Respondents do not frequently express deeply intrinsic motivations and attitudes when asked explicitly. Respondents might be unaware of these specific attitudes or think their intentions are unflattering.
Respondents can project their objective or subjective ideas and beliefs onto other persons or even inanimate things using projective techniques. From what the respondent says about other people, one might therefore infer the respondent’s true feelings.
Most of the time, projective techniques are used in interviews with one person or a small group. Please find out about projective techniques, its definition, and examples in this blog.
Definition of projective techniques
Projective techniques are many ways to assess a person’s personality that rely on a predetermined sequence of random inputs to elicit the subject’s frequently peculiar answers.
Psychologists have developed projective techniques, which are indirect and unstructured ways to find out about people. They use respondents’ projections to discover hidden motives, urges, or intentions that can’t be found through direct questioning because the respondent either doesn’t want to tell or can’t figure out himself.
Despite appearing straightforward, projective techniques frequently require the assistance of a licensed psychologist to help design the tests and appropriately evaluate them.
The techniques of projective techniques
Projective techniques are so crucial in attitude surveys or motivational research. Projective techniques are beneficial in allowing respondents to voice their opinions without feeling self-conscious. These techniques assist the respondents in unwittingly projecting their attitudes and sentiments into the research topic.
Some of the essential Projective Techniques are:
Word Association Test.
Word association tests can be applied in a variety of contexts:
- Respondents can be given a set of words or phrases in a random order, then asked to state or write the first word or phrase that comes to mind.
- When hearing specific brand names, respondents are asked what word or phrase instantly comes to mind.
- Respondents can also be questioned regarding slogans and what they imply;
- Respondents are asked to provide a “human attribute” or pair a descriptive term with an inanimate object or product to characterize it.
For example, a team of tourism experts was requested to identify personality qualities or “human characteristics” for both the villages and the towns in their region as part of developing a strategic marketing plan for their community.
The majority of the tourism sector representatives were from urban areas, and they vehemently asserted that metropolitan areas had historically been ignored in marketing initiatives.
Through these and other experiments, they realized that the rural areas were a significant aspect of the destination’s overall attractiveness and that they needed to be highlighted as essential components in any marketing strategy.
The sentence completion method asks responders to finish sentences that have been left unfinished. These statements are typically written in the third person and have a propensity for ambiguity.
Depending on the respondent’s personality, the following sentences, for example, would be completed in a variety of striking ways:
- “A beach getaway is…”
- “Visiting the mountains for vacation is…”
- “The purpose of golf is…”
- “The typical individual thinks of skiing…”
- “Museum visitors tend to be…”
In general, sentence completion tests are simpler to comprehend than word association tests since the offered answers are more thorough. However, the respondent can more easily tell what they’re trying to do, which can lead to less sincere answers.
The tale completion test is a variation of this technique. The respondent is given a story in words or visuals and is then asked to finish it in his or her own words.
The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) asks participants to describe a scene, potential character dialogue, and/or how the “narrative” might develop after viewing one or more photos. The photo interpretation technique is another name for TAT because of this.
TAT can be utilized in many different contexts, from eliciting characteristics of various products to forming opinions about the types of people who could use particular goods or services.
For example, after viewing a sample logo, respondents were questioned about the nature of the destination that would use it and what a tourist might find there. Among the remarks were:
- That reminds me of the garden.
- It is undeniably the largest city in the nation.
- The Empire State Building right there gives it a New York vibe.
- Soothing, unwinding. It has a regional focus because a tree blocks your view of the countryside, and you can see the city and buildings in the backdrop.
The expression technique is more frequently employed than any other projective technique to obtain respondents’ deeply held beliefs and attitudes that can be interpreted as reflecting poorly on the person. People often identify themselves as “virtues” that they perceive in others as “vices.”
For example, when asked why someone would decide to take an Alaskan cruise, the answer may be due to the high quality of the scenery, the chance to connect with intriguing people, or the chance to experience a new culture.
But when the same question about why a neighbor may take such a cruise is posed, the answer may very well be because of “brag appeal” or to brag.
Respondents can discuss opinions they might not necessarily admit to holding for themselves when given a chance to talk about someone else, such as a neighbor, a relative, or a friend.
The third-person approach can be more dynamic by including role-playing or practice. In this scenario, the respondent is instructed to mimic the actions or voice the feelings of a third party.
This strategy can be quite beneficial, especially when working with kids who “know” how others would behave but may not always be able to articulate it verbally.
Several factors make projective techniques beneficial. They can be crucial for gaining more insight into the subconscious and helpful for giving moderated discussion something “different.”
When researching topics that customers may only find simple to explain an opinion, projective techniques are helpful. You must remember the purpose of the projective technique if you want to be a successful moderator.
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