The 'true' inner self

Date of publication: November 5, 2003


This paper describes our attempt to understand the respondent's 'true' inner self during qualitative research in Mexico. The essay begins with a short review of a number of key respondent biases associated with traditional qualitative focus groups. Since the validity and reliability of the respondent's information, based on traditional focus group techniques, can be called into question, we have applied theoretical psychology and social anthropology to aid in the identification and assessment of the respondent's 'true' inner self.The paper demonstrates the triangulation method, which involves the linking of the true event or observation with the customer's perception of it to an unbiased measurement of the event/observation, and illustrates the use of a number of these triangulation methods utilized during Ford de Mexico's product testing for the new Eco-Sport SUV (Sport Utility Vehicle) in Mexico.

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