absence of contextual cues often
lies behind changes of behaviour that individuals
themselves have trouble explaining. Our would-be
gym-goer, for example, is frustrated because she
knows that in her last job, when she worked in an
office with a gym downstairs, she worked out almost
every evening. Why can she not bring herself to do so
now? After all, the nearest gym is only a stop away
on the tube. The answer lies in a contextual cue that
has been removed. At her last workplace, colleagues
were always stopping by her desk on the way to the
gym. This provided a stable context and a regularly
repeated cue for her to go. When it was removed, in
an environment where colleagues no longer go to the
gym as a group, the gym-going behaviour ceased. The
strength of her motivation has not changed, but the
triggers for her behaviour have.
For Horlicks, the recommendations that emerge from
this approach are very different from those revealed by
focusing on the brand’s fit with the user’s needs and
motivations. Rather than re-engineering the product or
brand identity in an attempt to make it more relevant,
(it is already very close to this woman’s ideal), Horlicks
should focus on making it easier for our shopper to
drink it: communicating behaviour and consumption
contexts that fit with her current life: making Horlicks
available in the right format for the constraints of her
time and the physical environment (via office vending
machines or as single-serve sachets for example), or
suggesting the possibility of using soya milk as an
ingredient.
In Focus
14
Share this
The value of context,
or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
Committing to interpretation
Techniques such as cognitive interviewing can make
an immensely valuable contribution to understanding
consumer behaviour and developing strategies to
influence it. However, it is a contribution that requires
commitment on the part of qualitative researchers
themselves: a commitment to the interpretative role
of expert interviewers. Fragments of consumer
contexts need a researcher to string them together
into a coherent narrative, and the answers rarely
come directly from respondents’ own analysis of
events. Taking people’s responses and self-diagnoses
at face value is a trap that too much qualitative
research is starting to fall into. To understand
consumer choices in a meaningful way, we must
commit to a role for techniques that can add crucial
additional perspective by revealing the role of our
adaptive unconscious. Otherwise, the true threats
and opportunities for brands will continue to remain
something of a mystery.
In Focus
15
Share this
About In Focus
In Focus is part of a regular series of articles that takes an in-depth look at a particular subject, region or
demographic in more detail. All articles are written by TNS consultants and based on their expertise gathered
through working on client assignments in over 80 markets globally, with additional insights gained through
TNS proprietary studies such as Digital Life, Mobile Life and The Commitment Economy.
About TNS
TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and
stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence
in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands
individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world.
TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups.
Please visit www.tnsglobal.com for more information.
Get in touch
If you would like to talk to us about anything you have read in this report, please get in touch via
enquiries@tnsglobal.com or via Twitter @tns_global
About the author
Anjali Puri is Managing Director, TNS Qualitative,
Asia-Pacific. A seasoned qualitative researcher
with over two decades in the industry, Anjali has
been active in the development of new qualitative
methodologies, and has contributed to shaping
contemporary thinking in qualitative research
globally, particularly in the areas of consumer
choices, behaviour change and social media.
Passionate about understanding cultures and
how they shape our relationships with brands,
Anjali is currently working on understanding how
archetypal needs translate across cultures.
Anjali is a frequent presenter at ESOMAR and other
industry forums, and has received multiple awards,
including the ‘Best New Thinking’ award by the
UK MRS as well as the prestigious Atticus Award in
2013 in the ‘Research in Practice’ category.
You may be interested in
A manifesto for qualitative research >
The Brain Game >

More Related Content

Similar to In focus - The value of context

psych assignment journal.docx
psych assignment journal.docxpsych assignment journal.docx
psych assignment journal.docxgabchin29
 
Analyzing Consumer Market.pptx
Analyzing Consumer Market.pptxAnalyzing Consumer Market.pptx
Analyzing Consumer Market.pptxAmitRaj200
 
Chapter 6 Analyzing Consumer Market
Chapter 6 Analyzing Consumer MarketChapter 6 Analyzing Consumer Market
Chapter 6 Analyzing Consumer MarketKsee Valderas
 
Clarification And Internalization Of Values
Clarification And Internalization Of ValuesClarification And Internalization Of Values
Clarification And Internalization Of ValuesLisa Montero
 
