Session #8: Psychoanalytics

Friday, February 21, 2014
3:45pm - 4:40pm


  • Adding value to research by connecting traditional qualitative methods with newer, state-of-the-art techniques
  • Ideas for how to connect qualitative research with action-oriented business decisions

Unlike traditional qualitative methods, Psychoanalytics does not depend on what respondents say, and in fact is quite skeptical of consumers explaining why they do thingsMost consumer behaviour is motivated at an unconscious level, and then, once a decision has been made, consumers create intellectual alibis for why they made that decision.Because people are not very good at understanding and articulating their motivations, we do not ask them. 
Rather, Psychoanalytics uses projective techniques and psychoanalytic theory to understand how people think and make decisions. Not what they think, but how they think about it. We then put this into a multidimensional model or framework which explains the structure of how people think about a certain brand or product, and how they make decisions. Once this model is developed, it has the power to make predictions about consumer reactions to marketing initiatives. Not just now but in the future. Companies who build marketing programs based on what people already believe have a much higher prospect of success compared to those who appeal to rationality and do not address unconscious needs.

The presentation takes a case study on gambling and on-line dating and illustrates how unconscious motivations guide consumer behaviour. The mental model of how consumers think is presented. Lessons learned for marketing communications are included.