Steering the elephant in the room, not just nudging it

In between helping my lad complete The Usborne Book Of Things To Spot out of the Flybe plane window back from Belfast at the weekend (or Fly Maybe as they are sometimes known) I caught up with Matt Grist’s paper, “Steer”, for the RSA from a couple of years back. The report was part ofContinue reading “Steering the elephant in the room, not just nudging it”

Creative Qual Provides Fuel, Not The Chequered Flag

Start The Week: Creativity, with Jonah Lehrer and others A fascinating Start The Week this morning dealt with the subject of creativity, with that prolific interpreter of science for the masses, Jonah Lehrer discussing his new book. (OK, my bookshelf is now officially going to collapse with all these tomes I need to read). AboveContinue reading “Creative Qual Provides Fuel, Not The Chequered Flag”

An Insight on Qual Analysis: from David Brooks’s “The Social Animal”

On my recent visit to the US I finally got around to buying The Social Animal (Random House, 2011) – subtitled The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement – by New York Times writer David Brooks. I’m reading it at the moment. It’s full of interesting stuff about what makes us who we areContinue reading “An Insight on Qual Analysis: from David Brooks’s “The Social Animal””

Knocked unconscious

Last night’s Horizon on BBC2 was really fascinating – throwing some light onto the unconscious mind. Thanks John Habershon of Momentum for alerting me to this through the ICG email group. Horizon: Out of Control? Some great stuff to show how unaware people are of what their brain is making them do: an experiment whereContinue reading “Knocked unconscious”

White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment

Like the BBC’s flagship new drama series White Heat, I’m thinking just now about being young again. No, I’m not consulting Goldie Hawn‘s face doctor, I’m just doing a little job for the AQR. Having noticed that my youth has slammed the door on me, the AQR is involving me in a little initiative toContinue reading “White Light, White Heat: A Social Experiment”

Happy Christmas from Shore

Saying Merry Christmas with a seasonal Shore image from my native Northern Ireland: the two mile beach at Portstewart. The gorgeous white sands could be Antigua, except they are actually snow. Even by Portstewart standards, this picture must have been taken in a cold year. 2011 was a funny old year, from manically busy periodsContinue reading “Happy Christmas from Shore”

A creative opener for discussion groups

Here’s a tip I’m happy to share with any other qual researchers reading this (and indeed anyone reading this, though others may not find it very useful). On my new project, which is a kind of qualitative segmentation exercise for a charity, we tried an opening exercise for a discussion group I hadn’t used beforeContinue reading “A creative opener for discussion groups”

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)

  One of my favourite song titles (from Half Man Half Biscuit‘s Cammell Laird Social Club album) seems appropriate today, given the economic news. As an individual micro-business, the bigger patterns of the economy kind of don’t matter – and kind of do. It can be hard to make the connection sometimes. At one level,Continue reading “The Light At The End Of The Tunnel (Is The Light Of An Oncoming Train)”

Everybody will be doing behavioural economics in qual

Do you see what I did there? The title’s speculative, but no more so than the communication to the American public by Barack Obama’s team two weeks before the 2008 Presidential Election, to get the vote out: “A Record Turnout Is Expected.” The Obama campaign realised that, at that stage in the campaign, detailed messagesContinue reading “Everybody will be doing behavioural economics in qual”

Hallowe’en night and a haunted viewing room

Who would be a qualitative researcher, eh? This post is not at all influenced by my having something of a difference of opinion last night with some clients over a group discussion …but ever the Polyanna, I’m turning this into something positive, by lecturing everyone on how to avoid the pitfalls of watching discussion groups.Continue reading “Hallowe’en night and a haunted viewing room”