Genova, v. (332291vg)
Genova, v. (332291vg)Genova, v. (332291vg)
Genova, v. (332291vg)Asad Azeem
 
Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012
Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012
Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012jacksonl-northwood
 
Fixated consumption behavior final
Fixated consumption behavior finalFixated consumption behavior final
Fixated consumption behavior finalharshitabaranwal
 
CHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docx
CHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docxCHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docx
CHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docxchristinemaritza
 
Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01
Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01
Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01Cindy Carinea
 
consumer Buying Behaviour
consumer Buying Behaviourconsumer Buying Behaviour
consumer Buying BehaviourGCUF
 
Analyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler Keller
Analyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler KellerAnalyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler Keller
Analyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler KellerChoudhry Asad
 
Miguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers Spent
Miguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers  SpentMiguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers  Spent
Miguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers SpentMShareS
 

Similar to In focus - The value of context (20)

psych assignment journal.docx
psych assignment journal.docxpsych assignment journal.docx
psych assignment journal.docx
 
Consumer behavior
Consumer behaviorConsumer behavior
Consumer behavior
 
Consumer behavior
Consumer behaviorConsumer behavior
Consumer behavior
 
Week 6.pptx
Week 6.pptxWeek 6.pptx
Week 6.pptx
 
Analyzing Consumer Market.pptx
Analyzing Consumer Market.pptxAnalyzing Consumer Market.pptx
Analyzing Consumer Market.pptx
 
5 psychoanalytic theory
5 psychoanalytic theory5 psychoanalytic theory
5 psychoanalytic theory
 
Chapter 6 Analyzing Consumer Market
Chapter 6 Analyzing Consumer MarketChapter 6 Analyzing Consumer Market
Chapter 6 Analyzing Consumer Market
 
Clarification And Internalization Of Values
Clarification And Internalization Of ValuesClarification And Internalization Of Values
Clarification And Internalization Of Values
 
Genova, v. (332291vg)
Genova, v. (332291vg)Genova, v. (332291vg)
Genova, v. (332291vg)
 
Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012
Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012
Mkt3050 – consumer behavior week 3 april 2, 2012
 
Fixated consumption behavior final
Fixated consumption behavior finalFixated consumption behavior final
Fixated consumption behavior final
 
Cb 3.1
Cb 3.1Cb 3.1
Cb 3.1
 
CHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docx
CHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docxCHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docx
CHAPTER The Benefit and Manner of Asking the Right Quest.docx
 
O Behave! Issue 18
O Behave! Issue 18O Behave! Issue 18
O Behave! Issue 18
 
4. Consumer Motivation.pdf
4. Consumer Motivation.pdf4. Consumer Motivation.pdf
4. Consumer Motivation.pdf
 
Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01
Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01
Personality self-concept-121215095455-phpapp01
 
262 pre
262 pre262 pre
262 pre
 
consumer Buying Behaviour
consumer Buying Behaviourconsumer Buying Behaviour
consumer Buying Behaviour
 
Analyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler Keller
Analyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler KellerAnalyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler Keller
Analyzing Consumer Markets / Marketing Management By Kotler Keller
 
Miguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers Spent
Miguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers  SpentMiguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers  Spent
Miguel Barbosa, Simolone Sense Reviews Geoffery Millers Spent
 

More from Serge Schumacher

TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...
TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...
TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...Serge Schumacher
 
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...Serge Schumacher
 
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...Serge Schumacher
 
L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013
L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013
L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013Serge Schumacher
 
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéAXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéSerge Schumacher
 
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéAXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéSerge Schumacher
 
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéAXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéSerge Schumacher
 
In focus blessing in disguise
In focus blessing in disguiseIn focus blessing in disguise
In focus blessing in disguiseSerge Schumacher
 
TNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dez
TNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dezTNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dez
TNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dezSerge Schumacher
 
TNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I - 17-18 Dez
TNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I  - 17-18 DezTNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I  - 17-18 Dez
TNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I - 17-18 DezSerge Schumacher
 
TNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publique
TNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publiqueTNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publique
TNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publiqueSerge Schumacher
 
TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013
TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013
TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013Serge Schumacher
 
Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013
Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013
Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013Serge Schumacher
 
Tns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourg
Tns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourgTns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourg
Tns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourgSerge Schumacher
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...Serge Schumacher
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...Serge Schumacher
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...Serge Schumacher
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...Serge Schumacher
 

More from Serge Schumacher (20)

TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...
TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...
TNS ILRES – PolitMonitor LW-RTL Fréijoer 2104 - Volet 4 - élections européenn...
 
