Last week I attended the 30th anniversary of the first graduating class of the University of Georgia Masters of Marketing Research program in Athens, Georgia, where I managed to work an R.E.M. reference into my presentation: for a slide on “Business Acumen” I played “Exhuming McCarthy”. (R.E.M. is from Athens.) Driving back to Atlanta the next morning I learnt that R.E.M., which broke up earlier this year, has a new greatest-hits album: Part Lies, Part Heart, Part Truth, Part Garbage.

That title seems like a great way to sum up the need for behavioral economics (the theme of this week’s most retweeted stories on Twitter). Ask a respondent a question and they will give you an answer. Unfortunately, if you ask them a question that is hard to answer, the answers you get will be part lies, part heart, part truth, part garbage. Behavioral economics can help you get to the heart and the truth.

Without further ado, here are 6 of the most retweeted stories of the 675 unique links shared on #MRX last week.

  • Ingrained in the brain – Nick Southgate identifies five areas where he believes behavioral economics will have a lasting impact on the practice of market research: framing questions, seeking to understand respondents’ beliefs about others’ beliefs, researching the non-decisions of cognitive misers, using experiments and developing ways to change consumer behavior.
  • Behavioural economics for breakfast – Helen Nuki of research agency Monkey See describes the results of applying a behavioral economics framework to analyzing ethnographic data from use of the cereal Weetabix.
  • Behavioural economics in the pub – Orlando Wood of BrainJuicer describes the results of a mass ethnographic exercise designed to understand binge drinking.
  • Rosencrantz And Brandenstern Are Dead – “Consider the consumer, and the walk-on role brands play in their life,” Tom Ewing writes. “A story of a consumer’s life from a brand’s point of view would – like Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead – be a rather strange one. A string of disconnected occasions, the occasional mention, a number of decision points … and in the end – perhaps – a lonely and unmourned delisting.”
  • Are Market Research Clients Respected? – Edward Appleton, European Customer Insights Manager at Avery Dennison, wants research agencies to help research departments within clients be more successful, rather than imagine possible futures where research departments shrink or even vanish.
  • Six degrees of separation? On Facebook it’s just 4.74 – Robert Bain of Research contrasts a study showing how the average Facebook user can be connected to another in as few as 4.74 links with Milgram’s classic research from the 1960s that inspired the “six degrees of separation” meme.

No need for six degrees of separation from the #MRX community. Head over to Twitter and follow the prominent #MRX tweeters.

Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

Gravatar Image
Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.