When is Research Misleading?


I recently read an article about the dubious value of opinion research, citing, for example, the bias created by the moderator in focus groups (“Would you buy this drink?”). The article argues that direct observation is clearly a more accurate gauge of consumer habits (“The consumer bought the drink.”). Who can challenge that actual behavior observed trumps reported intentions?

Opinion research can certainly be misleading at times. And asking questions to measure behavior is only one of the ways to make it so. I can’t count the number of times I’ve cautioned against considering all research valuable or even accurate. But there are ways to ensure that your findings are sound when undertaking research among your clients, your organization members or your markets.

Read the full article to learn:

- The most common research mistakes

- Five steps to guide you around research pitfalls

- To interpret research with caution

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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