The Value of Context
The Value of ContextThe Value of Context
The Value of Context
 
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - Volet 2 - Confiance, trois d...
 
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...
TNS ILRES Politmonitor Fréijoer EP-Wahlen 2014 - volet 1 - Popularité des pol...
 
L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013
L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013
L’OPINION PUBLIQUE DANS L’UE AUTOMNE 2013
 
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéAXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
 
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéAXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
 
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santéAXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
AXA Luxembourg - Communiqué-Baromètre santé
 
In focus blessing in disguise
In focus blessing in disguiseIn focus blessing in disguise
In focus blessing in disguise
 
In focus making memories
In focus   making memoriesIn focus   making memories
In focus making memories
 
TNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dez
TNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dezTNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dez
TNS ILRES Polit monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 deel II - 18-19 dez
 
TNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I - 17-18 Dez
TNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I  - 17-18 DezTNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I  - 17-18 Dez
TNS ILReS - Polit Monitor RTL-LW nouveau gouvernement 2013 Deel I - 17-18 Dez
 
TNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publique
TNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publiqueTNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publique
TNS ILReS - Le fait religieux en 2013 au luxembourg - état de l'opinion publique
 
TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013
TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013
TNS ILReS - 25 joer Biolandwirtschaft zu Lëtzebuerg 2013
 
Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013
Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013
Tns Ilres sondage Juegd zu Lëtzebuerg fir fshcl Juin 2013
 
Tns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourg
Tns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourgTns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourg
Tns Ilres CSDD 2013 La vie au luxembourg
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 6 vert...
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 5 komp...
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 7 kara...
 
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...Polit monitor lëtzebuerg   rtl  luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...
Polit monitor lëtzebuerg rtl luxemburger wort september 2013 volet 3 aschä...
 

Recently uploaded

Blinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptx
Blinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptxBlinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptx
Blinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptxSaksham Gupta
 
Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024
Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024
Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024Equinox Gold Corp.
 
MichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdf
MichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdfMichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdf
MichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdfmstarkes24
 
HR and Employment law update: May 2024.
HR and Employment law update:  May 2024.HR and Employment law update:  May 2024.
HR and Employment law update: May 2024.FelixPerez547899
 
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement Criteria
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement CriteriaSedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement Criteria
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement Criteriamilos639
 
How to refresh to be fit for the future world
How to refresh to be fit for the future worldHow to refresh to be fit for the future world
How to refresh to be fit for the future worldChris Skinner
 
Pitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deck
Pitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deckPitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deck
Pitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deckHajeJanKamps
 
Series A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by Accion
Series A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by AccionSeries A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by Accion
Series A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by AccionAlejandro Cremades
 
Unlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlast
Unlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlastUnlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlast
Unlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlastInstBlast Marketing
 
The Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdf
The Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdfThe Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdf
The Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdfMont Surfaces
 
Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)
Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)
Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)linciy03
 
How to Maintain Healthy Life style.pptx
How to Maintain  Healthy Life style.pptxHow to Maintain  Healthy Life style.pptx
How to Maintain Healthy Life style.pptxrdishurana
 
HAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future Prospects
HAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future ProspectsHAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future Prospects
HAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future ProspectsRajesh Gupta
 
Creative Ideas for Interactive Team Presentations
Creative Ideas for Interactive Team PresentationsCreative Ideas for Interactive Team Presentations
Creative Ideas for Interactive Team PresentationsSlidesAI
 
Unveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptx
Unveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptxUnveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptx
Unveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptxmy Pandit
 
New Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9lo
New Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9loNew Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9lo
New Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9logalbokkahewagenitash
 
Event Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybrid
Event Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybridEvent Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybrid
Event Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybridHolger Mueller
 
Powers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdf
Powers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdfPowers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdf
Powers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdflinciy03
 
NewBase 24 May 2024 Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...
NewBase   24 May  2024  Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...NewBase   24 May  2024  Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...
NewBase 24 May 2024 Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...Khaled Al Awadi
 
Hyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings release
Hyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings releaseHyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings release
Hyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings releaseirhcs
 

Recently uploaded (20)

Blinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptx
Blinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptxBlinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptx
Blinkit: Revolutionizing the On-Demand Grocery Delivery Service.pptx
 
Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024
Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024
Equinox Gold Corporate Deck May 24th 2024
 
MichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdf
MichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdfMichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdf
MichaelStarkes_UncutGemsProjectSummary.pdf
 
HR and Employment law update: May 2024.
HR and Employment law update:  May 2024.HR and Employment law update:  May 2024.
HR and Employment law update: May 2024.
 
