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Projective Techniques

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Sunanda K. Chavan
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Projective Techniques - October 21st, 2010

Projective Techniques are based on the theory that the description of vague objects requires interpretation and this interpretation can only be based on the individual’s own background, attitudes, and values. The more vague or ambiguous the object to be described the move one must reveal of oneself in order to complete the description.

The following general categories of projective techniques are described: association, completion, construction and expression.

1. Association Techniques

Association techniques require the subject to respond to the presentation of a stimulus with the first things that come to mind.

a. Word association: The word association technique requires the respondent to give the first word or thought that comes to mind after researcher presents a word or phrase. In free association only the first word or thought is required.

 One of the oldest and simplest projection techniques.

 Respondents are presented with a number of different words, one at a time. After each word, they are asked to give the first word that comes to mind.

 The assumption here is that through free words, the respondents will indicate their inner feelings about the subject.

 Responses are timed so that those responses that respondents “reason out” are identified and taken into account in the analysis. The time limit is usually 5 seconds.

 The usual way of constructing such a test is to choose many stimulating and “neutral” words. The words are read out to the respondent one at a time, and the interviewer essentially records the “first word” association by the respondent.

 Respondents should not be asked to write their responses because then the interviewer will not know if the responses were spontaneous or whether the respondent took time to think out the responses.

 An example of such a test is: who would eat a lot of oatmeal? The first response is “athletes”. This means that the respondent feels that the product is more suited for sportspersons. More words on the same topic will reveal more about the respondent’s attitude about the product.

 While analyzing the results of word-association tests, responses are arranged along such lines as “favorable - unfavorable” and “pleasant – unpleasant”.

b. Successive word association: In successive word association, the respondent is asked to give a series of words or thoughts that occur after hearing a given word. The respondent is generally read a number of relatively neutral terms to establish the technique. Then the words of interest to the researcher are presented, each separated by several neutral terms.

The order of presentation of the key words is randomized to prevent any position or order bias from affecting the results. The most common approach to analyzing the resulting data is to analyze the frequency with a particular word or category or word is given in response to the word of interest to the researcher.

Word association techniques are used in testing potential brand names and occasionally for measuring attitudes about particular products, product attributes, brands, packages or advertisements.

2. Completion Techniques
This technique requires the respondent to complete an incomplete stimulus. Two types of completion are of interest to marketing researchers- sentence completion and story completion.

a. Sentence completion, as the name implies, involves requiring the respondent to complete a sentence. In most sentence completion tests the respondents are asked to complete the sentence with a phrase. Generally they are told to use the first thought that comes to their mind or “anything that makes sense”.

Because the individual is not required directly to associate himself or herself with the answer conscious or subconscious defenses are more likely to be relaxed and allow a more revealing answer.

 The respondent is given a number of incomplete sentences and asked to complete them.

 The rule here too, is that respondent must fill in the first thought that comes to mind.

 Responses are timed.

 Here the interviewer gets more information than the word association technique.

 However, it is difficult to disguise the motive of the study from the respondent, who is usually able to diagnose the investigator’s purpose of study.
 For example, “a man who reads Sportstar is ------------------------------------------.”
 The sentences can be worded in either first or third person. No evidence suggests that one of these approaches could be better than the other.

b. Story completion is an expanded version of sentence completion. As the name suggests part of a story is told and the respondent is asked to complete it.

 Respondents are given a half-completed story. This is enough to draw their attention to a particular issue, but the ending is left vague, so that responses can be varied.

 This technique is very versatile and has numerous applications to marketing problems.

 The findings about products/ services give companies inputs to determine advertising and promotional themes and product characteristics.


3. Construction Techniques
This technique requires the respondent to produce or construct something generally a story, dialogue, or description. They are similar to completion techniques except that less initial structure is provided.

a. Third- person techniques allow the respondent to project attitudes onto some vague third person. This third person is generally “an average woman”, “your neighbors”, “the guys where you work”, “most doctors” or the like. Thus instead of asking the respondent why he or she did something or what he or she thinks about something the researcher asks what friends, neighbors or the average person thinks about the issue.

b. Picture response, another useful construction technique, involves using pictures to elicit stories. These pictures are usually relatively vague, so that the respondent must use his or her imagination to describe what is occurring.

 These are similar to story completion method, except that here pictures are used as the stimuli. The two main methods used here are
i. Thematic Apperception Tests (TAT)

ii. Cartoon method
i. TAT
 Clinical psychologists have long used this method.

 Here the respondent is shown many ambiguous pictures and he is asked to spin stories about them.

 The interviewer may ask questions to help the respondent to think. For example “what is happening here?” makes the answer focused towards an action. Or “which one is the aggressor?” makes the respondent think about the picture as one of aggression. The reason that respondents must be asked such prompting questions is that the pictures are very abstract and general and as such are open to very broad and irreverent interpretations. So some amount of focus is needed to channel the respondent’s thinking.

