Tagged : Implicit

Which implicit test is best?

December 13th, 2013 by

At COG we have been working with implicit testing for 8 years now, in collaboration with the developers of the original IAT test at Harvard, adapting that for commercial use, building a simpler IRT test to measure multiple brand values, and adapting that to measure social attitudes. We are lucky to have had clients who have supported us in testing and developing these alternative approaches and thought it useful to share a few early findings:

IF you want to get at deep seated social attitudes and prejudices then the original IAT test is still best. It is technically robust and can prove negative or positive associations in a way that convinces almost everyone. That will be why Adam and Eve DDB and ourselves picked up an APG Strategy Award last month for the work we did on facial disfigurement for Changing Faces.

IF you want a more user friendly way of measuring social attitudes and feelings then the Social IRT test is best – this uses speed of response to identify which issues we feel strongly about (either positively or negatively) and is quicker and more user friendly than the classic Likert scale approach. We used this recently with The Guardian on their acclaimed Concerns and Contentment work.

IF you want to track brand attitudes and the effect that digital communication, sponsorship or good old fashioned ads are having – then the IRT is great. In a 2 minute test you can measure your brand and 3 or 4 competitors on 15 benchmark values to produce a sensitive map of how you are doing.

IF you want to measure other things than brands, then the IRT can still help – we have recently used it to monitor attitudes to sufferers of different health conditions.

There is a lot of interest in Implicit Testing at the moment – because it is measuring the part of our mind that is influencing most of our behaviour and purchase decisions. We can only expect implicit tests to become more popular in future – but one thing we have learnt is that they need real design care to get the algorithms right. Just because they look simple doesn’t mean they are easy to build. But if they are well built they give wonderfully clear and intuitively believable results that don’t need a PhD to interpret.

5 things COG came across last week

October 1st, 2012 by


An interesting insight from Dave Trott, “many planners now confuse themselves with researchers” IF PLANNERS PLANNED @ http://davetrott.campaignlive.co.uk/
We like doing ‘upstream’ research, which means any ‘copy testing’ research we do asks the right questions.


There’s no such thing as bad publicity? The Wall Blog ruminates on supposed PR disasters.
I also shop at Waitrose because I was once in the Holloway Rd branch & heard a dad say, “Put the papaya down, Orlando!” #waitrosereasons
& how Nick Clegg spins the spin

Got everyone talking and both ‘brands’ were brought front of mind. Could this explicit ridicule actually bring implicit gains?


PSY’s Gangnam style goes viral
Overtakes LMFAO’s YouTube likes . . . breaks a Guinness world record . . . No. 1 on Sunday’s Radio 1 Top 40.
Remember MC Hammer?


Seth Godin’s Blog advises on ‘The wishing/doing gap’
But don’t we need a wish in the first place to make us want to do?


Julian Wolkenstein explores the scientific concept of beauty; “It’s time to reflect”.
Changing normal people’s appearances drastically simply by giving them completely symmetrical faces, creating two identities.
But show us the original faces please so we can compare the real thing!

David Hockney wisdoms

January 3rd, 2012 by

Great conversation with Andrew Marr on Radio 4 (of course). Hockney on about the craft and poetry of the artist – what can and can’t be taught. Reminded we have to be able to research both aspects of ads without letting the craft of research stimulus get in the way – and without letting over rational consumer critique get in the way of the implicit poetry.

PHD and Global triumph at Media Week awards

October 28th, 2011 by

Congratulations to our clients Global Radio and PHD for their showing last night http://www.brandrepublic.com/news/1101128/phd-global-celebrate-media-week-awards-2011-winners-revealed/
We have worked with them both on producing evidence of how relatively small media campaigns are producing big effects on how consumers feel. We expect the IRT evidence helped win them the Gold for Research Insight. It is so encouraging to see new techniques help prove that innovative approaches really do work – and to be responsible for providing the evidence to prove it.

Keeping the doctor’s appointment – Behavioural Economics in action

July 29th, 2011 by

Great new story emerging about using simple nudges to improve appointment keeping. They have managed to reduce Do Not Attends by 30% in the test area. We are working on getting people to fill in some Government forms at the moment – my only challenge is that we hate doing these so much that nudging may not be enough!
Good coverage on Radio 4 Today programme – nice to see a positive B E story in the media. More details here:

Hunch – uncovering behavioural correlations

June 23rd, 2011 by

Been looking at the work Hunch are doing with the Teach Hunch About You project. How cat or dog owners have different TV show tastes – we have a dog and like House so that fits….and how frequency of flying fits with aisle vs window preference – again we fly a lot and swear by the aisle so that fits too.
Have a look at the blog and try the survey

Hunch Charts

From the Hunch Blog

PHD use COG implicit tracking to prove radio works

June 16th, 2011 by

PHD worked with Global Radio to try out the Neuro-Evaluation approach on frozen food firm McCain’s recent ‘Family of the Month’ promotion, which ran on the Capital and Heart station networks.

They used COG’s IRT implicit test, and the research showed strong gains post-campaign for the ‘family-oriented’ attribute in particular. Overall, emotional connections showed “significant positive movement”, PHD said.

Full article at http://www.research-live.com/4005405.article

Implicit testing

February 24th, 2011 by

Just off to a meeting about using the original IAT implicit test approach for a client. It’s a great test for uncovering entrenched or hard to acknowledge attitudes, but limited to one issue and one set of values at a time – not ideal for brand tracking.
This time round it makes perfect sense for tracking changes in attitudes we would prefer not to acknowledge. More on this soon if it goes ahead – meanwhile you can see the original work at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/