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement Criteria
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement CriteriaSedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement Criteria
Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit (SMETA) Measurement Criteria
 
How to refresh to be fit for the future world
How to refresh to be fit for the future worldHow to refresh to be fit for the future world
How to refresh to be fit for the future world
 
Pitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deck
Pitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deckPitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deck
Pitch Deck Teardown: Terra One's $7.5m Seed deck
 
Series A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by Accion
Series A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by AccionSeries A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by Accion
Series A Fundraising Guide (Investing Individuals Improving Our World) by Accion
 
Unlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlast
Unlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlastUnlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlast
Unlock Your TikTok Potential: Free TikTok Likes with InstBlast
 
The Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdf
The Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdfThe Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdf
The Truth About Dinesh Bafna's Situation.pdf
 
Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)
Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)
Special Purpose Vehicle (Purpose, Formation & examples)
 
How to Maintain Healthy Life style.pptx
How to Maintain  Healthy Life style.pptxHow to Maintain  Healthy Life style.pptx
How to Maintain Healthy Life style.pptx
 
HAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future Prospects
HAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future ProspectsHAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future Prospects
HAL Financial Performance Analysis and Future Prospects
 
Creative Ideas for Interactive Team Presentations
Creative Ideas for Interactive Team PresentationsCreative Ideas for Interactive Team Presentations
Creative Ideas for Interactive Team Presentations
 
Unveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptx
Unveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptxUnveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptx
Unveiling the Dynamic Gemini_ Personality Traits and Sign Dates.pptx
 
New Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9lo
New Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9loNew Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9lo
New Product Development.kjiy7ggbfdsddggo9lo
 
Event Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybrid
Event Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybridEvent Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybrid
Event Report - IBM Think 2024 - It is all about AI and hybrid
 
Powers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdf
Powers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdfPowers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdf
Powers and Functions of CPCB - The Water Act 1974.pdf
 
NewBase 24 May 2024 Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...
NewBase   24 May  2024  Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...NewBase   24 May  2024  Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...
NewBase 24 May 2024 Energy News issue - 1727 by Khaled Al Awadi_compresse...
 
Hyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings release
Hyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings releaseHyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings release
Hyundai capital 2024 1q Earnings release
 

