Motivation Research

Sasmita Mishra

What is motivation research?
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Motivation research deals with the analysis of wishes, desires,needs drives and such things In other words, it attempts to determine the why of consumer behaviour This research is used most extensively in marketing to determine why consumer buy one brand or type of product instead of competing alternatives Such information helps in designing the product, its package, pricing and advertising

Motivation research techniques
 Non-disguised-structured

techniques  Non-disguised non-structured techniques  Disguised-non-structured techniques  Disguised structured techniques

Non-disguised structured Technique

This approach employs a standardized questionnaire to collect data on belief, feelings, and attitudes from the respondent. Nothing about the purpose of the study is concealed from the respondent

Different methods under this are:

Single question method Multiple-question method Physiological tests

Non-disguised structured Technique

question method

The respondent is required to give one answer selected from various choices given to them. Ex. Which one of the following responses best describe your feelings about X brand of product?
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I think it is an excellent product I think it is a very good product I think it is a good product I think it is a poor product I think it is a very poor product

Non-disguised structured Technique
Demerits of single-question method
Subject-matter being specific it is difficult to construct meaningful categories Specified alternative answer may force the respondents to express an attitude which he does not hold Semantic difficulties are likely to be accentuated because answers are limited to fixed alternatives which may not exhibit a clear meaning of the respondent There is no way to determine how much one person differs in terms of “favourableness” or “unfavourableness”

Non-disguised structured Technique
 Multiple

question method

In this method a number of questions are asked about the attitudes and total score from all the questions responses give the score or total attitude of the respondent  Physiological


Various laboratory tests such as galvanic skin response, eye movement, and pupil dilation are used to measure one’s attitude

Non-disguised non-structured techniques
In this technique questions are not predetermined and the purpose of the study is revealed fully to the respondent  The techniques are also called depth interviews, clinical interviews, unstructured interviews and so on.  Respondent’s response obtained through this technique are spontaneous, highly specific and concrete and are self revealing. Demerit: data obtined are qualitative and ambiguous

Disguised non-structured techniques
 Purpose

of the study is not revealed.  Main projective techniques are
Word association test Thematic apperception test Sentence completion test

Word association test

There are a number of ways of using word association tests:  A list of words or phrases can be presented in random order to respondents, who are requested to state or write the word or phrase that pops into their mind;  Respondents are asked for what word or phrase comes to mind immediately upon hearing certain brand names;  Similarly, respondents can be asked about slogans and what they suggest;  Respondents are asked to describe an inanimate object or product by giving it "human characteristics" or associating descriptive adjectives with it.

Word association test
Example: a group of tourism professionals working on establishing a strategic marketing plan for their community were asked to come up with personality traits or "human characteristics" for the villages as well as the cities within their area:



Serene Brash Conservative Rushed Quaint Liberal Friendly Modern Accessible Cold Reliable Most of the tourism industry representatives came from the cities and had strongly argued that the urban areas had historically been neglected in promotional campaigns. As a result of this and other exercises, they came to the realization that the rural areas were a strong feature of the overall attractiveness of the destination and needed to be featured as key elements in any marketing campaign.

Thematic Apperception Test
In the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), the respondents are shown one or more pictures and asked to describe what is happening, what dialogue might be carried on between characters and/or how the "story“ might continue. For this reason, TAT is also known as the picture interpretation technique.  Although the picture, illustration, drawing or cartoon that is used must be interesting enough to encourage discussion, it should be vague enough not to immediately give away what the project is about.

Sentence Completion Test

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In the sentence completion method, respondents are given incomplete sentences and asked to complete the thought. These sentences are usually in the third person and tend to be somewhat ambiguous. For example, the following sentences would provide striking differences in how they were completed depending on the personality of the respondent: "A beach vacation is……………………" "Taking a holiday in the mountains is…." "Golfing is for…" "The average person considers skiing….." "People who visit museums are…………"

Sentence Completion Test

Generally speaking, sentence completion tests are easier to interpret since the answers provided will be more detailed than in a word association test. However, their intent is also more obvious to the respondent, and could possible result in less honest replies. A variant of this method is the story completion test. A story in words or pictures is given to the respondent who is then asked to complete it in his/her own words.

Disguised structured techniques
When we are to measure those attitudes which respondents might not readily and accurately answer, we can use this technique Ex. To measure attitude towards management-labour relations questions like this can be asked “average wage of workers in pre-independence period was: i) Rs. 2, ii) Rs. 5. Here it can be assumed that few people know the answer. The prolabour respondents would guess the low figure and the promanagement respondents would guess the high figure.

Limitations of Motivation Research

Caution are required to be exercised not only in the application of these techniques but also the resultant data should be analyzed and interpreted according to the psychological theory Originally these techniques were used to collect data fro a single individual over a period of time. It is not free from drawbacks while we apply these techniques to gather data from a number of individuals The designing and administering of these techniques need qualified and experienced researchers. Such personnel are hardly available Generally small samples are taken for conducting motivation research; generalization if drawn on this basis are misleading