Tag Archives: analysis

Video: 8 Myths About Lying

Man with hand raised to swear yet with other hand with crossed fingers

You will either lie or be lied to today. That’s pretty much a fact. Some lies are harmless, such as a false compliment, but some will wreak havoc on your life.

Spotting lies is important, yet an ability few have, mainly because of various stubborn myths. That’s the theme of our video based on our primary and secondary research from 8 Honest Truths About Spotting Liars and Lying. Some of the astonishing takeaways include:

We’re lied to from 10 to 200 times a day.
60% of people lie during a standard 10-minute conversation and average two to three lies during that time frame.
Woman aren’t better at spotting liars and psychopaths aren’t better at lying (call that one even, Clarice, but still bring the Chianti).
Lying is a cooperative act where you grant power to another individual or institution, choose to wear a shroud of denial because the truth is too unpalatable.
Everyone lies and not all everyone lies (might seem confusing, but meditate on this Stephen King quote: “Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.”)

Providing online sample is one of qSample’s cornerstones, so we feel “truth-seeking” is foundational for market research. If you do as well, please enjoy our video:

The Dark Side of Social Media Just Got Darker

Woman despondent while looking at social media on smartphone

There is no shortage of content on the mental and emotional hazards of social media, all readily found in…uh…social media.

Yet this dark cloud is getting darker by recent studies, supported by qSample’s own finding. It’s casting a larger shadow over a medium that once was believed as the great democratizer of society.

 

Here is how it gets darker

 

The most recent warning comes from Future Foundation, in a study of Britons on social media usage. The study arrived at a powerful conclusion: social media has created a culture of comparison like never before, leading youth and adults down a labyrinth of brittle self-esteem.

Some of the discoveries of the study:

63% of social media users ages between 17 and 33 feel they are failing in life (while only 37% of baby boomers feel this way).
– 56% of social media users feel they’re not reaching their potential.

The alarming numbers are likely caused by the notion of social comparison gone awry. Buffer explains the perils of social comparison in the Psychology of Social Media:

This can lead to feelings of insecurity—especially on Facebook, where we go to share our happiest, braggiest news. We’re constantly comparing ourselves against a stream of new babies, engagements, new jobs.

This isn’t just a Facebook issue; it happens on Instagram, where Instagram envy runs rampant, and on Pinterest, where a survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers revealed that 42 percent have “Pinterest stress”—they worry that they’re not crafty or creative enough.

Worse than social comparison gone awry, as the Future Foundation study relates, social media users actually wish their real life mirrored that of their social profiles—basically creating a schizophrenic society where online personas are different from real personalities. The research reveals that young men suffer the most in all demographics; but all sectors find themselves continually under the stress of matching their own projections with that of peers in various social media channels.

As mentioned, qSample’s primary study supports the deleterious effects of social media:

A recent study conducted with qSample’s general consumer panel reveals that more than 60% of respondents surveyed access Facebook 3-6 times a day. Results also show those who are logged in that frequently earn an income of $50,000 or less per year.

The study demonstrates that in general those with less social media footprints tend to earn higher.

 

Here is where it gets darkest

 

Obviously, a case (with many case studies) can be made on the positive effects of social media on both the individual and community. Regardless, it seems most miss the true nature of social media, as well as the internet itself. Understanding this nature is key to solving the dark matter that is social media pervading online universes.

Marketer Josip Petrusa nailed it in a blog article. He is not alone, drawing from the works of cyber-psychology pioneers like Chris Anderson, Malcolm Gladwell and Nassim Taleb.

It basically goes like this: social media and the internet do not improve or harm our emotions. No, they simply amplify them.

As he writes:

And though the internet increasingly became an amplifier of everything the world had to offer as a result of easy-access, the sudden increase of amateur creations and exposure to a seemingly infinite world, social media has established itself as the ultimate amplifier.

The amplifier effect bares no bias. Nor does it give privilege or favour anything directly. Its sole purpose is to amplify, everything. It is everything we are in this social media world. It is everything we perceive to be through our own perceptions.

This makes perfect sense when taken to a mass media level. Think about it. When an endangered lion is shot or a police officer acts irresponsibly, social media broadcasts latent emotions to all corners of the world. Animal rights and minority activists have been around for decades, moving the culture needle to more egalitarian spectrums. Social media simply leverages covert sentiments, injects them with the steroids, and then disseminates them in a mob-like wave across the web. In the end, it’s always the boots on the ground that make a real difference.