In focus - The value of context

  • 1. In Focus 1 Share this The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics Opinion LeaderResearch excellence
  • 2. In Focus 2 Share this The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics Qualitative research is uniquely positioned to uncover the true drivers of consumer behaviour, but can only do so if it starts to look beyond our articulated wants and needs This report is based on an original paper first delivered at ESOMAR and subsequently the winner of the prestigious WPP Research in Practice Atticus Award in 2013.
  • 3. In Focus 3 Share this A successful city trader walks into a fashionable New York City bar. As he scans the bottles of spirits behind the bartender, he is excited to see a rare bottle of single malt: his signature brand with a distinct taste that he believes makes it the best whisky ever distilled. It’s expensive but within his price range. However, when the bartender asks what he would like, he pauses for a moment and orders a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label instead. He also asks for four glasses.
  • 4. In Focus 4 Share this In New Delhi, a woman makes her way purposefully along the aisle of a supermarket, quickly and efficiently picking out her regular purchases and adding them to her basket. Next to the section filled with instant teas and coffees, she pauses. She picks up a jar of Horlicks from the shelf, studies it for a moment and then replaces it on the shelf and moves on.
  • 5. In Focus 5 Share this Another woman packs up her belongings at her desk in an office in central London. She scoops up a gym bag from beside her chair, looks at it and sighs. Then she walks downstairs, heads for the tube station, and goes straight home.
  • 6. In Focus 6 Share this Situations such as these illustrate an issue with which qualitative researchers are very familiar: the fact that that behavioural intention, such as going to the gym, losing weight and staying healthy, does not always translate into actual behaviour; that strong, personal brand preferences do not always translate into brand choices. Qualitative research offers marketers the greatest opportunity for revealing why such intentions do not produce the behaviour that we might expect. But its ability to deliver the correct explanation depends on where it looks for the answers. The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
  • 7. In Focus 7 Share this Tell me what you want, what you really, really want Most qualitative research today starts from a psychoanalytical view of human behaviour that is derived from Freud and considers that apparently contradictory behaviour results from hidden emotions, wants and needs. Researchers prompt interviewees to think in more detail about why they fail to make the decisions their stated preferences suggest they should, seeking to uncover deeper motivations or beliefs that might explain the behaviour. In the case of our whisky connoisseur, the deeper belief that emerges might be a conviction that his favourite whisky is best suited to quiet, contemplative evenings at home rather than lively, buzzing nights out. For our would-be gym-goer, the explanation could be that she believes she is not in the best state to visit the gym after long taxing days at work and instead needs to unwind, recharge and visit in the morning. For our supermarket shopper, the subject of a test interview conducted by TNS to demonstrate the results delivered by different approaches to qualitative research, the answer lay in the fact that she used to love Horlicks as a child or a young woman but she is now an adult, and no longer ‘needs’ the ‘fattening’ milk that is the main ingredient in a Horlicks drink. The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
  • 8. In Focus 8 Share this Good answers, incomplete questions Inviting consumers to consider more deeply the reasons for their actions almost always produces an answer. And if we ask the right questions we are often able to avoid superficial, rationalised responses and touch hidden layers of needs and motivations. The problem, as advances in neuroscience and behavioural economics keep reminding us, is that needs and motivations are at best only half the picture. There are few more powerful fits with motivations than a gym and the desire that it embodies to be fit, attractive and healthy – but many people still do not go to the gym despite spending a lot of money on their membership. There are other mental forces at work that are not apparent to a needs-based approach and cannot be revealed simply by exploring feelings more deeply. In fact, they rarely feature in spontaneous answers at all. The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics Behavioural economics teaches us that human behaviour is often automatic and unthinking, and is shaped far more heavily by momentary contextual factors than we realise. These contexts can be both internal and external. They include our automatic habitual responses, the heuristics or rules of thumb that we follow every day, and the constraints of the physical environment. The problem for qualitative researchers is that these factors, which we adapt to without thinking, are not easily brought to mind when we are asked to think about why we behave the way that we do.
  • 9. In Focus 9 Share this What Freud wouldn’t do: the lessons of behavioural economics In this way, the ‘unconscious’ factors that often trigger behaviour are not a pool of deep desires and feelings such as that conceived of by Freud, but an active, adaptive management system, focused on navigating life and responding to the physical environment as efficiently and effectively as possible. One frequently observed outcome is that people do not usually seek out ideal solutions; instead they ‘satisfice’, adopting choices that are ‘good enough’ but avoid them expending angst and energy seeking something better. Our whisky connoisseur is a satisficer in action, modifying his own strong personal convictions because, in this situation, he is buying a bottle for a group of four colleagues to share and his governing heuristic or rule of thumb is to buy the bottle that everyone will like – and consider suitably upmarket. Setting aside his own preferences, he goes