Are You Brave Enough to Take Our Survey?
It’s not unusual for people to reveal deeply personal information in qualitative research. Or to cry. Researcher-storyteller-celebrity crush, Brené Brown calls it "excruciating vulnerability." But besides showing an ad that pulls at the heartstrings, when does that ever happen during a quantitative survey?
Ten years ago, we introduced the notion of HumanQuantⓇ, taking Greenberg’s expertise in qualitative and applying the philosophy of deeper understanding to quantitative. Our goal was to develop more fully-formed opinions and feelings – data that’s more human than machine.
HumanQuant has never been more relevant and in demand than it is today.
Communication is becoming increasingly artificial, virtual, robotic and ultimately de-humanized. Yes, technology has improved the ways we understand what people are doing. But we believe that if you really want to understand what drives that behavior (and ultimately, gain the best insights to inform your business decisions), you need to add more humanity to research, not less.
The visualization and interactivity of the survey is key to this to be sure. What really allows for us to get deep with people, though, is the type of questions we ask and the way we ask them:
Types of Questions: Humans are complex beings. Yet the practice of understanding them is often binary (e.g., left brain/right brain, system 1/system 2, emotional/rational). We see a more nuanced view that honors the three centers of intelligence recognized in psychology and neuroscience. Our WholeHuman approach captures people’s instinctive responses (gut); cognitive responses (head); and reflective responses (heart).
Voice: Simple, human language that plays with parentheticals, diction, absurdity, section breaks and personae. For example, in our “Bleak Friday” holiday shopping study we added “mean brother-in-law” among the potential multiple choice responses to the question “who are you shopping for?” Not because we really thought of it as a valid option, but because it introduced a micro-moment of levity. It also supports that there are real people behind this survey, bringing a little more empathy and engagement to the process.
In short, we’re treating people as humans and getting human answers in return. These are the insights that we’re craving, right?
We achieve this by encouraging people to get comfortable. To be themselves. And, ideally, to open up and expose their vulnerabilities (in an online survey!). Brené Brown would be proud.