Daniel Kahneman

Designing Research to Understand How People Think: The Bridge that Connects Quantitative & Qualitative Research

In 2013, Research Design Review posted five articles that directly speak to common design considerations in quantitative and qualitative research that address theStone bridge basic goal of understanding how people think.  These common concerns, and the articles where they are discussed, include: using effective content analysis procedures to reveal underlying subjective connections for each respondent/participant (“Content Analysis & Navigating the Stream of Consciousness”); the importance of design approaches that target people’s stories (“‘Tell Me What Happened’ & Other Stories”); research designs that incorporate good listening techniques with appropriate, well-constructed questions (“Listening: A Lesson from New Coke”); utilizing qualitative research to examine the thinking that helps explain quantitative data (“Looking Under the Hood: What Survey Researchers Can Learn from Deceptive Product Reviews”); and the role of Daniel Kahneman’s System 1 (intuitive) and System 2 (cognitive) thinking framework in considering behavior in the marketplace (“Fast & Slow Thinking in Research Design”).

These five articles have been compiled into one pdf document that can be accessed here.  Anyone who has read this blog since its inception in 2009 knows that a recurring theme revolves around research design issues that impact how well (or not) researchers gain an understanding of how people think.  There is no reason to believe that the tradition won’t continue in 2014.

Fast & Slow Thinking in Research Design

The November/December 2013 issue of ESOMAR’s Research World was largely devoted to behavioral economics (BE), an increasingly-popular topic in marketing circles.  In it, Taste of slowvarious researchers discuss the virtues of embracing a BE model, with repeated reference specifically to Daniel Kahneman and his System 1-System 2 theory which is the foundation of his 2011 book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

The overall takeaway is the idea that marketing researchers would do well to focus their efforts on research that gets at System 1 thinking – intuitive, instinctive, automatic, fast thinking – rather than System 2 thinking – deliberative, “effortful,” attentive, slow thinking – because of its predominance in many of the decisions people make.  Indeed, Kahneman emphasizes in his book that, unbeknownst to many of us, System 1 (automatic, effortless) thinking exerts significant influence on our experiences and is “the secret author of many of the choices and judgments you make” (p. 13)[1].  And this, of course, can be a very Read Full Text