The conflict of the conscious and unconscious mind

Professor Joel Weinberger
Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, and Chip Walker
Y&R Advertising

Researchers assume respondents are answering honestly but human behaviour is complex and often unconscious, so to better connect with consumers, avoid over-reliance on conscious assessment

Most marketing research relies on assessing consumers' conscious reactions to marketing ideas, ads, etc. through methods like questionnaires, surveys, and focus groups. It also often relies on evidence that the message was attended to by assessing recall of ad content.

One assumption these researchers make is that respondents can, and will, honestly tell you how they feel and how they will behave towards a product. Another assumption is that if the ad has been attended to and consciously processed, it will be effective.