Another example would be the Arab Spring. Social media took credit for it—according to many digital commentators and marketers—but the mechanism for Egyptian freedom was already in the works and continues to imperfectly grind away. A University of Washington study even concluded that “social media did not cause the upheaval in North Africa.”

In essence, social media and the internet are not bringers of historical change but bringers of emotional range. Like all media, they capture a snapshot of human progress.

The greatest evidence for social media having an “amplifier effect” instead of societal impact is the reality of how issues swell and shrink rapidly. Our research shows how the internet has drastically shrunk the attention span of people to the point goldfish focus more than humans! Today’s dire issue is quickly forgotten, except again in the minds of activists of various stripes. I mean, is anyone still irate at Brian Williams or Eric Holder for whatever? Today’s confederate flag is tomorrow’s obscure meme on Facebook, at least in the mind of the general public.

 

Here is where the light comes it

 

Beyond morbid self-reflection and mob-rule mentality, social media seems officially darker than ever, if the Future Foundation research holds up.

How do we even know our emotions when they are fragmented and then amplified like in a psychic sugar-rush that later becomes a sort of ice cream headache for the heart? How can we combat gross projections on our social profiles as we attempt to compete with friends and followers who seem to have it all? As one therapist said on the emotional amplifications of social media, how do you stop from going into a “neurotic limbo”?

As with the negative aspects of social media, there is a galaxy of literature out there on solutions to the negative aspect of social media. It really all comes down to some addictive spectrum or another that either needs to be curtailed, eliminated or managed differently. As a Forbes columnist and tech executive wrote recently on Forbes: “Social media is rapidly becoming as bad as smoking for the human condition.”

Your mileage may vary.

But to solve the effects of Tyler Durden-like emotions, it seems the solutions was already stated in this article: Be an activists, any kind of activist even if it’s something small like “save the stamp collection.” Find a passion that only you care about—and know, as evidence reveals—that any real change will be in the material world and away The Matrix that is social media. That will eventually align your emotions and identity, and both will shine through on social media and beyond…in history…even if it’s in a list article on some blog.

It’s really that simple. Any more complication risks this being amplified on the internet to the point it gets lost in a short-attention span society.

And yes, please share on social media, Neo…

 

Infographic of the Week: 4 Scientific Tips To Always Being on Time

White rabbit running late to appointment.

English author Evelyn Waugh once wrote: “Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.” It’s a great saying, but when it’s estimated that the U.S. loses $90 billion each year due to people running late, suddenly being on time is no longer boring. Not at all! Being punctual means money for both businesses and employees. It means no frowns on the faces of superiors, kids waiting to go their soccer game or a Friday night date.

Being on time is entertaining, and we hope you find this week’s infographic entertaining, based on our research from our article The Science of Habitually Late People.

Let’s not waste more time$$$. Here it is:

4 Scientific Tips to Always Being on Time Infographic

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The Science Behind Habitually Late People

Man running late with giant clock in backdrop

Some people seem to be always late, no matter what the event or appointment. They’re like the Samuel L. Jackson character in Goodfellas, who is told by the Joe Pesci character that he’s always late and will even be late to his own funeral. Such individuals seem like an enigma to those who thrive to be punctual, a perverse art form from those who consummately delayed.

There is also a science behind this, and some of it ties to qSample’s own research.

The data comes from a recent piece by Science Alert. It details three personality traits that, alone or together, create that thermonuclear annoyance of being habitually unpunctual. Here they are, and then some solutions offered from an expert on tardiness recovery.

 

Poor Planners

“I have been on a calendar, but never on time.”
― Marilyn Monroe

The article states:

One of the most obvious and common reasons that people are frequently late is that they simply fail to accurately judge how long a task will take – something known as the planning fallacy. Research has shown that people on average underestimate how long a task will take to complete by a significant 40 percent.

This essentially means there are people who just are faulty at planning, and not intentionally holding up the Monday design meeting or enjoying watching you soaked as they pick you up late at the bus stop on a rainy day.

But let us be grateful for those who heavily multitask in order to make the day happen, right?

Not exactly. This is the second trait.

 

Multitaskers

“He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.”
― Oscar Wilde

The article further states:

In a 2003 study run by Jeff Conte from San Diego State University in the US, found that out of 181 subway operators in New York City, those who preferred multitasking – or polychronicity – were more often late to their job.

The reasons stated center on the notion that multitasking makes it harder to maintain metacognition (or awareness). This confirms our findings that maintain Multitasking has a 41% higher chance of creating mental blocks; furthermore, it takes four times the amount of energy to recognize new things when multitasking.

