In psychological terms, context is almost everything. Much as we like to think that we know how we will act and react in a given situation, without the richness of...
One of the advantages of understanding how the process of asking people questions influences them is that you can have fun demonstrating its impact.
I was recently invited to speak to a local business group and took the opportunity to demonstrate the frailty of asking questions and the nature of the unconscious mind.
Whilst the samples were too small to be scientifically valid, the differences in responses to my fake research were both predictable and entertaining.
I set up a taste test using three very similar products: one was from a value range, one from the ‘standard’ range and one the premium offer. Everyone was led to believe that they were taking part in legitimate market research and that they all had the same questions.
In fact there were five different questionnaires, all asking the participants to taste three products and answer some questions.
What was I able to demonstrate?
- People will express a preference when given identical products to rate.
- People’s taste preferences are influenced by branding.
- People have no clue how much most products normally cost.
- When asked to analyse aspects of a product (like sweetness and texture) people reach a different conclusion about which product is best (compared to when asked simply to select a favourite).