Behavior research method

Behavioral Research: It's Importance and Best Methods

Regardless of whether we like it or not, our histories, habits, and emotions all have a significant part in our behavior. Behavioral research uses measurement and interpretation to explore and comprehend individual and societal behavior. In this blog, we’ll discuss why behavioral research is important and the methods to do it. 

What is Behavioral Research?

Behavioral research is the combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to measure human behavior, get new data, and analyze the effects of active treatment situations on human behavior.

Human behavior fascinates a lot of people. What causes our behavior? What influences or measures our behavior? And why is it so tough to change one’s behavior?

Human behavior research has played a significant role in uplifting the livelihoods of people suffering from mental illnesses and behavioral disorders. It has also assisted breakthroughs in child development, organizational culture monitoring, and public health. Professionals interested in learning how to analyze human behavior want to comprehend why individuals make decisions to better grasp the decision-making process.

What Is the Importance of Behavioral Research?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a behavioral science subject that studies behavior principles, learning, motivation, and strategies for changing behavior. Schools, clinical services, and behavioral health institutions are among the places where applied behavior analysts can work.

Their job includes designing and implementing behavior modification strategies based on observation and data analysis. Counseling, psychology, and special education are also specializations that are certainly part of applied behavior analysis.

Human behavior research spans a wide range of scientific and social disciplines. Behavioral science is defined by the American Psychological Association as any subject (for example, psychology, sociology, or anthropology) that uses experiments and observation to explore human and nonhuman actions and reactions in a scientific manner.

Behavioral science includes a wide range of fields, including Anthropology, economic behavior, psychology of cognition, consumer behavior, psychology of social interaction, and sociology.

Some behavioral scientists combine ideas, concepts, and approaches from several fields to fully comprehend the complexities of human behavior.

Behavioral scientists investigate why humans sometimes act in ways that are detrimental to their well-being. They look at how random environmental influences shape our choices, beliefs, and attitudes. Researchers are also looking at how customers might be enticed to accept, avoid, or adjust their buying decisions.

Human Behavior Research Methods

1. Behavioral perspectives

According to behaviorists, all behaviors are learned via experience and are learned through contact with our environment. Classical and operant are two key ideas in learning new behaviors.

Something fresh is combined with something natural in classical conditioning. After some time, the new stimulus elicits the same reaction as the previous stimulation, leading to a new association.

Comparing qualitative and quantitative research

All sorts of research devices are available to measure human behavior. These tools are classified as qualitative or quantitative measures.

  • Qualitative research

By examining underlying causes, beliefs, and motives, qualitative measures assist researchers in better understanding human behavior. It aims to explain “how” and “why” individuals act the way they do.

In-depth conversations, focus group discussions, observations, and unstructured surveys with open-ended questions are examples of qualitative data measurement methods. Qualitative research should ideally be performed in a natural situation.

  • Quantitative research

Quantitative measures, on the other hand, are used to measure preferences, views, facts, actions, and other types of analyzed data and to apply results from a broader sample group. This is used to provide numerical responses to inquiries such as “How many?”, “How often?”, and “How much?”

Surveys, structured questionnaires, and internet polls with closed-ended questions are examples of methods for gathering this information.

2. Observation

Making observations is a crucial element of researching human behavioral research. What better method to understand someone’s actions than to observe them? What interactions does your test participant have with a kid, a patient, or a computer?

Observational research is usually done at home, work, or in a specially equipped observation lab. Unobtrusive observation is the greatest technique to see one’s genuine conduct.

Another technique to observe someone’s behavior is to examine the inside of them, especially their brain. Because most of the activities that happen inside are not visible to all of us, studying brain activity can provide fresh insights into human behavior.

When researching a wounded brain and the impact it has on a patient, we can see connections between behavior and brain activity. In certain circumstances, brain evidence aids in the resolution of long-standing psychological riddles.

3. Measures that are not obvious

While questionnaires are excellent for gathering ideas, personality traits, and (mental) health concerns, they do have significant drawbacks.

Approximately 95% of our actions are unconscious and automatic. Researchers have devised methods to record our subconscious thoughts, feelings, and actions. Indirect tests demand that people react quickly to a variety of inputs. Differences in reaction times reveal how you feel about something or someone.

4. Medical research

It’s all about the quality of life and, as a result, quality of care in the medical field of care research. According to Wikipedia, “well-being quality of life” assesses how a sickness, disability, or ailment may impair an individual’s well-being over time. The greatest goal of healthcare providers is to improve their patient’s quality of life by delivering the most acceptable available treatment.

Doctor-patient contact, operating room architecture, simulation training, team effectiveness and communication, and coping with emotions are all possible themes for healthcare research. All of these factors influence quality care and, hence, life.

