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Would I lie to you?

May I introduce you to possibly the best survey result of all time? A survey for which the press information actually read that “a third of people in the UK will not give truthful answers about themselves when asked questions by pollsters, according to a new survey”.

Is it me…?! Does anyone else find that more than a little bizarre…not to mention humorous?!

But actually, in all honesty, I know what they mean. I think…

When people are asked questions about themselves, their views, preferences, habits and lives, things change. It may not be intentional, but the responses people give are not always the truth. They may want to ‘please’ the interviewer so tell them what they think the person wants to hear. They may be influenced by their mood, (especially if hungry or tired) or they may just been keen to get away and move on.

You see, 85% of the decisions we make are made by the unconscious part of the brain. That means only 15% of them are made by parts that we are consciously aware of. So when someone asks us our views, there are many factors which we are unaware of, which will majorly influence our decisions.

Hence the growth in a new area of research. Psychological experiments are now used to supplement market or marketing research, to get to the responses people REALLY feel. This means we measure the minute physiological changes which occur when the body detects something it likes or is frightened of, angered by, hostile to, etc.

Two things are now known about conducting this type of research:

1 – If you ask someone their views whilst measuring their bodily response, you will often get two different answers

2 – The physiological responses are the ones which turn out to be the more accurate predictor of the individual’s future choices and behaviours.

Approximately £3bn per year is spent on the UK on market research. We now know that the vast majority of that is not money well spent as it is capturing and measuring the 15%.

Is this really the basis on which you would like your business decisions to be made?