Tag Archives: Psychology

All Emotions Are Not Created Equal

By David Forbes, Ph.D.

I just returned from the Insight Innovation Exchange
conference in Philadelphia, where a broad range of market research scientists
and professionals gathered to talk about techniques for emotional measurement
and emotional research. As I look back on
the three-day event, it seems that the most striking feature was the range of
diversity in both the methods proposed for studying emotions, and in the types
of phenomena under study ‘ all of them called ‘emotion.’

The study of emotions as they drive consumer behavior is
still a relatively new focus for market
. It seems important at this early point to begin clarifying the
various options for this type of research ‘ the various types of phenomena that
can be called ‘emotions.’ In our work, we focus on one particular type of
emotional force that I heard very little about at IIEX ‘ the type of emotional
force that can pull someone from their armchair at home, move them to their
automobile, and get them to a retail store to purchase a particular type of
product, hoping for a particular type of outcome from that purchase. 
Psychologists typically call this type of emotional force ‘motivation.’
I believe that it’s important that the study of motivation
occupy a central role in Market Researchers’ study of emotion ‘ for several
Firstly, the emotional forces of Motivation are what we
should be studying when we seek to uncover new business opportunities in the
consumer lifestyle ‘ because motivational drives which are unfulfilled in a
consumer’s life represent emotional need states that can be targeted by new
product ideas.
Secondly, the emotional forces of Motivation are also what
need to be targeted by marketing strategists who wish to have a product story
that is arousing and compelling. A new product concept is far more likely to
succeed if it offers the promise of emotional benefits that speak to consumer
lifestyle aspirations and frustrations. And finally the emotional forces of
Motivation should be the target of communication impact for advertisers who
want their messages to become a call to action.
Motivations vs. other
Motivations can be distinguished from other types of
emotion in part because they derive from forces inside the individual, rather
than being primarily ‘reactive’ to outside stimuli. We all carry around inside
us two distinct forms of motivational forces. One type consists of
aspirations that we have to make our experience of life better ‘ a desire for
outcomes which psychology calls ‘positive reinforcement.’ The other type
consists of frustrations that we experience in life which, drive us to seek
relief ‘ that drive for what psychology calls ‘negative reinforcement.’ In
my recent paper in the Review of General Psychology, I’ve attempted
to summarize a great deal of research
on these motives, developing a unified model that identifies nine distinct
types of motivating emotional forces, each of which can be manifest as an
aspiration for positive outcomes, or a search for relief from frustration of
negative situations.
Clearly the concept of emotion can take several other forms
aside from the emotions of motivation. We can study general states of arousal,
we can study the various sensory-emotional states activated by experiences in
life (like excitement), we can study emotion as a pattern of vascular activity
through the technique of brain imaging, we can study physiological expression
emotional states as expressed by the facial muscles (like happiness, or
disgust). And based on my experience at IIEX, I suspect that all of these types
of emotion will continue to play a role in the work of Market Researchers.
I only hope that enough of us decide to focus on the
emotions that drive motivation, and seek to understand the aspirations and
frustrations that drive consumer choices and actions in life.
Want to learn more
about this topic? Attend TMRE 2013 in
Nashville, TN October 21-23. For details, click here:  http://bit.ly/1aOb0Zm We hope to see you
About the Author:
David Forbes holds a Ph.D. in clinical and cognitive psychology from Clark
University, and was a member of the faculties of Harvard Medical School
Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Laboratory of Human Development before
beginning his career as a business consultant. He founded Forbes Consulting
over 20 years ago as a strategic market research consultancy dedicated to
creating business advantage through psychological consumer insights. He has
since built Forbes into a major resource for scores of major corporations in
the CPG, Financial Services, and Pharmaceuticals industries, domestically and
internationally. David is the creator of the MindSight?? emotional
assessment technologies, a suite of applied neuropsychological methods for
understanding consumer emotion and motivation, without the distortions of
conscious editing and self-presentation

