Archive for January, 2013

Musings: Shaking the Foundation—Cheater’s & Repeaters & Manti Te’o
January 22, 2013

Abby Leafe and I, co-chairs of the Philadelphia Chapter of the QRCA, recently reported some sobering findings of our initial research on research. Our small study was just in the Philadelphia market so perhaps it’s not indicative of the market at large. But we discovered a surprising number of “Cheaters & Repeaters”—consumers who found their way into qualitative market research activities like focus groups, in depth interviews and mock juries. We learned a lot about how they get into studies by tweaking the truth (“sometimes I forget I have children.”)  And we learned about their motivations—money of course is a big factor, but having their voice and ideas heard and being in the know about new things were also big motivators to “tweaking the truth” in order to be selected for a study. When they get into a research event that they shouldn’t have been recruited for they have strategies to deal with it—stay quiet and just agree with what others say. The more adventurous respondents prepare so that they will be informed on the topic and be able to contribute.

Abby and I conducted our research by telephone and video chat. Through careful listening and observation (those in video interviews) we felt we could get a good sense of how honest our respondents were to our queries.

Now the news this week is filled with this crazy story of star football player Manti Teo’s, Internet romance with a woman, who it turns out, didn’t exist! It’s one of those stories that makes us shake our heads in disbelief, and I think it’s another sobering reminder of potential pitfalls of market research studies conducted exclusively on line. While many of my colleagues appreciate the benefits of this mode of research, personally, I’ve always been a bit wary. Call me “Old School,” but I prefer to “see the whites of their eyes” and get the fuller meaning behind words that one can only do in a face-to-face situation. When I have conducted online research it’s been part of a hybrid study in which in-person work was also incorporated.

As Abby and I have started to share our findings with others in the qualitative market research community we’re developing a list of strategies and ideas to help us be smarter in our work and minimize the presence of the Cheaters & Repeaters.  We plan to continue our research and brainstorming and share our findings and ideas.

But for the meantime, I can’t help but shake my head and wonder about what is represented as “truth” and “reality” In this digital age.

I welcome your comments!

Laurie Tema-Lyn

Practical Imagination Enterprises


Musings & Greetings for 2013
January 3, 2013

Dear Readers;

I’ve been feeling a tad guilty about not writing my New Year’s post…other projects have taken my attention elsewhere, and then, Presto, my husband shared this poem which he received from a client. We don’t know who the author is but appreciate the smart words…

Here you go…

A New Year’s wish for you and yours,

 May you get a clean bill of health from your dentist, your

 ophthalmologist, your psychiatrist, your cardiologist, your urologist,

 your proctologist, your gynecologist, your podiatrist, your plumber,

 and the Income Tax Department .

 May your hair, your teeth, your face-lift, your love handles, and your

 stocks never fall, and may your blood pressure, your triglycerides,

 your cholesterol, your white blood count, your weight, and your

 property assessments never increase.

 May you be sensitive to the needs of others and may you create within

 yourself integration of your own needs.

 May you laugh at yourself and realize if you were supposed to touch

 your toes while exercising, the Lord would have placed them further

 up, and may you realize the reason so many people take up jogging is

 to hear heavy breathing again.

 May what you see in the mirror delight you and what others see in you

 delight them.

 May someone love you enough to accept and forgive your faults and be

 blind to your blemishes, and tell the whole world about your virtues.

 May you live in a world at peace, with an awareness of the beauty of

 every sunset, every flower, every child’s smile, and every wonderful

 astonishing beat of your own heart.

 If by laughter I can cause you to wipe one tear from your cheek, that

 is my only reward – the government takes everything else!

 Above all, may you continue to smile, may your life be filled with

 laughter, and may you never forget the words found in the Book of

 Proverbs, “A gloomy spirit rots the bones; but a merry heart is like

 good medicine.”

 Be happy & grateful to be alive and having loving family and friends !

Hope you have a healthy, happy, prosperous, sweet New Year!

Laurie Tema-Lyn

Practical Imagination Enterprises