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All American Family – Research results published

Split Second Research recently teamed up with Edelman Intelligence to conduct a study on what the All American Family means for different sectors of American society. The findings are published here:

Dr Eamon Fulcher

Gemma Calvert presented at the World Neuromarketing Forum 2018

Prof Gemma Calvert, co-founder of Split Second Research, gave an insightful and entertaining keynote talk at the World Neuromarketing Forum in Singapore, 2018.

Hosted by the NMSBA, the conference focussed on current thinking and new developments in neuromarketing, bringing together providers and users in a highly interactive forum.


Split Second Research demonstrated it’s integrated IMPRESS platform for the automation of implicit testing. This makes development and analysis happen in a split second! We also gave away 200 Split Second Research aprons with the slogan “KEEP CALM and dinner with be ready in a Split Second”, here modelled by NMSBA chair Caral Nagal:


Our Research for ITV Published

Our research for ITV revealed how positive younger viewers (Bright Young Things) are to adverts on view-on-demand TV. Ads were perceived as trusted, relevant, and high quality.

Download the pdf from itvmedia.co.uk


Dr Eamon Fulcher

Featured picture by Jens Kreuter @jenskreuter

How do respondents feel after taking an implicit reaction time survey?

We always like to finish a survey by asking respondents their experiences of the implicit elements of the survey. These are the themes that come from their responses.

1. Fun and engaging

“Fun to do”, “send me more”, “loved it”, “excellent”, “entertaining and friendly”, “a good experience”, “cool and enjoyable”, “interactive, “innovative”, “unique”, “a nice twist”, “like playing a game”, “aroused my curiosity”.

When respondents find a survey interesting and engaging, they are more likely to offer their true feelings.

2. Better than taditional surveys

“Not too wordy”, “less overwhelming and tiring”, “better than most surveys”, “better than multiple-choice questions”, “doesn’t beat about the bush”, “not too long”, “unlike open-ended questions, which are hard”.

Traditional surveys can be very lengthy and demanding, and hence less engaging.

3. I don’t understand how it works

“I didn’t understand the purpose”, “I don’t understand what it does”, “what was the point?”.

When respondents can’t work out exactly what you are asking, they have no incentive or opportunity to fake their responses.

4. It was quick

“It was very fast”, “not too long”, “reasonable length”, “easy to do”, “not difficult”, “short and sweet”, “more like this please”.

Implicit reaction time tests/surveys are quick and easy to do. This makes them easier to recruit respondents than lengthier, traditional surveys.

Update 18th Septemrber 2109

In our most recent survey, 80% thought the implicit element was enjoyable or very enjoyable.

For many, the survey was innovative and different, it was not the usual kind of survey and hence a ‘nice alternative’ and for some ‘all surveys should be in this format’.

Getting insights from data – getting to the “why?”

When you ask consumers about your products, make sure you are using the correct research method.

You may have read about the now famous story of Herman Miller’s Aeron office chair. He developed the chair through the cycle of development, market research, more development, more market research, and so on. Finally, deciding on the design we see now. His research focussed on asking consumers two questions (1) please rate the chair on comfort and (2) please rate the chair on aesthetics. His plan was to use the design which received the highest ratings on both. The trouble was that any design he created got very low ratings on both, even though in his mind he thought he had designed the perfect office chair. Notwithstanding this poor consumer feedback, he went to market…and it became the top selling office chair!

The moral of the story? When you ask someone to rate something new, if it is not simple and obvious or they really can’t verbalise how they feel, they will say they don’t like it. Often consumers will choose the least sophisticated option when they are forced to say why they like it.

The psychologist Tim Wilson has carried out a lot of research showing that when people say they actually like something they often make up a story – an explanation that has no resemblance to reality (in a typical experiment it is the manipulation that determined the liking rather than the story the participant made up). Infact, Tim Wilson has shown that people actually have very poor insights into their own inner worlds – he argues that we are strangers to ourselves.

Consumer Insights – Beyond Liking

To yield more effective consumer insights, we need to go beyond what is immediately visible and dig deeper. We need to examine why the consumer is doing what they are doing in their own world. Insights that are fresh, true, targeted and actionable are those we need to develop.

Split Second’s Implicit research methods go beyond liking. They seek to ask why a consumer prefers this brand, product, or packaging rather than that brand, product or packaging. It can tell us why and how one piece of advertising creative will work on one target audience but not another demographic. Split second’s implicit conusmer testing is able to characterise the feelings the consumer has towards the products, going much deeper than simple liking and disliking. The method is very consumer focussed and bypasses those biases that can influence verbal responses. Split second’s implicit tests are very difficult to fake, hence they provide a pure read-out of consumers’ feelings.

New product development should be cyclical: design the concept, test the market, design the prototype, test the market, develop several design options and test the market. Before implicit technology, this was a slow process, but now with the aid of our IMPRESS platform this product development cycle becomes a reality. We can turn around results in 48 hours, so your development team can get on with the business of optimising the product.

Dr Eamon Fulcher

Get your implicit research done in a split second with the IMPRESS Platform

Use the IMPRESS Platform for the creation and instant analysis of implicit reaction time tests.

DIY – create, deploy, and analyse quickly and easily.