5. Research on education and training

Through education, students learn facts, events, values, ideas, basic concepts, principles, and other things. Training, on the other hand, is a method of acquiring abilities rather than simply learning facts. Training is focused on practical application, including hands-on experience. They assist individuals in implementing a new system, improving a particular ability, or advancing their proficiency in anything.

Education and training may occur in a variety of professions and places, including classrooms and skills laboratories. In a safe, controlled atmosphere, the theory may be put into practice.

6. Consumer behavior research

The most incredible method for understanding customer decision behavior and preferences is identifying the target audience. How do customers interact with a product? Why did they decide to purchase the item in the first place? Was it because of the packing or the layout of the store? Or were there any unconscious emotions at play?


Human action is a multifaceted and dynamic topic of behavioral research study that necessitates several lines of inquiry to provide insights. Learning processes set the framework for deciding many of our actions. However, we are constantly evolving in reaction to our environment.

Understanding our actions is a complex undertaking, but it is one that we are coming closer to completing. Traditional research approaches have taught us a lot, and now detection methods can guide us.

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Consumer Behavior Research Methods | Small Business

Organizations of all sizes acknowledge the importance of consumer research. Multinational companies use advanced analytics and conduct large-scale studies to better understand their target market. Small and medium-sized businesses can gain valuable insights from surveys, questionnaires and focus groups. They may also leverage existing data, such as industry reports, to define and reach their audiences.

The Role of Consumer Research

Consumer behavior is constantly changing in response to digitization, market trends, social factors, psychological factors and more. The advent of social media, for example, has transformed how people engage with their favorite brands. Companies worldwide are trying to keep up with these changes and drive innovation to remain competitive.

Google reports that over 40 percent of marketing experts base their decisions on consumer research. Nearly 90 percent agree that understanding the consumer journey across all channels and devices is essential to business success. The better you understand your customers, the more likely you are to meet and exceed their expectations. Consumer research can also provide the information you need to enter new markets, improve your products and deliver highly personalized shopping experiences.

The role of consumer research is to help organizations identify their customers' needs, attitudes, preferences and buying behavior. This information allows them to define and segment their target markets, create buyer personas and maximize their advertising dollars.

Grant Canyon University notes that consumer research can also keep small businesses from making costly mistakes, such as developing products that nobody wants or needs. At the same time, it enables them to understand and predict customer behavior in the marketplace.

Types of Consumer Research

Generally, there are two ways to approach the consumer behavior research process. Depending on your budget and marketing goals, you may use primary or secondary research methods. The former can be further divided into qualitative and quantitative research and consists of any studies, surveys, polls and other methods that you design and implement yourself.

For example, an organization may survey customers to determine how they feel about a particular good or service on a scale from 1 to 10. That's quantitative research. An open-ended questionnaire, on the other hand, provides qualitative data, explains MacAlester College. Focus groups, interviews and other qualitative research methods can provide insights into the underlying reasons and motivations of your customers.

Secondary research is based on existing data. If, say, you decide to start a real estate business and want to know the median age or income of homebuyers in your city, there's no need to conduct surveys and interviews. Instead, you can gather data from industry reports, government sources, homeowner associations and more. Later, you may use primary research methods to define your market and identify the demands of different customer groups.

Both primary and secondary consumer research can help with business planning, product development, customer service and marketing. Choosing the best methods may take some trial and error, but it's worth it. As a marketer, you want to know why consumers prefer one product over another and what drives their purchase decisions. Sales figures alone don't give the full picture. Consider using the following research methods to better understand your customers.

Consumer Behavior Surveys

Surveys are commonly used in the consumer behavior research process due to their convenience and low cost. Online surveys, for instance, can be conducted remotely and cost next to nothing. The results can be collected and analyzed quickly. This research method enables marketers to easily analyze consumers' thoughts, feeling, opinions and motivations.

Small businesses, in particular, no longer need to outsource data collection to market research organizations. They can simply use online platforms and tools like Qualtrics, SurveyMonkey and Typeform to collect consumer data. SurveyMonkey, for example, distributes about 90 million surveys each month, reports an October 2017 review published in the Palgrave Handbook of Survey Research. Big companies use these platforms, too.

This research method is more or less effective, depending on its structure. First, set a clear, attainable goal then use it as a starting point to prioritize the questions you want to ask. Keep your surveys short and concise. Avoid biased or vague questions, and pay attention to phrasing. Test the survey on a small number of respondents before sending it to your customers.

Consumer Focus Groups

Focus groups can provide valuable insights into consumer behavior if conducted properly. They usually consist of six to 10 people who engage in an open discussion under the guidance of a moderator. The responses are open-ended and have more depth than those obtained through surveys. For example, you may run a focus group to determine what consumers expect from a new product or what types of advertising they are most receptive to.

