Research can get by without asking questions

Research Magazine organizes the first of their online debates. It’s your chance to have a say on a series of the research industry’s most controversial topics. Each month a motion is proposed, two research professionals start the debate, one defending the motion and the other against. Consider their arguments and then it’s your turn to make your case.
Topic for the December Debate: Research can get by without asking questions.

Market research is rooted in the idea of asking people what they think or feel or do. But in recent years declining survey response rates, new understanding of how our minds work and the explosion of social media have made the shortcomings of traditional research more prominent and more problematic. Some are even predicting that we are witnessing the slow death of survey research. So as ‘asking’ loses ground to ‘listening’, which approach will win out in the long run? As it becomes easier to track organic word of mouth and real-life behaviour, is there any point in asking people what they think they think?

Annelies Verhaeghe, Senior ForwaR&D Lab Manager at InSites Consulting is for the motion. Read her arguments here and join the debate at

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