 Each subject in the pictures is a medium through which the respondent projects his feelings, ideas, emotions and attitudes. The respondent attributes these feelings to the characters because he sees in the picture something related to himself.

 Responses differ widely and analysis depends upon the ambiguity of the picture, the extent to which the respondent is able to guess the conclusions and the vagueness of the support questions asked by the interviewer.

ii. Cartoon Tests
They are a version or modification of the TAT, but they are simpler to administer and analyze. Cartoon Characters are shown in a specific situation pertinent to a problem. One or more “balloons” indicating the conversation of the characters is left open. The respondent has to then fill these balloons and then analyzed.

Instead of having the bubble show replies or comments, it can be drawn to indicate the unspoken thoughts of one or more of the characters. This device allows the respondent to avoid any restraints that might be felt against having even a carton character speak as opposed to think certain thoughts.


c. Fantasy scenario requires the respondent to make up a fantasy about the product or brand.

d. Personification asks the respondent to create a personally for the products or brands. With the pictures and words technique, the subjects are given a number of words and pictures and are asked to choose those they associate with a brand or product and to explain their choice.
This allows the researcher to discover the more emotional responses to brands and imagery.

The product or brand becomes a person (or vice versa)
• Helps bring brands to life
• Feeling, thought, character etc (like brand values)
• Or respondents can project themselves into the roles of user and non-users
• Making up eulogies or obituaries can help

4. Expressive Techniques
a. Role-playing is the only expressive technique utilized to any extent by marketing researchers. In role playing the consumer is asked to assume the role or behavior of an object or another person, such as a sales representative for a particular department store.

The role-playing customer can then be asked to try to sell a given product to a number of different “consumers” who raise varying objections. The means by which the role player attempts to overcome these objections can reveal a great deal about his or her attitudes. Another version of the technique involves studying the role-player’s attitudes on what type of people ”should” shop at the store in question.

b. Third-person technique:
The respondent is presented with a verbal or visual situation and the respondent is asked to relate the beliefs and attitudes of a third person rather than directly expressing personal beliefs and attitudes. This third person may be a friend, neighbor, colleague, or a “typical” person
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Re: Projective Techniques
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Bhautik Kawa
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Re: Projective Techniques - February 22nd, 2016

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunandaC View Post
Projective Techniques are based on the theory that the description of vague objects requires interpretation and this interpretation can only be based on the individual’s own background, attitudes, and values. The more vague or ambiguous the object to be described the move one must reveal of oneself in order to complete the description.

The following general categories of projective techniques are described: association, completion, construction and expression.

1. Association Techniques

Association techniques require the subject to respond to the presentation of a stimulus with the first things that come to mind.

a. Word association: The word association technique requires the respondent to give the first word or thought that comes to mind after researcher presents a word or phrase. In free association only the first word or thought is required.

 One of the oldest and simplest projection techniques.

 Respondents are presented with a number of different words, one at a time. After each word, they are asked to give the first word that comes to mind.

 The assumption here is that through free words, the respondents will indicate their inner feelings about the subject.

 Responses are timed so that those responses that respondents “reason out” are identified and taken into account in the analysis. The time limit is usually 5 seconds.

 The usual way of constructing such a test is to choose many stimulating and “neutral” words. The words are read out to the respondent one at a time, and the interviewer essentially records the “first word” association by the respondent.

 Respondents should not be asked to write their responses because then the interviewer will not know if the responses were spontaneous or whether the respondent took time to think out the responses.

 An example of such a test is: who would eat a lot of oatmeal? The first response is “athletes”. This means that the respondent feels that the product is more suited for sportspersons. More words on the same topic will reveal more about the respondent’s attitude about the product.

 While analyzing the results of word-association tests, responses are arranged along such lines as “favorable - unfavorable” and “pleasant – unpleasant”.

b. Successive word association: In successive word association, the respondent is asked to give a series of words or thoughts that occur after hearing a given word. The respondent is generally read a number of relatively neutral terms to establish the technique. Then the words of interest to the researcher are presented, each separated by several neutral terms.

The order of presentation of the key words is randomized to prevent any position or order bias from affecting the results. The most common approach to analyzing the resulting data is to analyze the frequency with a particular word or category or word is given in response to the word of interest to the researcher.

Word association techniques are used in testing potential brand names and occasionally for measuring attitudes about particular products, product attributes, brands, packages or advertisements.

2. Completion Techniques
This technique requires the respondent to complete an incomplete stimulus. Two types of completion are of interest to marketing researchers- sentence completion and story completion.

a. Sentence completion, as the name implies, involves requiring the respondent to complete a sentence. In most sentence completion tests the respondents are asked to complete the sentence with a phrase. Generally they are told to use the first thought that comes to their mind or “anything that makes sense”.