Back in the '50s, Mattel conducted focus groups and toy testing to understand children's play patterns. This data enabled them to create the famous Barbie doll sets, reach a global audience and assess how consumers from different cultures respond to the doll's features. Government agencies run focus groups to assess the impact of new policies on the public. Corporations use the research method to validate product ideas, improve their offerings and evaluate consumer perceptions.

Focus groups are more flexible than other research methods. Participants can interact with each other, exchange ideas and actively engage in conversations. Marketers, on the other hand, have a chance to observe their body language and can dive deeper into the topic. This kind of interaction can uncover ideas and potential issues that your team may not have thought of.

Another advantage of focus groups is that they can be conducted remotely. In this case, respondents will join a video conferencing platform at a prearranged time and answer the questions that are given to them. This option comes in handy when you're targeting customers living in different cities or countries.

Business Ethnographic Research

Marketers may also conduct ethnographic research to observe consumers in real life, such as when they're shopping or using a product. Ethnography is a qualitative research method that studies people in their natural environment. In a marketing context, it involves studying prospective customers in stores, on the street or at home to see what products draw their attention and how different factors affect purchase decisions.

Ethnographic research can be used to improve user experience, create buyer personas and conduct usability studies. For example, a sports equipment manufacturer may send research teams to local gyms to see which machines people use, what they wear and how they train.

This research method helps companies test new product ideas, identify unexpected issues and learn more about consumers' expectations. Therefore, it allows for a more complex understanding of potential areas of product improvement. Researchers play an active, immersive role, which enables them to collect insights that traditional tools are unable to capture, points out the American Marketing Association. Moreover, this method is free of bias as it allows you to see things through the customer's eyes.

In addition to these techniques, marketers can use sales data, conduct phone interviews and research reviews of competitors to gain insights into their audiences. An e-commerce business, for example, may collect data from its website, heat maps, user recorded sessions and online advertising campaigns. A startup may check customer reviews on Amazon, Yelp, forums and social networks to understand the needs of its target market. These insights can lead to better decision-making, cost savings and higher revenue.

2.3. Personality Research Methods. Organizational Behavior: Study Guide

2.3. Personality Research Methods

Typologies of methods for determining the personal qualities of employees and features of role distribution in a group, the relationship of employees of a group to each other are quite diverse, but the following groups of methods are most often distinguished: external manifestations of the human psyche. The method is laborious and requires considerable time and special training;

• The method of self-observation (introspection) is a person's observation of his own mental manifestations. Usually the conclusions that a person makes on the basis of self-observation are subjective, inadequate and can be used to analyze self-esteem and compare it with the opinions of others;

• a large group of personality questionnaires (tests) that allow determining various personality traits and qualities, such as temperament, character, intelligence, creativity, behavioral motives, value orientations, factors influencing behavior, etc. These questionnaires identify the sides of the personality by analyzing and grouping the answers of the subject, which usually have the form of a menu (you must select one of the answer options). It should be borne in mind that the data obtained contain a significant element of subjectivity, since the answers are given by the respondent himself: the quality of the answers is influenced by the psychological state of the respondent during the survey, and the degree of actual familiarity with the situation in which it is proposed to characterize the behavior;

• projective methods based on the conclusions of psychological science that consciously or unconsciously the subject transfers, projects his psychological properties, states onto external objects, which is reflected in his interpretation of one or another stimulus material. A professional psychologist, psychoanalyst or psychotherapist is able to recognize behind the associations that stimulus material (blots, pictures, etc. ) evokes in the subject, the features of his personality, motives, values, the work of the subconscious. When using these methods, the presence of an experienced professional in the field of psychology is mandatory;

• sociometry - a method of psychological research of interpersonal relations in a group in order to determine the structure of relationships, roles and statuses of group members, including the identification of informal leaders, psychological compatibility. There is a group of tests to determine the socio-psychological climate in the group, the relationship to the leader, to the leader, to identify the leadership style;

• methods of questioning, interviews, conversations that allow obtaining information by answering written or oral questions of a specialist. They are widely used in the marketing system when it is necessary to identify attitudes towards work (for example, the “Questionnaire on existing and desired powers”), in various types of sociological research. They require the participation of specialists for the development of a research program, its organization, conduct and subsequent interpretation of the results.

An essential factor in choosing a particular method or test is its validity (correspondence to what it is intended for; the test determines exactly what it should) and reliability (the test allows you to get the same results, regardless of the number of respondents and the contingent ). Many popular tests that are simple in terms of content and processing of results do not pass the test for validity and reliability and cannot be used in the field of personnel management.