The IMPRESS platform is used for creating implicit reaction time tests in market research and for other research areas too, such as voting preferences, and social attitudes like racial bias, gender bias, and so on.  Online, objective and cost-effective, implicit tests capture immediate, and intuitive responses to brands, packaging, product claims, advertising evaluation, brand tracking, brand positioning, new product development, and a vast array of other marketing related outputs.

IMPRESS is a platform for creating an implicit reaction time test quickly and effortlessly.

It is easy to create a test, either from scratch or by duplicating an existing project.

You can also create traditional survey-type questions. This is useful if you want to add your own screener or demographics questions. Choose from a range of question types and capture information about your respondents and their buying habits before they take the test.

Analysis can be carried out instantly.

Split Second Research offers a free training session to a technician or the main admin user at your institution or company.

The system comes with an online user manual and we offer email support with a maximum 48 hour response time.

Educational Licence is available for colleges and universities

Give your students an advantage by helping them to develop their own implicit response tests. We provide you with a number of licences that can be re-used as your student cohort changes. Annual licences start from £5,000 for tutor+10 licences. This includes the same number of licences for our traditional survey platform free of charge.

Neuro-offers and Price Promotions

Dr Implicit gave a sprightly performance at the Shopper Brain Conference in Amsterdam recently. The focus was on how in-store promotions can often adversely affect a brand and which offers can promote volume and frequency. A promo can have a long-term effect on a brand’s health, especially its brand equity. The research found that for many products, a price promotion can adversely affect the brand’s perception of quality. In other words, it may ‘cheapen’ the brand, which is not good for category leaders and those for whom quality is marketed as a brand value. For other kinds of products, attributes reflecting social influence, such as popular, trendy, modern, were affected negatively, and indeed in some cases ’embarrassed’ was triggered by the promotion. Taken together, these suggest that offers can make a brand lose out on appearing to be the most popular brand; consumers may even feel a sense of embarrassment when buying such products when they are on offer.

For some other types of products brands went unscathed, and we found that certain promos can drive volume and frequency among its consumers. Indeed, some offers can make consumers feel proud to be loyal to the brand, welcoming the offer as a reward and an opportunity for others to appreciate the brand as they do.  So, the research uncovered mixed findings, and some types of offers, such as strike-though pricing (i.e., £1.50  now £1.00) worked better than others, such as offers based on quantity like BOGOF (buy one get one free).

This research is ongoing and there are many more research questions that need to be addressed, such as, the effects of other types of offers (Special Offer, and Win a prize), a broader range of product verticals, necessities versus luxury items, the colours and fonts associated with different types of offers, seasonal offers, and much more. Keep checking this website for news about this research.

Dr Implicit in action

Update: January 2018

Further analysis has been carried out. If you want to receive a report of this research please get in touch. The brands we assessed were Activia Yoghurt, Philadelphia Soft Cheese, Tropicana Fruit Juice, Heinz Baked Beans, Fairy Washing Powder, and Tresseme Shampoo.

Dr Eamon Fulcher

Analyse Videos with our IMPULSE Test

Split Second Research’s IMPULSE test is an implicit test for analysing audio-visual content, such as TV adverts, radio adverts, movie trailers, programme excerpts, online videos, promotional videos, training videos, political speeches, and so on. It provides a moment-to-moment analysis of emotional reactions to the content. IMPULSE can read up to six different emotions during the same test.

The video in the background attracts the attention and evokes associations at a non-conscious level that speeds or delays the responses on emotional words. This way we can derive how each scene is perceived emotionally.

A typical output is shown in the link below. You can play, pause, rewind, restart at any time so that you can examine the emotional reactions to the video on a moment-by-moment basis. These are completely implicit reactions to the content. In the example, below six emotional responses are shown to a Surf advert.

Click on the image to view the analysis (this will open in a new window).

American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore

Talking at AmCham

Dr. Eamon Fulcher presented at the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore in May. The focus of his talk was on future developments in neuromarketing and new implicit reaction time techniques.

10 Reasons for using an implicit survey

How it works

This post also answers the related questions and issues that we are often asked:

10 reasons for using an implicit reaction test (IRT).

10 reasons for using an implicit association test (IAT) in consumer research.

10 reasons not to solely rely on a traditional survey.

  1. Traditional surveys don’t always have a very good way of measuring what is in consumers’ hearts.
  2. Implicit surveys get right at consumers’ hearts. It’s exactly what the method is all about.
  3. People often tell you what they think you want them to hear in a traditional survey.
  4. In an implicit reaction time survey, people don’t explicitly tell you how they feel, they reveal it to you in their reaction times.
  5. People often fail to make real discriminations in a traditional survey, hence all their product evaluations tend to converge around the average score.
  6. In an implicit survey people cannot influence their scores (they can’t play the game to influence the results). Hence they make highly discriminating responses, and we often get very distinctive profiles of a brand/pack/advert and so on.
  7. A traditional survey can often tell you which product or brand is most liked but not why.
  8. An implicit survey not only reveals the best product, pack, brand, advert, and so on, it can tell you why because it will use 20 to 40 attributes and these are typically highly discriminating. The attributes provide you with a detailed profile of each brand/item.
  9. In a traditional survey, people often can’t verbalise how they feel but they are required to answer anyway.
  10. In an implicit survey, people don’t make evaluative judgements, they just try to press the correct keys and so allowing inferences to be made about how they feel – it captures their inner feelings.

Dr Eamon Fulcher

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