Attributing the Right Cause

Apr 18 2011 Published by neilgains under context

“There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.”  - W.C. Fields

Fundamentally flawed

In What the Dog Saw, Malcolm Gladwell discusses the effects of the fundamental attribution error (FAE) in several different articles.  For example, in one chapter he discusses the Challenger disaster and the impossibility of having complete control of complex technologies and systems, arguing that attempts to find causes and scapegoats in such situations are futile.  Without acknowledging the FAE, his argument in the chapter touches on the desire of all of us to attribute outcomes, and especially bad outcomes, to specific traits of the people involved rather than the situation they are in. Read more »

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Herd Mentality (Consumer Understanding #6)

Mar 15 2011 Published by neilgains under consumer psychology

In the last post, we saw that humans are susceptible to social bias (or herd mentality).  Our mind does not work by itself alone, but through interactions with other minds in the immediate environment or more remotely through culture and shared values.  Much of what we do is under the influence of others, often without realising, with important implications for marketing and research. Read more »

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How Social is Social Media?

Oct 24 2010 Published by neilgains under empathy

“There are already people who instead of listening to what is being said to them, are already listening to what they are going to say themselves.” – Alfred Guinon

I really enjoyed watching The Social Network this afternoon, which manages to make a geeky story very interesting by focusing on the paradox that Mark Zuckerberg creates a social network although he is himself socially inadequate.   Read more »

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Empathy, Identity and Word of Mouth

Oct 05 2010 Published by neilgains under empathy

“My object all sublime, I shall achieve in time, To let the punishment fit the crime.”  - W.S.Gilbert (The Mikado)

“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”  - Joseph Stalin

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Crystal Balls or Navel Gazing?

Aug 02 2010 Published by admin under business

Has market research dropped the (crystal) ball?

I came into the market research industry because I was curious about people.  I love uncovering the motivations and behaviours of others, and enjoy exploring and connecting data to find new meanings and inspirations.

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How do you feel, Homo Empathicus?

Jun 09 2010 Published by admin under empathy

An obscure laboratory experiment in 1958, set the scene for a new awakening in consciousness for mankind. Harry Harlow showed that infant monkeys preferred to nestle up to a soft cloth surrogate mother model, rather than a wire mesh lactating mode.  Certainly man cannot live by milk alone, he concluded.

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