J. Godefroy[28] points out that many accusations have been brought against personality questionnaires in general. It has been emphasized that there is no conclusive evidence for their reliability and validity[29], many points are very general, the subject often falls under the influence of the authority of the scientist developing or applying the test, and answers the questions not sincerely, but in the way that, in his opinion, the scientist expects. Test results are affected by fatigue and anxiety, some tests invade the privacy of the test subject, violate his "privacy" (privacy). The availability of test material allows you to get acquainted with it in advance and answer, in fact, falsifying the results. Many people know the tricks of "deception" of tests, it is believed that even the "Polygraph" test, better known as the "Lie Detector", can be deceived.

All these considerations lead to the fact that testing should be considered only as an auxiliary means in determining the qualities of a person, the use of tests is possible only in packages, "in batteries", when data obtained in one way is checked when applying another method - a test.

Career guidance tests form a separate group. If the use of personal questionnaires at the stage of professional selection or employee relocation requires a preliminary idea of ​​the necessary qualities and properties, and personality questionnaires help to establish the presence of qualities, then career guidance tests help determine the field of activity to which the respondent has a disposition.

General note: any research method is based on a model of the phenomenon under study, the developer or supporter of which is the author of the method. Therefore, for example, even career guidance tests measure the professional tendencies and preferences of people within different groups of professions, areas of interest, inclinations.

This text is an introductory fragment.

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goal and objectives, research methods

Concepts of the consumer and consumer behavior

Definition 1

The consumer is a key link in the economy, in the form of a solvent person who creates demand for the benefits of the economy, acquiring and using them.

Consumer behavior has a number of features. In the economy, there is even a special section showing how people behave in the process of buying a product or acquiring a service.

Definition 2

Consumer behavior is the behavior of the consumer at the time of searching, choosing and acquiring, with subsequent consumption, goods that satisfy the initial request and needs.

Even now there is no unified theory explaining consumer behavior. However, there are two ways of development:

  • cardinal;
  • ordinalist.

The first type is the measurement of the marginal and total benefit for the buyer from the use of the good. And the second is the possibility of grading goods according to the degree of usefulness.

There are also a number of restrictions on consumer behavior. The most commonplace is financial opportunities, because prices largely influence the choice and purchase of goods. Also, the behavior itself is influenced by many sociocultural, psychological and personal factors.

The behavioral model also has a certain set of effects that change it depending on the solvency, price range, demand and popularity of the product. Consumer research has shown that the behavioral model is an unstable and changeable market figure that requires close attention and study.

The main objectives and goals of the study of consumer behavior in the market

The study was based on the consideration, analysis and subsequent evaluation of consumer behavior, as well as identifying motivation to buy, causes and various results and factors.

Note 1

The purpose of this study is to analyze the preferences of the audience and the reasons for their decisions. With the help of the results obtained, manufacturers of goods can more effectively influence the masses, encouraging them to buy or acquire.

It is important to study and investigate the process of making a purchase and what influences it. There are several stages of this process:

  1. The emergence of a need.
  2. Searches for product details.
  3. Search and compare options.
  4. Purchase decision.
  5. Emotions from the purchase.

Each of these steps requires study. First you need to determine the needs of the audience, expectations from the product. Then you need to designate the channels through which a person will search for information about the product. It is especially important to study the evaluation of a product in the process of comparing it with others: the choice depends on the degree of utility that the purchase can bring. The choice will be in favor of the one that most fully satisfies all needs.

It is necessary to separately analyze the factors that influence the behavior of the buyer in the market. This includes both psychological and social orders. For example, the social ones include:

  • a person's family and its needs and needs;
  • group standard;
  • social class of a person.

Psychological categories include:

  • perception;
  • motivation;
  • persuasion;
  • assimilation.

The combination of these two orders influences the appearance of behavioral effects: Snob, Veblen, Giffen, joining the majority.

Note 2

Research in the field of consumer behavior and its analysis play an essential role in the marketing activities of an enterprise, and without it it is impossible to effectively influence customers and competently plan a business for the future.

Methods for researching consumer behavior

An extensive set of tools, including marketing analysis, underlies the research. It is built around the need to choose a specific set of goods under limited conditions. Limited conditions mean:

  • income level;
  • market offers.

The following methods of studying consumer behavior are distinguished:

  1. Analysis of motivations.
  2. Historical.
  3. Simulation.
  4. Marketing research, etc.

A very important role in research is played by motivational theories:

  1. A. Maslow.
  2. Z. Freud.

Also important is the theory of the marginal utility of goods in the economy: according to it, the consumption of a good additionally brings less benefit.

The historical method is based on data and analysis of similar situations in the past.

The simulation method involves the reconstruction of an artificial behavioral model: the creation of certain conditions and observation of the buyer.

Note 3

To obtain a more complete picture, revealing all aspects, causes and factors of behavioral behavior, a complex of multifactorial models and techniques is used.

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