From the editor: Pick their brains

Colin Grimshaw

The popularity of the theory of System 1 thinking (unconscious, instinctive) and System 2 (conscious, reasoned) has raised more questions about the validity of traditional research techniques. If we accept that most decisions are made in System 1 (automatic), then why do we research the System 2 (reflective) memory?

In reflective memory, don't people tend to respond in a way they feel they ought to, rather than how they actually act? And aren't they often post-rationalising a decision made? In which case, isn't most research data dangerously misleading?

These are big questions facing the research industry. New research techniques are being employed to find the answers. Admap is exploring some of these new qualitative and quantitative techniques in the May issue with a Focus titled 'Getting to the Truth.' In the same vein, the Focus in this March issue is 'Neuroscience in Practice' – how neuroscience can be applied to market research to 'get under the hood' and determine what respondents are really thinking.