How should we improve the research participant experience?

At the Festival of NewMR, December 2014, Annie Pettit gave a great presentation titled “Behind your back: What research participants really think about researchers”. You can see a recording of her presentation below:

Market research needs to balance the following issues:

  • Making the research experience sufficiently interesting that people are willing to take part.
  • Making the process clear enough for people to be able to answer correctly.
  • Utilising techniques that allow the responses to be translated into insight and impact.*

* this last point has many sub-parts to it. For example, asking questions that people can answer, bearing in mind that people are often poor witnesses to their own motivations and future actions. Also, the need to ask questions that are capable of functioning as a research instrument as well as being engaging/friendly/comprehendible.

So, taking Annie’s presentation as a starting point:

  1. What are your thoughts about the points raised in Annie’s presentation?
  2. What additional points would you make?
  3. What research-on-research do you think is needed?
  4. What immediate changes would you recommend?

3 thoughts on “How should we improve the research participant experience?

  1. Annie, thanks for a great presentation! Now if only we could get those brand managers you were talking about, to watch it. Loved your suggestion to find which of your answers are NOT represented in the options – it’s also worth having some folks read and reread the questions and deliberately try to misinterpret them. Thanks for making us take time to think carefully about our work!

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