But multitasking is for aggressive, extroverted people who need to carpe diem at any cost! That’s a reason they are late.

Not exactly.

 

Type B Personalities

“Punctuality is the virtue of the bored.”

― Evelyn Waugh

The data of Science Alert claims that Type A individuals are typically more punctual than Type B individuals. It has little to do with the intense environment Type A individuals commonly surround themselves in (including aggressive multitasking).

The fascinating reason, according to the article, is that “Type A and Type B people actually feel time pass differently.” The Conte study mentions it found that for Type A individuals a minute passed in 58 seconds, whereas Type B people felt a minute pass in 77 seconds.

This all may all seem trite and amusing, but the reality is that it’s estimated that the U.S. loses $90 billion each year as a result of people running late (while multitasking alone costs a staggering $650 billion).

So we might as well find solutions—related but beyond less multitasking, working on better planning, and slamming a Red Bull to speed up time. To assist, we’ve included an infographic at the bottom from our article The Art of Good Time Management.

 

Four Methods to Becoming Punctual

These methods are provided by a Fast Company article that dissects Diana DeLonzor’s bestselling Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged.

DeLonzor provides four cornerstones to punctuality Nirvana, and they overlap with the personalities mentioned:

  1. Be a Realistic Thinker

Habitually late people engage in what DeLonzor calls “magical thinking.” It’s a delusion where an individual always expects the best possible scenario of any event, e.g.: driving through traffic, finishing work projects, or the length of a baseball game. DeLonzo says late people are regularly off of their time calculations by 25% to 30%.

DeLonzor suggests relearning to read the clock by writing the exact time it takes to reach a destination or even with mundane activities like taking a shower. And then rewrite these times down every week until a strong average is understood.

  1. Be an Embracer of Buffers

Punctual individuals are often early. Being late causes them stress and feeling rushed is uneasy. According to DeLonzo, late people do also feel stress when being late, but that doesn’t make them strive to be early, instead timing things to the minute.

Always adding ten-minute increments of time to any event could go a long way to eliminating tardiness.

  1. Be Organized

According to DeLonzor, 45% of everything people perform on a daily basis is automatic. Humans are creatures of habit.

Punctual individuals tend to have structured habits, constantly analyzing their daily activities and routines. In contrast, habitually late individuals tend to eschew structure and even fall in the ADD spectrum.

DeLonzor recommends putting more routines and structure into life. One example would be doing everything to prepare for the morning the night before.

  1. Be Comfortable with Downtime

Being on time often means being early and thus having extra minutes to burn. That also means often catching up on emails, reading notes, or even enjoying a meditative moment.

That doesn’t sit well with habitually late individuals. They take a Furious 7 approach in enjoying the thrill of getting anywhere. Furthermore, they tend not to be comfortable sitting or waiting around, and that affects them unconsciously when it comes to punctuality. To negate this, DeLonzor proposes bringing an extra task or piece of literature for any appointment.

All of this information won’t cure those Midwest blizzards or Gulf hurricanes that are authentic excuses for being late to work or dinner. Yet they will go a long way in curing those storms inside the heads of those who make us late for movies or that important sales appointment.

Time Management

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Infographic of the Week: The Negative Effects of Multitasking

We revisit multitasking in this week’s infographic, based on previous primary and secondary research. Not only is multitasking psychologically eroding, it is bleeding money from the entire workforce.

This research brought some blowback once it was posted on social media. Many mother’s reached out to me, claiming that it’s impossible to raise children without multitasking. As an active parent, I agree with that! The last thing we want to do is incur the ire of the very powerful mommy blogger community.

Thus, it should be specified that this research was taken from professional industry data. Being a parent requires a level of consciousness that has not yet been replicated in the workforce.

With that out of the way, enjoy or at least find some insights to our infographic:

The Negative Effects of Multitasking

 

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Research Says Multitasking is Bad For Your Career and Health

Blue keyboard with shift key showing information overload in crimson

I’m crunching numbers from our veterinarian panel for a client’s pet research project. Simultaneously, I’m working on an article for the blog, checking email, and bouncing ideas with the team on Skype Instant Messenger. At some point, I eye the company’s Twitter feed. I’m being productive. I’m multitasking like the rest of our advanced, tech society.

I’m harming my work and my very mind!

This may sound alarmist, bordering on histrionics, but as someone involved in market research I have to go beyond convention and face the sober data.

And it says that multitasking in not a beneficial enterprise, professionally or personally. Let me share with you the sober data.

 

Why Do We Multitask?