for the brand that he knows everybody else is most likely to approve of. ‘Fridge fit’ is a well-known example of a satisficing heuristic that leads shoppers to make unexpected choices in categories like salad dressing. They choose their dressing not based on how well it fits with their beliefs about food and nutrition, but on how well it fits into their fridge. Rustic, wholesome, organic brands which use rustic-looking, squat, wide bottles for their dressing, often fall foul of this heuristic. Qualitative research has traditionally focused on understanding the needs and emotions associated with brands and categories: the connoisseurship and distinction associated with single malt whisky, the nostalgia and nurturance in a mug of Horlicks, the warmth and homeliness of a rustic brand of salad dressing. This approach aligns with the human brain’s inherent striving for meaning, interpreting, categorising and generally making sense of our actions for future reference. The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics The need for rustic, wholesome dressing is in no way less ‘real’ or ‘true’ than the inclination to buy something that will fit in the fridge, but it is not the full picture. And if we are to influence behaviour in desired directions we need as full a picture as possible. This is the real lesson of behavioural economics: the importance of focusing on real choices; what people really do, not just how they feel. Focusing on needs and motivations helps us identify positioning opportunities, shape brand identities and give them meaning, and craft compelling communication. Focusing on behaviour helps unravel habits, shape usage and influence choices at the point of purchase. Both are essential for a complete understanding of how we make the choices that we do – and for qualitative research to make the fullest possible contribution to brand and product strategies.
  • 10. In Focus 10 Share this Analysing the adaptive unconscious In his book ‘Strangers to Ourselves’, psychologist Timothy Wilson talks about how “It can be fruitless to try to examine the adaptive unconscious by looking inward.” Wilson argues instead that “It is often better to deduce the nature of our hidden minds by looking outward at our behaviour (…) and coming up with a good narrative.” Since habits and heuristics are shaped by contextual factors, understanding their influence often requires us to observe or recreate the contexts in which choices are made. Diary formats give vital clues as to the actual context within which choices are made, observation of live behaviour is absolutely crucial for determining what behaviour actually takes place within these contexts. And where the behaviour of interest is not current, it is vital to find ways of reconstructing past events and behaviour in as vivid and accurate a manner as possible. In this area, qualitative researchers can make great progress by borrowing techniques from another profession that involves a lot of similar questioning. The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics Police interviewing and unreliable eyewitnesses Eyewitnesses who have unsuspectingly witnessed the events surrounding a crime have often been exposed to trivial details, which have since acquired vital importance. The problem is, they had little interest in recording or remembering these details at the time: What was the number plate of the car that drove past as they were walking down the street at 8 pm? Was the window they passed open or closed? Were they arguing or merely excited? Such details were not accompanied by any emotional charge when they were first experienced, to help lay down strong, readily recalled memories. And in the absence of those memories, officers must use other techniques to activate the neural connections around the everyday details that witnesses observed.
  • 11. In Focus 11 Share this Recreating context The technique that police officers use to achieve this is known as cognitive interviewing. It was developed in the 1970s by the researchers Ronald Fisher and Edward Geiselman and adopted by police forces worldwide when it was shown to improve the quality and accuracy of eyewitness recall. Cognitive interviewing is based on the idea that a failure to remember something is a failure of recall rather than a failure of encryption: once something has been encoded in our long-term memory, it is there to be found, if we know where to look. An analogy is a lost computer file: if we have the right codes to retrieve it, we will be able to do so. The codes that cognitive interviewing uses to achieve this are contextual: an event is stored in memory along with the images, sounds, emotions and inner states of being that accompanied it. Any one of these contextual factors can help to bring back a memory – think of the flood of memories we can unexpectedly experience when we visit a childhood home, smell a familiar perfume or hear a ‘forgotten’ piece of music. The closer we can take the mind to a state in which it originally experienced something, the more likely the memory is to return. There is even evidence that an event experienced when you are drunk is more likely to be remembered if you become drunk again. The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics
  • 12. In Focus 12 Share this The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics The case for cognitive interviewing Applying these cognitive interviewing techniques to qualitative research can provide interviewers with the tools to access the details of habitual behaviour and heuristic-driven decisions that their subjects do not consciously think about. Doing so requires a patient, narrative-building approach to interview, which follows the subject’s story and allows it to proceed in a free-flowing manner that enables contextual connections to emerge. And it requires an interviewer with particular qualities: the ability to allow meandering and avoid interruption, being comfortable with silence, and above all, having deep reserves of patience. When TNS asked the lapsed Horlicks drinker to describe her daily routine in this way, no longer focusing directly on explanations for lapsing, other clearly important factors started to emerge. Rather than declining, her emotional need for Horlicks