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Should Qualitative Research be Dumped for Something Better?


  • Jan 19, 2021
  • 12:00 pm ET
  • 30 min
  • Airs weekly
  • Episode # 5
Episode #5 Overview

Qualitative market research in marketing and advertising are based on self-reporting that assumes that somehow we have access to the processes underlying our conscious awareness.

However, we struggle to accurately describe our subjective inner states and our research responses are often fraught with biases that skew what we say about what an issue, a brand, a product or advertising creative.

What starts as a quest for in-depth insight and understanding often ends up being a post-rationalised search for conscious understanding – neglecting the realities of what commands our thoughts, beliefs, actions and responses in a research context.

Why then is qualitative research still so commonly used and relied on, does it still have a role, or should it be killed?

Neil Davidson and Aoife McGuinness of HeyLab ( and Sorin Patilinet of Mars apply their different experiences and expertise to the question and discuss whether the time is up for qualitative research or whether we can find it a meaningful role, but with an enlightened understanding of its limitations.

Tune in and learn:
- The reasons behind the myth of a rational consumer
- Why considering both the conscious and unconscious mind makes for better research
- How neuroscience-based research techniques bypass the biases and go straight to the source
- How qualitative research can fit into this new world

Breakthrough Overview

Breakthrough with Toby Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week, will broadcast live every Tuesday to spotlight breakthrough brands, products and services, the leaders behind them and the stories of creativity, innovation and application that led up to these moments.

Toby Daniels


Toby Daniels

Founder & Executive Director, Social Media Week

Aoife McGuinness


Aoife McGuinness

Neuroscience Consultant, HeyLab

Sorin Patilinet


Sorin Patilinet

Global Marketing Insights Director, Mars

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