Mind and Magic

Dec 08 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

In Sleights of Mind, the authors cannily explain some of the latest science of the brain though examples of magic tricks, illusions and mind games that demonstrate the fallibilities of the human mind and the way in which magicians often have greater insight into the innermost workings of our brain than most neuroscientists.

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Emotions – A body of evidence

May 25 2015 Published by neilgains under emotion

Emotional mapping is a core part of TapestryWorks work, and we have often argued that emotions are much more physical and non-conscious than cognitive (see our white paper here). So I was fascinated to find a paper from 2013 in which the authors reported several studies inn which they had asked people to “map” bodily sensations though a topographical self-report method. The results are fascinating and show that different emotions produce sensations in different parts of the body. They also show evidence that in the majority of cases these sensations and states are culturally universal. Read more »

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Making SNAPP Decisions: A framework for applying “fast” thinking

Apr 06 2015 Published by neilgains under behavioural change

In Thinking, Fast And Slow, Daniel Kahneman provides an overall metaphor for human thinking as well as describing a long list of heuristics (mental rules of thumb) that we all use to make decision-making simpler, quicker and more efficient.  All these heuristics happen in System 1, the description Kahneman gives to non-conscious and implicit thinking.

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How Can Market Research Do Better In 2015?

Jan 21 2015 Published by neilgains under market research

It is now clear that the human brain is immensely complex and interconnected with much of its work unknowable and mysterious. This is hard for us to accept as individuals, including myself, and continues to be hard for the market research industry to accept.too  Perhaps that is why very little fundamental change has occurred.

While there have been great leaps in the technological interfaces used to collect data from research participants (and hurray that 2014 finally appeared to be the year that mobile data collection really took off), the fundamental processes have not undergone the radical changes that they need. Read more »

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Review of Decoded by Phil Barden

Jun 25 2014 Published by neilgains under behavioural economics

Decoded is one of the very first books to fully embrace Daniel Kahneman’s view of human decision-making and apply this to marketing and market research. It is full of examples of the practical implications of behavioral economics on shopper behavior, backed by references to many of the key scientific papers that can help explain what marketers need to know about the science of decision making.  It is backed by 25 years of experience both as decision scientist working with clients and a marketing professional applying the principles at Unilever, Diageo and T-Mobile.

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What marketing can learn from search engines

Jun 16 2013 Published by neilgains under context

A recent article by Neil Perkins at OnlyDeadFish, talking about the future of search, is well worth reading for any marketer or researcher. For me, the most interesting part of the article discusses the increasing importance of context for search engines, referencing a talk by Will Crtichlow also called The Future Of Search. Read more »

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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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The Meaning of Brown – the Colour of the Earth

Jan 17 2013 Published by neilgains under semiotics

“Moralistic is not moral. And as for truth – well it’s like brown – it’s not in he spectrum. Truth is so generic.”  - Iris Murdoch

“I cannot pretend to feel impartial about colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.”  - Winston Churchill Read more »

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The Meaning of Green – the Colour of Fate

Dec 17 2012 Published by neilgains under semiotics

“So long as hope has anything of green.” – Dante

“Green, how I want you green. Green wind. Green branches.” – Frederico Garcia Lorca

Whether you live in the temperate climbs of the UK or nearer the equator in the tropics, one of the first associations with the colour green is with nature, trees and vegetation. For this reason, green is also associated with the fertility of life (and ideas). The Green Man was an ancient symbol of fertility (and still a common reference today).  Read more »

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Star Wars, Story and Market Research

Dec 10 2012 Published by neilgains under storytelling

Every market researcher dreams of the ideal client, the successful project and the satisfaction of truly understanding the client’s customers to inform a successful business strategy. What could possibly get in the way of this?

An evil empire has descended over market research, which can be summarized in the Edward Tufte quotation, “Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.” Read more »

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