The ‘Insight’ Scoop into the Job of a Market Researcher

A market researcher’s job is crucial to the success of
marketing. Market research can identify market trends, demographics, economic
shifts, customer’s buying habits, and important information about competition. Knowing
this information is essential to the success of your business as it will guide
you in making strategic business decisions, uncovering unmet customer needs,
and in many cases, help you discover new ideas.
At TMRE 2012 last year, IIR’s Marc Dresner sat down with Frederic
John, Senior Business Leader, Global Intelligence Team, MasterCard, Principal
at C Frederic John & Associates, Vice President, Esomar, in an exclusive interview
to discuss the changing role of the market researcher and the increasing need
to the specific market research candidates.
According to John, the industry can no longer rely on people
stumbling into the profession as it has done historically. Market research has
been lucky historically that it has attracted people out of three groups
including, people with quantitative statistical skills; people with psychology
or sociology backgrounds; and a people including who simply fell into the
field, realized they loved it and never left.
‘The reality is we have benefited from these generalists who
didn’t go in with a math or psych background, but were able to learn the basics
and then apply a lot of other characteristics and skills to their projects. So,
it is very important for us to make an active effort to get these people to
consider us,’ he explained.’
So, what makes a great market researcher?
‘I think disposition is more important than discipline,’ said
John. He believes that what truly makes a successful market researcher is someone
with curiosity, who likes to solve puzzles, and who is interested in understanding
how things work. This requires people who really are trying to get at the nuts
and bolts of what’s driving human behavior.
‘Our greatest contribution to business is essentially understanding
consumer motivation – getting at what people do, why people do things, and
ultimately why they change or what may get them to change behavior,’ commented
John shared some advice to fellow market researchers: ‘You’ve
got to have fun on the job!’ he said. ‘We’ve all been on projects that send us
home depressed. But, most of the time, you’ve got to enjoy what you are doing.’
To watch the full interview, click here: http://bit.ly/12v2p54
Stay tuned for more on this topic at the upcoming TMRE 2013 in Nashville!

Beyond Age & Life Stage: Using Psychological Profiling to Better Understand Women

Demographics don’t drive her behavior. They are just one
brushstroke in the portrait of today’s women.
In this interactive webinar entitled, ‘Beyond Age &Life Stage: Using Psychological Profiling to Better Understand Women,’ Insights
in Marketing, LLC’s i-on-Women team of experts will discuss how the overreliance
on demographics can lead you astray and how a deeper, more holistic
understanding of your female target can lead to more impactful marketing. On
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 1 PM EDT get a sneak peek into i-on-Women’s
psychological profiles of US women and learn how to use these profiles to
create breakthrough marketing.
Join Insights in Marketing as we use industry-leading
research to:
‘             Talk
about the pitfalls of stereotyping based on demographics
‘             Identify
psychological attributes that drive behaviors
‘             Explore
2 of our 5 identified psychological profiles of US women
‘             Demonstrate
the value of psychological profiling through a real-life case study
‘             Provide
tips to elevate your marketing using these profiles
As founder of Insights in Marketing, LLC’s i-on-Women
team, Tinesha has a passion for uncovering insights about her that matter.
Tinesha brings clarity and understanding to the many issues that marketers
struggle to understand when targeting the female consumer.
A true social scientist with a background in psychology,
Chad is a critical member of Insights in Marketing LLC’s i-on-Women team. Chad
specializes in employing creative, female-centric research techniques to
achieve a bigger picture female consumer understanding.
Want to learn more about how a deeper understanding of
your female target can greatly improve your marketing? Register today! http://bit.ly/18LshP8 

How to Take Choice Modeling to the Next Level

At The 2013 Future of Consumer Intelligence conference, SKIM thought leaders, Eline van der Gaast and Joris Huisman, shared new methods and techniques for expanding the ability to create forward looking models accounting for rational and emotional choice behavior. These models enable marketers and product developers to make strategic and tactical decisions. 
For more information about this presentation, visit Skimgroup.

Live from FOCI 2013: The Future Consumer, brought to life by one shot visuals

Perhaps the most refreshing start to the day is having a presentation that is essentially not a presentation, but rather a movie, a conversation, or simply a kaleidoscopic peak into the future. The opening at FOCI13 epitomizes the fact that there is no room for templates, formality or the usual conservativeness usually associated with crisp corporate.

The learnings are that consumers and corporate are becoming more open to informality, change, and embracing the variety of options to communicate – via mobile, social, or simply empowered with the notion that their opinion matters. And with more ways to communicate with each other and brands – the one spiking currently being Snapchat, the market is becoming crowded, busy, and with the need for sounder research. Ethnic diversity, cost savvy-ness, sharing (versus ownership) and the likes are all consequential findings. It ends on an interesting note of the existence of technology, and if there is really a threshold of how much we really need it.

Jaspar Roos, with all his Dutch humor (having lived in Holland and working with a Dutch company, I’d know this!) and livelihood of poking fun at industries from banking to insurance, made for an engaging opening speaker. Not only did he share the aforementioned learnings, but brought to life an important point: you don’t need a slide deck for an effective presentation. An apt collection of powerful images is sufficient to relay a truthful, often harsh, but very candid reality.

Sourabh Sharma,
Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international
consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering,
marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton
School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and
product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting,
he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every
platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer,
and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called
3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com.
Follow him on

A look at behavioral economics

AdAge recently looked at behavioral economics, or why people buy what they do. The concept holds that psychology and economics work together to dictate a person’s behavioral purchases, not just the price and quality of a product. Today, when there are so many brands to choose from, it’s important that the marketers of the world understand why people are choosing to buy their products.

The article concludes with this from Jeff Jones, partner and president of McKinney:
“It’s not about ‘We used to do it this way and now it’s a wholesale change and we’re doing it this way. These are just new ways of understanding how and why people make decisions. And it’s just smart marketing to understand them and use them.”