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The100: Cognitive blind spots, polarisation and styrofoam

Procter’s Gamble

I was going to write something about the Gillette campaign. And then I read this.

You know when people say they couldn’t have said it better themselves? In this case I genuinely couldn’t, both in the literal sense and the metaphorical.

Proper vox, not flops

Mark Urban (he of the BBC) wrote an interesting piece on why (*quality*) vox pops are important (“I am not going to defend the bad vox pop.”).

The principle of watching and listening to a wide range of people, to get outside of the bubble, is something I’ve been shouting from the rooftops, so it’s nice to have Mark there for company.

‘...There is so much to learn from listening to people, giving them the chance to offer a view, however incisive or ill informed we might think those opinions are…. When you give people the time and the space to explain themselves, you start to reveal the gradations, the passions and the confusions that characterise all our views. In a democracy, incoherent or illogical opinions are no less important than the most cogent and consistent. Understanding misunderstanding is essential.

Nail. Head.

(Do you happen to know Mark? An introduction would be much appreciated if so, I’d love for him to speak at our event on consumer empathy in May. Alas, health and safety advised us not to host it from an actual rooftop.)

Poles apart

Danny ‘The Fink’ Finkelstein of The Times wrote a terrific column about group polarisation:

 ‘The tendency to become firmer and more extreme when discussing subjects with those of like mind’.

And there lies your argument-winner for advocating a better understanding of people unlike you.

Doing right when you’re wrong

This article about intellectual humility is, well, humbling.

There are plenty of lessons and challenges for all of us, especially in appreciating our cognitive blind spots.

What if if the MRX industry took a leaf out of The Loss of Confidence Project’s book and we admitted when we no longer had confidence in the accuracy of one of our previous findings?

It might hurt, but it would be fun, and we’d learn even more.

As someone once said

I admit I was wrong once. It was when I thought I was wrong and I wasn’t’.


pasted image 0 2Simple storytelling

Staying on the theme of humbling, this wonderful 4 min film is about a lady in Shanghai who collects Styrofoam boxes from markets.


Can you imagine cycling with all that stacked around you? The power of telling stories through video, eh. Who’d of thought 😉

Another jolly nice story (written this time) is about Collect Pond Park.

Even if you’re not a fan of the world’s biggest apple, it’s a microcosmic tale on how cities grow – and consume.

What We Do

(because some have asked)

Watch Me Think are, dare we say it, an innovative, fun, and smart research company. We collect in-the-moment videos made by people around the world, on their smartphones, showing real occasions and behaviours, while answering key questions posed by our clients.

We believe that instead of just asking people what they claim to do, you should also watch what they actually do. It gives you a much better understanding motivators and barriers, while engaging your colleagues with compelling video stories.

Our approach:

  • An emphasis on quality videos and human-made transcriptions,
  • Innovative screen-in-screen methods: see what people do, while they review and explain their actions at the same time,
  • A video platform that makes it easy to search, edit and share – at no extra cost
  • A fabulously talented team of qualitative researchers who watch and extract key behaviours, insights and observations for you,
  • All illustrated and brought to life by our professional video editors via highlight reels.

Watch Me Think. Get to understand people better. Go beneath the words. And help your company do that too.