 

According to research, 80% of individuals multitask at work. The reasons posed—beyond an aggressive work society in brittle economic times—is that everyone is being bombarded from all corners by various forms of broadcasting. A report from ZenithOptimedia states that “we now spend more than eight hours a day consuming media.”

Our natural response to this shelling of data has been to react aggressively in a multi-front, sensory manner. In a way, this has caused the ADD-ing of the population—as we attempt to engage information overload by fragmenting our attention, and as well to squeeze more minutes out of the day.

In What Will You Do When Your Customers No Longer Have Attention Spans? I provided stark figures supporting the ADD-ing of American culture. This included the reality that five minutes is the average attention span of a person, a drop from 12 minutes only 10 years ago. Some experts contend that the attention span of a human being is actually shorter than that of a goldfish.

This logically cannot be getting us closer to work efficiency and having a computer-mind…but call me radical…

 

Multitasking Is Bad For Business

 

A Hubspot article details findings from Velocity, stating that “more than 31 workweeks are lost each year due to multitasking. That’s more than half the year!”

The research furthermore reports that:

–  $650 billion are lost yearly in the U.S. because of multitasking.
–  It takes four times the amount of energy to recognize new things when multitasking.
–  More mistakes are made when multitasking than when prioritizing.
–  Multitasking has a 41% higher chance of creating mental blocks.

The article, on the other hand, provides the benefits of not multitasking at work:

On the bright side, prioritization can drastically reduce the lost productivity costs associated with multitasking. For example, companies that use an automated prioritization solution increase salespeople’s talk time by 88% and better their conversion rates by 97%.

If that isn’t enough incentive (and you’re still glancing at Facebook while reading this), then the negative effects on your mental well-being might be enough motivation.

 

Multitasking is Bad For Your Brain

 

A joint study by Citrix and the Center for Brain Health at the University of Dallas presented these dire conclusions:

Multitasking is like asbestos to the brain. Our brain is not wired to do more than one task at a time. When you believe you are multitasking, your brain is actually switching quickly from one task to another. Multitasking causes brain fatigue and reduces productivity and accuracy. It also causes a build-up of the stress hormone cortisol.

The research contends that long-term increases in cortisol could potentially lead to worsened memory, increased brain cell death, decreased neuronal activity, weakened immune system, and other negative effects on an individual.

Still getting the urge to check your smartphone for your latest text message?

If you do, the study also states:

The need to respond instantly to every email, phone call, text or social media post as quickly as possible is rewiring our brain to be addicted to distraction. We literally crave the next ping, making it virtually impossible to go for any stretch without checking our technology. In this ADHD-like state, we struggle to focus for long periods of time and think deeply about one thought, idea or task.

In addition, multitasking results in constant brain fatigue, where the mind switches to a rote system of constant memorization instead of the productive mode of problem-solving.

This is not looking good for either our wallets or sanity, is it?

 

Is There Any Hope Against Multitasking?

 

The above study does offer solutions to getting away from multitasking:

Research shows that higher-performing minds are not more efficient at knowing what to pay attention to, but rather, what to block out.

As with the HubSpot piece, a further solution is prioritization. Simply put: focus on two tasks only when arriving at work, and perform nothing else until those are completed (beyond the normal interruptions of the day).

It should be noted that our brains have become like overworked athletes with no chance of resting the muscles. The mere and conscious effort of less multitasking can go a long way in restoring our minds to maximum capability.

Of course, exercise, social breaks throughout the day, and a good diet may go a long way in not falling down the multitasking labyrinth, as these focus the brain. Other helpful actions are turning off email notifications, phone ringers, and background videos/sound streams on the computer.

This is easier said than done, obviously, but in the end both your job and your brain will thank you. For the record, while writing this article I did check my email, phone, and some other websites for unrelated information.

In other words, I have a lot of work to do too, but at least the right data is here to assist me in my continued exploration for the right data for my job and personal life.

Let us focus separately on less multitasking, so we can focus together on a better society.

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Infographic of the Week: Why Consumers Prefer Media Subscription Over Renting or Owning

Silhouette of Don Draper from Made Men watching himself on television

Memorial Day Weekend is arriving and May Sweeps are ending. Yet the media landscape remains as active as ever, even with the farewell of Don Draper and David Letterman. This week’s infographic details the preferences of consumers as they vacation the various digital lands. It’s based on our primary research found in Access Over Ownership: Consumers Prefer Media Subscription.

