What We’re Reading This Week: Week of November 9, 2015

By the Editors

This week, we’re reading an article from GreenBook Blog about the importance of understanding value, a post on the MRA blog about the future and trustworthiness of polls and a post from Research Live about the impact that the status quo has on biases.

Defining ‘Value’ to Understand What Makes People Tick, GreenBook Blog

This article by GreenBook Blog looks to emphasize just how important value is in the human experience. Not only does value drive our daily lives, it is constantly changing based on what we do. But what is value? The best definition of value is: “the maximum amount that you’re prepared to give up.” By this definition, value is inherently a subjective term. However, Anouar El Haji, author of this article, notes that a product’s price isn’t necessarily equivalent to its value. But price does represent the bare minimum of what a consumer is willing to pay, or the minimum value. Ultimately, understanding value can help explain people in general. Marketers can understand and build the important foundations and frameworks to better conduct data research, thus returning a better customer experience and product.

The Future of Polling: “Can we trust polls at all?”, MRA Blog

“Not all polls are created equal.” Researchers have been evaluating polls and what role they will continue to play in the political world. The most important conclusion drawn is that polls not only serve drastically different purposes, they’re also being held to a very high standard. New pollsters and established public opinion pollsters are essentially being treated as equals, whereas in reality, they’re reaching different markets and different sets of voters. For example, Interactive Voice Response (IVR) polls (autodialing non-cell phones) doesn’t necessarily reach every demographic. Since a large number of people in their teens, 20s and 30s only use cell phones, IVR is currently “on its way out, at least nationally”, according to Margie Omero, managing director of Purple Insights. Omero believes that while quantitative polls are important, qualitative research is just as important. Giving voters the opportunity to actually voice concerns and opinions cannot be done in the standard polling processes. However, research cannot exclusively be done online or in the standard survey marketplace. The bottom line is that election polling and research has simply become more complex. With Gallup leaving (for now) and other pollsters being forced to step up, it’s important as ever to mix in qualitative information with polling. In order to capture all demographics and opinions, polling has to be reevaluated.

Bias in the Spotlight: Status Quo Bias, Research Live

There’s a human tendency to stick with what is known. Instead of testing or trying, it’s often easier to save time and reduce effort by sticking to the status quo, or doing what we always do. This status quo bias actually has significant effects on other aspects of life. Potentially losing more by switching from the status quo (Loss Aversion) or being overwhelmed by too many choices (Choice Paralysis) can negatively affect your decision making. So what does Research Live say that you can do to limit the affect your biases are having on everyday life? Some experts believe that recognizing their existence is the first step. Beyond recognition, experts suggest resting, creating a list where the status quo is not an option and using reference points to help guide your decisions. Change isn’t often embraced, but trying to work around the status quo can push you to accept change as a good thing.