Eliminating bias in market research

Author
Angeline Martin

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Market research is often conducted to help companies to improve their understanding of customers and potential customers. Often, the objective is to better meet customer needs.

Psychology helps to develop a better understanding of the beliefs, thoughts and perceptions held by consumers. Psychology also helps to identify and analyse trends in what people are buying. It’s also beneficial when examining customer responses to new products.

Psychology is integral to many stages throughout a research project. Some of the psychology-based approaches commonly used by market researchers are vital for the following:

 

Using psychology to eliminate bias in market research

Using psychological methods can help avoid bias and undue influence when developing a questionnaire. Normally, whether a person is aware of it or not, their own internal biases may affect how they write questions for a survey. This bias may influence the survey and cause incorrect information to be derived from the survey. This can be a major problem for a company that acts on this incorrect information.

There are numerous biases at play in market research, three of which are very common:

Confirmation bias in market research

Unconsciously focusing on evidence that supports their own beliefs is a very common type of bias for inexperienced writers of questionnaires. This is one very good reason to engage an independent market research company.  An independent company will be free of ingrained employee beliefs and cultures.

Question order bias in market research

When writing a questionnaire, market researchers need to write questions in a particular order.  This is to prevent the first question influencing the answer to the second question. Market researchers should employ psychological methods to avoid question order bias.

Culture bias in market research

This is where the person developing the questionnaire subconsciously assumes that other people have the same beliefs as they do. Culture bias causes questions to be written in a way that subconsciously influences the respondent’s answer.

 

As an experienced market research company, at CARD Group we are experienced in developing high quality surveys and in writing interview questions to extract the correct information from consumers. Find out more about us.