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Change the Way You Think
About How People Think
When it comes to discovering insights that can make a difference, traditional research often falls short. Firmly rooted in the social sciences, our way of thinking about the way people think is what makes our approach so unique and our results so compelling.
There are five principles on which we base everything we do:
Our team operates with a heightened awareness of the potentially damaging effects of 'priming,' a phenomenon that often occurs in conventional research when unintentional or subconscious influencing elements are introduced. For example, the way a direct question is asked may inadvertently influence the way it is answered, which can often lead to skewed results that can be costly in many ways. We've developed a suite of techniques that effectively reduce the likelihood of priming, leading to unbiased results that accurately reveal preferences, behaviors and insights.
Traditionally, researchers have turned to Scientific Theory as a way to gather data with which to validate or disprove hypotheses. Although valid for many applications, Scientific Theory is less than ideal when insight is the goal, because assumptions and preconceptions are inherent in the process. Using Grounded Theory, we approach research with a 'beginner's mind'—an inductive rather than deductive way of thinking that turns the tables on convention by focusing on the discovery of theory and insight instead of proving assumptions.
Life is lived as a complex and interconnected series of experiences that play against and with each other over time, and storytelling helps us make meaning out of it all. This basic human truth helps explain why research methodologies that intentionally or unintentionally focus on data points within a story or isolate snippets of stories tend to fall short. We employ a methodology known as narrative inquiry that is rooted in the very human need to place events and experiences into contexts—and essentially into stories—in order to make sense of them. By encouraging and gently guiding people toward telling meaningful personal stories relative to our research goals, narrative inquiry tends to uncover the real drivers behind behavior.
Phased Dialogue/Progressive Disclosure
It's not uncommon for conventional research processes to pay little attention to the way information is gathered and transferred within a team. Because everyone involved in a project has the potential to influence or bias its findings, we tend to work a little differently. Through a system of progressive disclosure we call Phased Dialogue, we're able to reduce the potential for bias inherent in any team situation. We rigorously control the process of information gathering and transfer through every phase of interaction, from the beginning of an engagement to the creation of deliverables.
Our methodologies are strongly influenced by the field of behavioral economics, which means studying the right people in the right scenarios is critical. Going far beyond conventional demographic or psychographic data, our behavior-based focus means the people we're observing and gaining insight into have real life connections to or experiences with the things our clients care about. And that means our research is more firmly rooted in reality—and more likely to deliver meaningful insights.