The McGurk effect and why it matters to market researchers

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We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures and we like to think we can trust our ears. However, watch the video below and be ready to change your mind.

The Mckurk effect , the understanding of which dates back to 1976, shows how hearing and vision interact with each other. One of the interesting things about this effect is that even once you are aware of it you still experience it.

From a marketing and market research point of view key messages are:

  1. Changing the sound can change the perception, which means that the real sound should be tested as part of the research.
  2. More generally, the behavioural sciences, such as behavioural economics and neuromarketing are changing the our understanding of how marketing works and how it should be evaluated.
  3. Perception is not reality, which in terms of persuasion means that reality is not always relevant.
  4. People exposed to this sort of effect may be tricked, but if they are they are likely to be angry once they are aware – so include checking to post purchase remorse as part of the research.

Can you suggest other similar effects that help remind marketers and market researchers that they can’t trust their model of the rational consumer.


 

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