Lessons from the Master of Deduction

May 13 2013 Published by neilgains under insight

“Tell me to what you pay attention, and I will tell you who you are.” – W.H. Auden

In Mastermind, Maria Konnikova uses the stories of Sherlock Holmes to lay out best practices for deduction, observation, memory and imagination for anyone who wants to be a consulting detective (including market researchers). Some of the key lessons are worth repeating and a good addition to a previous article on Sherlock Holmes, summarised as:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Observe carefully
  3. Imagine
  4. Deduce
  5. Learn Read more »

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Understanding SNAPP Judgments

Oct 21 2012 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

Learning and applying the principles of behavioural economics and the mental shortcuts or biases which we are all prone to can be bewildering and frustrating. When I checked on Wikipedia, there are 173 pages relating to biases of judgement and decision making, including long lists of decision making, belief and behavioural biases, social biases, and memory errors (link below). Similarly, The Visual Guide to Cognitive Biases by the Royal Society for Account Planners (worth reading, link below) lists over 100 different biases. Surely there must be some key principles to these?

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The Fox and the Hedgehog

Sep 14 2010 Published by neilgains under insight

“The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog only knows one big thing.”  - Archilochus (7th Century BC)

Are you a fox or a hedgehog? Read more »

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Market Research is Still Too Predictably Rational

Sep 09 2010 Published by neilgains under insight

Dan Ariely often gives market research a hard time, and it’s easy to understand why in reading an interview with him in the latest edition of Research World.  You will learn even more if you listen to the podcast of the interview (link here) which is a much extended version of the article, or even better read his blog (danariely.com).  The interview touches on many topics that we have written about here and at Dr Disruption’s blog, although I would like to highlight three key take aways to consider. Read more »

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Inception for Dummies

Aug 06 2010 Published by admin under context

(Please note, this article contains plot spoilers!)

Inception is based on the notion of “exploring the idea of people sharing a dream space — entering a dream space and sharing a dream.  That gives you the ability to access somebody’s unconscious mind.  What would that be used and abused for?”

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Insight tripping

Jul 13 2010 Published by admin under insight

If you have tried almost everything in your report and the client is still asking for more insight what do you do?

Take a trip. No need to leave your desk. You will be traveling to new states of consciousness. And yes its all perfectly legal. We will be going to the Hypnogogic. A space and time in the mind just as you fall asleep.

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Solace for England

Jun 21 2010 Published by admin under context

The World Cup Football 2010 has started. England fans and the British media are extremely unhappy with performance of their team. Two draws into the tournament and fans are booing the players off the pitch, newspapers are suggesting the coach must go, WaGs (Wives and Girlfriends) are being flown out to ‘boost the boy’s morale’. As the final group game approaches next week, a Sky News presenter offered a ray of hope, “England tend to perform better with their backs against the wall”. I noted the same media driven feeding frenzy happening at the recent congressional hearing for BP CEO Tony Hayward.

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Is Research Irrational?

Jun 07 2010 Published by admin under research bias

Dan Ariely’s work in behavioural economics is famous (and profound) in terms of breaking down the minutiae of human behaviour, through elegant experiments which measure what people really do in specific contexts, as opposed to what we all believe we do (which is often very different).  Many of his findings are stark and counter-intuitive: for instance, that bigger bonuses actually reduce performance rather than improve it!

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