Definite Yes or Yes, I Guess? Advances in Conviction Measurement Research

When is a “yes” a certain response and when is it a maybe? Hesitation can be the key to unlocking the difference. As marketers and researchers, it’s critical that we get to the heart of consumers’ true attitudes.


We’ve been working with clients to assess the implicit level of certainty consumers have when associating attributes with various stimuli.


Premise: Consumers’ explicit responses are real, but they only tell part of the story. To allow for more precise learning, we seek to find out what’s really going on in consumers’ brains. The time required for a consumer to produce an answer is indicative of their level of certainty and likelihood that they will act on that belief. Fast response = strong feeling. Slow response = some doubt.


So how does this all work?


  1. Baselines are established. A consumer goes through a series of questions (online) that benchmark their average speed of response. This helps account for the range of “thinking speeds” in people, differences in dexterity, differences in internet speed, etc. 


  2. Next, consumers see the stimulus – it could be a logo, an idea, a product form or something else. Then they are asked to rate it on key attributes. Here’s where it’s quite interesting: Consumers can only respond with “Yes,” “No,” or “Hard to Tell.” 


    So, is this brand: Delicious? Helpful? For a family like yours?

    Yes              No             Hard to tell


  3. Back-end analytics will then tell us the percentage of consumers who are REALLY “Yeses” and those that aren’t quite there. 


It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s uncovered extremely rich learning. And this research technique can easily augment a traditional quantitative questionnaire so even richer learnings can be gathered.


We’d love to talk more about this with you to determine how it can lead your business to better results.