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Can we trust what people say?

When people are asked to talk about something or give their opinion, they often rationalize or even invent information. See for yourself!

Why do people perceive differences when there aren’t any?
People tend to use heuristics, or shortcuts, in this case the confirmation bias. When people are confronted with complex tasks, they look for explanations that confirm their beliefs. People will rationalize what they think by confirming their hypotheses with relational explanations without even knowing it.

All this makes clear how important it is to consider objective measures in addition to interviews or questionnaires. To better understand the human mind, haystack uses different types of implicit measurements. Read more.

One of haystack’s implicit measurements is Implicit Association testing (IAT), based on reaction times. This method takes the unconscious reaction of the respondent into account. Anthony Greenwald and Mahzarin Banaji, developed this tool in the mid 90’s to study racial prejudice and other ‘sensitive’ issues. Before IAT, traditional paper & pencil questionnaires had hard time proving the existence of racism. Russel Fazio has shown that correlations between attitudes and behavior are much higher among people with fast reaction time when expressing their opinions, which means their attitudes are highly accessible. Moreover, such attitudes are less prone to change because consumers are more certain about them.

IAT is often used to explore brand images but also to find out what a new packaging is communicating. An example of what the output looks like.

It reflects the percentage of people declaring whether the given statement is well-matched to the tested stimuli (brand/ product/ person/ situation etc.).
• The number at the bottom (bright circle) and the size of the bottom bar indicate the YES answers - the percentage of people who AGREE that the given attribute is well-matched.
• The number at the top (dark circle) and the size of the upper bar indicates the NO answers - the percentage of people who DISAGREE that the given attribute is well-matched.
• The gap between YES and NO answers represents those who answered ’hard to tell’.

It is represented by unique indicator which measures the certainty of the declarations on the basis of time needed to give an answer.
The faster the reaction, the more certain the attitude.
• The green color = fast reaction time which means respondents are certain of the declared attitudes.
• The yellow color = moderate reaction time which suggests that there is no strong established attitude yet.
• The red color = slow reaction time which means respondents are uncertain of the declared attitudes.

Want to find out what your consumer is really thinking? Do not hesitate to contact us!

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