New Thinking



"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift "- Albert Einstein

For years we’ve thought that if consumers can’t tell us why they prefer a particular brand we just need to ‘probe harder’ – to force a response. However, maybe the consumer really can’t tell us why they have that preference; perhaps they don’t know themselves.

It is now well recognised that people can have very clear preferences based simply on their intuitive feelings.  Intuition is the ability to make judgements, or develop 'gut feelings', instantly and with no apparent conscious thought or effort.

We now recognise that intuition is not a mystical force, but a very real and important part of our mental toolkit. Essentially, a kind of unprocessed 'record' of all our life's experiences is stored in our brain, in an area called the implicit memory system, and this gives us the power to instantly develop a kind of automatic judgement.

Woolcott Research has developed a suite of ‘response latency’ techniques which were developed within the academic world some years ago and which offer a real solution. These techniques are computer based, they are indirect (ie they do not require the respondent to confront the topic directly) and they rely on an analysis of response speeds to arrive at their determination. The application of this kind of approach in research can effectively eliminate the impact of response bias completely.