How to use research methods to understand emotional decision making

Date: 20/07/2020 Written by: Eloise 10 minutes to read.
Getting emotional insights

It is important to understand not only what emotions are, but how they can impact human behaviour and decision-making. But how?

Emotions have been defined by scientists and psychologists alike, who consider them to be complex states of feeling which are ultimately rooted in the ability to calculate the probabilities of survival and reproduction. These calculations help us when faced with making decisions, and so our emotions often determine the choices we make and our motivation for pursuing these.

Understanding the role of emotions in decision making and subsequent behaviour change is therefore essential. Using research methods to understand emotional decision making will help to provide insights and recommendations for change not only work but make a real, positive impact. There are a range of methods which can be used for this, including scenarios, self-narrative and observation.

However, knowing how to interpret and analyse your research and ensuring that it reflects your participants' actual emotions is just as important as knowing which research method to use. This is of particular importance for the development of future behaviour change interventions; if you have misinterpreted your participants' emotions, how can you be sure that an intervention developed from these findings will actually work?

In this guide, we explore what emotions are, why they are important, what research methods can be used to understand emotions and how to interpret and analyse your findings. Download the guide now, and if you'd like more information on how research can help you to understand your target audience and make an impact, check out our research services page or get in touch with a member of the team! 

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