Emotional feelings are not easily or accurately revealed by consumers on direct questioning. Therefore, in motivation research, Clinical Psychological methods/techniques are used for the psychoanalytical study of consumers.
The following techniques are used in motivation research.
- Observation Technique
- Depth Interview Technique
- Self Reports Technique
- Projective Techniques.
A brief description of the above techniques is given below.
1. Observation Technique
In this technique, the researcher observes the behaviour of consumers without showing their identity.
Consumers motives may be inferred from their communication and actions.
No Interview is conducted in this method. Relevant data or information under this technique may be gathered personally by the researcher through mechanical aids.
This technique is suitable to study the buying process for consumers.
2. Depth Interview Technique
Under this technique, an intensive interview is conducted by the researcher. In this type of interview, respondents are questioned individually, if need be for several hours by the researcher.
Interviewers are trained to establish rapport and not to guide the discussion excessively. Respondents are encouraged to talk freely about their activities or interests or about a specific subject or brand under study.
Verbatim accounts of interviews are then carefully studied together with reports on respondents’ mood and gestures which they might have used to convey attitudes or motives.
Such studies are suitable for giving the market a lead on appeals they might use.
A variation of depth interview is “Focus group” study in which 7-10 participants are encouraged to discuss products uses, reactions to the product, interests, attitudes, lifestyles, etc.
Focus Group study can be done in much less time and, therefore, is less expensive than depth interview, so it is gaining popularity.
Obviously, analysis of responses elicited in either a depth interview or Focus Group requires a great deal of skill on the part of the researcher.
3. Self Reports Technique
In this technique, the researcher simply asks questions verbally or with the help of a questionnaire to find out the motives, goals, and needs of the respondents.
Under this technique of motivation research, a number of pencil and paper tests may be conducted by the researcher to elicit responses from the consumers about their wants, desires, opinions, interests, reactions, etc.
The information obtained is then quantified which means that it is assigned a numerical score to yield a measure of the strength of a specific need or motive.
There are two measure limitations of this technique.
First, individuals may not themselves to be aware of the actual reasons or motives underlying their behaviour.
Second, respondents May rationalize their actions or statements. Respondents may be unwilling to reveal they’re true motives and may be inclined to give socially acceptable responses.
Thus, they made deliberately falsify self-report inventories to impress the researcher or to avoid personal embarrassment.
To overcome this problem the researcher may use the behavioral measures to complement the verbal responses of the respondents.
In this measure, biological evidence such as brain waves, blood circulations, and heartbeats are recorded to evaluate the reliability of the subject’s responses concerning his attitude and feelings about a product or advertisement.
4. Projective Techniques
Projective techniques are designed to reveal a person’s true feelings and motivations.
Projective techniques consist of a variety of disguised tests that contain ambiguous stimuli example incomplete sentences, cartoons, untitled pictures, other person characterization, etc.
The basic assumption underlying projective techniques is that respondents are unaware that they are exporting their feelings.
Respondents under these techniques are not given the chance to rationalize their responses.
Some important projective techniques are as under:
- Thematic Apperception Test (T.A.T)
- Word Association
- Sentence Completion
- Third Person Technique
- The Paired Pictures Test.
A brief description of the above techniques is as under:
1. Thematic Appreciation Test (T.A.T)
In this test, respondents are shown a series of pictures of people in some unstructured, doubtful form of actions or cartoons relating to the product or topic under study.
The respondent is required to look at these pictures once at a time and to narrate a story about the pictures of cartoons.
The answers are then interrupted by a skilled analyst.
This technique is suitable to find the perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs of the respondents.
2. Word Association
Under this technique, respondents are presented with a series of words or phrases and are asked to answer quickly with the first word or phrase that comes to their mind after the hearing is Phrase or world.
There are a number of variations of this particular test.
The test may be written or oral. It may require words with similar meaning or opposite meaning and so on.
3. Sentence Completion
In the motivational aspect of marketing research, this test is significant to uncover the emotional responses of consumers regarding a product or marketing situation.
In this technique, the beginning of a sentence is read to the respondent, who is asked to complete it with the first thought that comes to his mind.
In fact, no right or wrong answer is earmarked for any of these incomplete sentences.
While completing each sentence the respondents disclose more about their emotional values and tension.
The questions may be of the following type:
- People who smoke Charminar………
- Tinned foods……….
- Women who use labor-saving devices………..
4. The Third Person Technique
In some cases, an individual himself does not want to admit a particular belief or a statement, but he may say something by using a third person.
Under this technique, respondents are asked to describe a third person about whom they are given some information.
5. The Paired Picture Test
This technique is appropriate to select a good copy for advertisements.
Under this technique, paired pictures are shown to respondents and they are asking about their opinions and reactions.
Respondents may be required to tell any story which comes to their mind after seeing these paired pictures.
This is suitable to uncover attitudes of respondents regarding a product, message of advertisement and for selection of good advertising copy.
Thus, now you know the techniques of motivation research.