The findings were surprising, as we reported:

As the media world continues to focus on instant access and mobility, consumers are choosing subscription services to rent movies, TV shows, games, and music instead of purchasing them. Since the advent of the digital revolution, consumers seem to place a higher demand on access to media, rather than actually owning it. Media subscription services are more popular than ever, and qSample decided to find out why people choose the services that they do.

Find the reasons in our infographic, and have a wonderful holiday weekend, outdoors or in the digital lands.

Access Not Ownership

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Is Holistic Medicine for Pet Care the Next Big Trend?

According to statistic from the National Center for Health Statistics, almost 40 percent of Americans in 2007 utilized holistic medicine (also referred to as integrative/complementary/alternative medicine).

The trend is growing in an increasingly health-conscious society wading in uncertain times in the healthcare industry. It makes logical sense to wonder if the holistic medicine interest will expand to a society that deeply cares for its pets (a recent survey conducted by qSample, as an example, detailed that pet owners spent $27 billion on animal medication and visits to the veterinarian in 2013).

Holistic medicine would likely be attractive for pets as why it is attractive to their owners: It is a natural, nonintrusive, and often affordable wellness modality that focuses on preventative treatments and the mental/emotional wellbeing of the patient in order to maximize healing. It is mainly a complement to traditional medicine. For both humans and animals it may include such treatments as herbology, acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic.

The interest and research for holistic pet healthcare are only at the alpha stages, though. Onsite statistics from The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Associate reveal it has approximately 808 members in the U.S. This may seem like a healthy number, but one must note that a 2013 American Veterinary Medical Association report placed the number of active veterinarians at 92,000. This puts veterinarians offering holistic medicine at considerably less than one percent! (.8 percent to be exact).

Certainly the AHVMA does not include all holistic veterinarians, as there is no regulatory body, but it is evident that holistic medicine has not translated into the pet healthcare in any impactful manner.

Again, this does not mean that pet owners are lagging in love or funds for their animals. According to a 2014 survey by Kroger Co., 61 percent of pet owners admit they would spend between $100 and $1,000 for life saving medical treatment. Another 15 percent would be willing to pay between $1,000 and $3,000 for treatment. Ten percent of owners said they would be willing to pay $3,000 or more for medical care if their pet required it.

So why the discrepancy? Why have nearly half of Americans embraced holistic medicine, but not done so when it comes to their animals?

These are questions that presently have no answer, only speculation. Yet in marketing where there are murky horizons it often means there is undiscovered fertile territory just waiting to be harvested—with the right research and tools. This is certainly the case with qSample, in this instance, as one of our specialties is managing and developing veterinarian panels.

After all, there was a time when the idea of holistic medicine was mostly alien to consumers, not more than a California dream or an Oprah rerun. Now it is a $34 billion annual industry, and that does not include yoga pants and other accessories!

Even an individual with his or her head lowered in downward dog can see the potential of holistic medicine in pet healthcare.

Veterinarian Statistics

Spoiling Spot: Holiday Gifts for Pets

Considering buying a Christmas stocking for your cat/dog? No need to question your sanity, you are far from alone.

The overwhelming majority of pet owners say they treat their dogs and cats like family. Pet owners are projected to spend more than $5.5 billion on pet related gifts this holiday season, which is close to 10 percent of the total amount consumers are projected to spend on their pets.

To gain further insight into such an astounding consumer trend, qSample conducted a survey among more than 350 participants from qSample’s own Pet Owner Panel.

According to the results, 38 percent of respondents plan to spend $21-$50 on their pet this holiday. Nearly 20 percent plan on spending more than $51 on their companion’s gift.

Retailers have certainly taken notice of the increase in spending. With each passing year, owners can choose from more and more pet products and gifts. New trends, highlighted by the American Pet Product Association, include new offerings from retailers that have been focused on human products. Companies like Ralph Lauren (now selling dog sweaters), Omaha Steaks (new steak pet treats), and Paul Mitchell (new pet hygiene products).

The majority of respondents, 37 percent planned to purchase toys and 22 percent will buy a toy that distributes food or treats.  When purchasing food or treats, 37 percent say that the number one factor in their purchasing decision is whether their pet likes the product or not, 28 percent look for organic, all-natural or grain-free options, 13 percent look at brand name as their key determinant and 12 percent consider pricing first.

Most of the survey’s respondents, 49 percent, planned to purchase these gifts at a physical pet specialty store. 19 percent plan to purchase online and 11 percent will purchase from auction sites, veterinary clinics, pet shelters/rescue groups or another venue.

by Connor Duffey

 

PetHolidayGiftographic