Researchers Apply VR to Help Unlock the Unconscious in Consumer Decision Making
By Marc Dresner, IIR
Say you’re in a warehouse on a platform suspended 60 feet above a cold,
hard concrete floor.
A ‘friend’ dares you to traverse a narrow catwalk’no railings’to
the other side of the warehouse.
that this was all an illusion’albeit a very realistic one’and that you were actually
in an office with your feet planted firmly on plush carpeting?
that first step is still a doozy.
create simulations that feel so authentic that subjects have difficulty overriding
their intrinsic impulses with logic and reason.
Ergo, Sachman says when he first put on virtual reality
goggles to tackle ‘the pit’ exercise he froze.
to understand how smart people’no matter how well they know the situation and
no matter how hard they try’they can’t stop their non-conscious from taking
over their mind,’ Sachman said.
the intriguing notion that this technology might be thus applied by consumer
researchers to get at that unconscious real estate in our heads purportedly responsible
for the lion’s share of decisions.
reality’LRW has trademarked ‘Applied VR”in pursuit of the Holy Grail of
insights is precisely what Sachman, his colleagues and their partners at the
Pragmatic Brain Science Institute (co-founded by Sachman) have been working on.
Research Insighter podcast series, Sachman discusses what they’ve been up to,
how it works and why VR is not just another shiny new toy for researchers to
ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s senior editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @mdrezz.