Because the individual is not required directly to associate himself or herself with the answer conscious or subconscious defenses are more likely to be relaxed and allow a more revealing answer.

 The respondent is given a number of incomplete sentences and asked to complete them.

 The rule here too, is that respondent must fill in the first thought that comes to mind.

 Responses are timed.

 Here the interviewer gets more information than the word association technique.

 However, it is difficult to disguise the motive of the study from the respondent, who is usually able to diagnose the investigator’s purpose of study.
 For example, “a man who reads Sportstar is ------------------------------------------.”
 The sentences can be worded in either first or third person. No evidence suggests that one of these approaches could be better than the other.

b. Story completion is an expanded version of sentence completion. As the name suggests part of a story is told and the respondent is asked to complete it.

 Respondents are given a half-completed story. This is enough to draw their attention to a particular issue, but the ending is left vague, so that responses can be varied.

 This technique is very versatile and has numerous applications to marketing problems.

 The findings about products/ services give companies inputs to determine advertising and promotional themes and product characteristics.


3. Construction Techniques
This technique requires the respondent to produce or construct something generally a story, dialogue, or description. They are similar to completion techniques except that less initial structure is provided.

a. Third- person techniques allow the respondent to project attitudes onto some vague third person. This third person is generally “an average woman”, “your neighbors”, “the guys where you work”, “most doctors” or the like. Thus instead of asking the respondent why he or she did something or what he or she thinks about something the researcher asks what friends, neighbors or the average person thinks about the issue.

b. Picture response, another useful construction technique, involves using pictures to elicit stories. These pictures are usually relatively vague, so that the respondent must use his or her imagination to describe what is occurring.

 These are similar to story completion method, except that here pictures are used as the stimuli. The two main methods used here are
i. Thematic Apperception Tests (TAT)

ii. Cartoon method
i. TAT
 Clinical psychologists have long used this method.

 Here the respondent is shown many ambiguous pictures and he is asked to spin stories about them.

 The interviewer may ask questions to help the respondent to think. For example “what is happening here?” makes the answer focused towards an action. Or “which one is the aggressor?” makes the respondent think about the picture as one of aggression. The reason that respondents must be asked such prompting questions is that the pictures are very abstract and general and as such are open to very broad and irreverent interpretations. So some amount of focus is needed to channel the respondent’s thinking.

 Each subject in the pictures is a medium through which the respondent projects his feelings, ideas, emotions and attitudes. The respondent attributes these feelings to the characters because he sees in the picture something related to himself.

 Responses differ widely and analysis depends upon the ambiguity of the picture, the extent to which the respondent is able to guess the conclusions and the vagueness of the support questions asked by the interviewer.

ii. Cartoon Tests
They are a version or modification of the TAT, but they are simpler to administer and analyze. Cartoon Characters are shown in a specific situation pertinent to a problem. One or more “balloons” indicating the conversation of the characters is left open. The respondent has to then fill these balloons and then analyzed.

Instead of having the bubble show replies or comments, it can be drawn to indicate the unspoken thoughts of one or more of the characters. This device allows the respondent to avoid any restraints that might be felt against having even a carton character speak as opposed to think certain thoughts.


c. Fantasy scenario requires the respondent to make up a fantasy about the product or brand.

d. Personification asks the respondent to create a personally for the products or brands. With the pictures and words technique, the subjects are given a number of words and pictures and are asked to choose those they associate with a brand or product and to explain their choice.
This allows the researcher to discover the more emotional responses to brands and imagery.

The product or brand becomes a person (or vice versa)
• Helps bring brands to life
• Feeling, thought, character etc (like brand values)
• Or respondents can project themselves into the roles of user and non-users
• Making up eulogies or obituaries can help

4. Expressive Techniques
a. Role-playing is the only expressive technique utilized to any extent by marketing researchers. In role playing the consumer is asked to assume the role or behavior of an object or another person, such as a sales representative for a particular department store.

The role-playing customer can then be asked to try to sell a given product to a number of different “consumers” who raise varying objections. The means by which the role player attempts to overcome these objections can reveal a great deal about his or her attitudes. Another version of the technique involves studying the role-player’s attitudes on what type of people ”should” shop at the store in question.

b. Third-person technique:
The respondent is presented with a verbal or visual situation and the respondent is asked to relate the beliefs and attitudes of a third person rather than directly expressing personal beliefs and attitudes. This third person may be a friend, neighbor, colleague, or a “typical” person
Hi Friend,

I am also uploading a document which will give more detailed explanation on the Protective Techniques in Education Research.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Projective Techniques in Education.pdf (198.0 KB, 0 views)


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