Loser, hero or human being – are you ready for emergent truth?

Jochum Stienstra
Ferro MCO, Netherlands

Wim van der Noort
Research, Dutch Ministry of General Affairs, Netherlands


This paper offers an alternative to the 'default' analytical approach to problems in market research. The method we offer is radically different from all qualitative and quantitative approaches currently used in research.

The method we propose helps researchers and clients look at consumers without formulating a model or hypothesis beforehand. The methodology offers a systematic way to introduce intuition, flexibility, creativity and imagination into the process without falling into the trap of the post-modern attitude that 'there are no truths at all'.

We will explain this approach in the context of a narrative project we conducted at the beginning of 2008, about 'drinking and driving'. The aim of the project was to understand the norms of youngsters concerning drinking and driving in order to gather input for an effective campaign.