Our Implicit Methods

In addition to our traditional, explicit market research services, Split Second Research has developed a set of implicit association tests and neuromarketing research tools which provide a more truthful insight into consumer behaviour. 

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Neuromarketing Experts - Split Second Research

Subconscious, implicit associations happen in a split-second.


Our subconscious, implicit associations have been proven by research to primarily drive consumer behaviour. Neuromarketing methods can reveal these implicit associations, or gut feelings. We can gain superior, more accurate research insights, dig deeper into consumer behaviour and narrow the truth gap.

Great things can happen in a split-second.

When it comes to market research, there are 3 key things we know about consumers:



Consumers don’t know the truth.

Consumers don’t always know the truth of how they feel, and may be unable to express it. Only around 20% of people have the exact linguistic skills to articulate exactly how they feel, most people have a surprisingly poor self-insight and are unable to express how they truly feel. Most people also find it difficult to express their opinion with perfect clarity or a true understanding of their own bias.


Consumers don’t often tell the truth.

People are naturally prone to social biases and conformity to norm. Some may be too embarrassed to express how they truly feel, or they may try too hard to please the researcher.


Consumers don’t always do what they say.

Consumers may tell you that they would buy your product, but when it’s on the shelf, they actually choose not to. This is often due to an instinctual and unconscious decision process they may not be aware of ahead of time. Around 40% of all new products fail within the first year of launch and 30% of businesses fail in the first two years. If you were to base your business decisions on what people say they will do, then it could cost you dearly. 

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The key that market researchers and brand managers have always been searching for 

– now becomes ever more possible.


Implicit association testing and neuromarketing research holds the promise to unlock deep seated consumer attitudes. Using the analogy of an archaeological dig, implicit tests, like Split Second’s Impress Test, can help uncover the hidden drivers in the consumer’s mind.

How does implicit testing work?


Implicit Association Tests (IAT) or Implicit Reaction Time Tests (IRT) measure an individual’s attitude or beliefs towards certain concepts or topics. We use the Affective Priming paradigm to measure the strength of the associations that the brain stores subconsciously. For example, whenever we may think of the brand Apple, our brains will activate related associations, such as “stylish”, “creative”, or “high quality”, depending on your subconscious bias. IRT measures these associations, giving you a clearer idea of your brand associations.


A more objective measure of respondents’ true feelings towards your brand.

Through implicit tests we can capture these split second associations, generating a more objective measure of respondents’ feelings towards brands than what we can get by asking directly. This understanding of your target audience’s true, subconscious feelings can make a huge difference when planning a strategy.

In an implicit test, respondents do not make explicit choices. The test is an objective measure and is very difficult to fake.


Implicit association tests work by flashing words and images on the screen and by asking respondents to react to them as quickly as possible.  By measuring their reaction times, we can get an understanding of their inner feelings, attitudes, and personal characteristics. Implicit response tasks work by trying to influence reaction times of relatively easy recognition tests. This is known as Affective Priming. The test and analysis is complex, however, in its simplest form, when feelings are consistent, reaction times are quick, when they are inconsistent, reaction times are slow. 

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It means we capture a more objective (truer) measure of their feelings towards the brands than by asking them explicitly. 


By measuring their reaction times, we can get an understanding of their feelings (feelings that may have otherwise only existed in the respondent’s subconscious mind).

Our fully developed research platforms allow us to build standardised tests rapidly, gather data quickly, and analyse data automatically.


These implicit reaction time tests (IRTs) can be taken online, at a central location, or even by going to people’s homes. The tests can be taken on most computing devices (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, and smart phone) and most operating systems (Windows 7 and above, Apple IOS, android, Windows mobile, and so on).

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Our implicit test flow



 Qualitative Qs

Quantitative Qs

Implicit Tests


Dr Eamon Fulcher, CEO of Split Second Research Certamente Conference


Want to see what we can do for your brand? 

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