had actually increased with the pressures of work – and she deeply missed drinking it. Rather than changing needs or motivations, the explanation for her change of behaviour in fact lay in changing contexts and internal and external cues: working long hours and getting home late meant she did not have the time or patience to make herself a cup of Horlicks late at night; she had switched to drinking green tea as part of a fitness regimen, and this started to spill over into her evenings since the drink was easier to make; she had also switched to soya milk to lose weight and her occasional inclination to make a cup of Horlicks at home was squashed because only soya milk was available in her fridge; she had taken up smoking and savouring her first cigarette of the day in the morning did not leave her time to make Horlicks; besides, tea went better with a cigarette than Horlicks did and was easier to make as well. The heuristic that green tea was more convenient to make became a habit that triggered her to drink it in almost every situation, despite the fact that on balance, she expresses a strong preference for a comforting drink like Horlicks on several of these occasions. Ironically, the need to be healthy should have given a ‘health beverage’ like Horlicks a firmer place in her repertoire of beverages. However, the habits and heuristics resulting from new contexts for her consumption pushed Horlicks out of the picture entirely.
  • 13. In Focus 13 Share this The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics The presence or absence of contextual cues often lies behind changes of behaviour that individuals themselves have trouble explaining. Our would-be gym-goer, for example, is frustrated because she knows that in her last job, when she worked in an office with a gym downstairs, she worked out almost every evening. Why can she not bring herself to do so now? After all, the nearest gym is only a stop away on the tube. The answer lies in a contextual cue that has been removed. At her last workplace, colleagues were always stopping by her desk on the way to the gym. This provided a stable context and a regularly repeated cue for her to go. When it was removed, in an environment where colleagues no longer go to the gym as a group, the gym-going behaviour ceased. The strength of her motivation has not changed, but the triggers for her behaviour have. For Horlicks, the recommendations that emerge from this approach are very different from those revealed by focusing on the brand’s fit with the user’s needs and motivations. Rather than re-engineering the product or brand identity in an attempt to make it more relevant, (it is already very close to this woman’s ideal), Horlicks should focus on making it easier for our shopper to drink it: communicating behaviour and consumption contexts that fit with her current life: making Horlicks available in the right format for the constraints of her time and the physical environment (via office vending machines or as single-serve sachets for example), or suggesting the possibility of using soya milk as an ingredient.
  • 14. In Focus 14 Share this The value of context, or what qualitative research can learn from behavioural economics Committing to interpretation Techniques such as cognitive interviewing can make an immensely valuable contribution to understanding consumer behaviour and developing strategies to influence it. However, it is a contribution that requires commitment on the part of qualitative researchers themselves: a commitment to the interpretative role of expert interviewers. Fragments of consumer contexts need a researcher to string them together into a coherent narrative, and the answers rarely come directly from respondents’ own analysis of events. Taking people’s responses and self-diagnoses at face value is a trap that too much qualitative research is starting to fall into. To understand consumer choices in a meaningful way, we must commit to a role for techniques that can add crucial additional perspective by revealing the role of our adaptive unconscious. Otherwise, the true threats and opportunities for brands will continue to remain something of a mystery.
  • 15. In Focus 15 Share this About In Focus In Focus is part of a regular series of articles that takes an in-depth look at a particular subject, region or demographic in more detail. All articles are written by TNS consultants and based on their expertise gathered through working on client assignments in over 80 markets globally, with additional insights gained through TNS proprietary studies such as Digital Life, Mobile Life and The Commitment Economy. About TNS TNS advises clients on specific growth strategies around new market entry, innovation, brand switching and stakeholder management, based on long-established expertise and market-leading solutions. With a presence in over 80 countries, TNS has more conversations with the world’s consumers than anyone else and understands individual human behaviours and attitudes across every cultural, economic and political region of the world. TNS is part of Kantar, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. Please visit www.tnsglobal.com for more information. Get in touch If you would like to talk to us about anything you have read in this report, please get in touch via enquiries@tnsglobal.com or via Twitter @tns_global About the author Anjali Puri is Managing Director, TNS Qualitative, Asia-Pacific. A seasoned qualitative researcher with over two decades in the industry, Anjali has been active in the development of new qualitative methodologies, and has contributed to shaping contemporary thinking in qualitative research globally, particularly in the areas of consumer choices, behaviour change and social media. Passionate about understanding cultures and how they shape our relationships with brands, Anjali is currently working on understanding how archetypal needs translate across cultures. Anjali is a frequent presenter at ESOMAR and other industry forums, and has received multiple awards, including the ‘Best New Thinking’ award by the UK MRS as well as the prestigious Atticus Award in 2013 in the ‘Research in Practice’ category. You may be interested in A manifesto for qualitative research > The Brain Game >