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NEUROBLOG 2: What we know about how the brain processes information can lead to better research design

Rachel CopeBack in January in my first neuroblog I looked at the link between the brain’s use of glucose, and how the brain processes information.  Now I’d like to explore the way we process images and how it can be used to design better research projects.

Key neurofact: Our brain processes images tens of thousands of times faster than text. So what does this mean for us?

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Research implication 1 – questionnaire design:  We’re already doing it, but it’s good to know there’s science to support the use of imagery within questionnaires to aid understanding.  Of course, images need to be relevant and easy to understand. Research also shows that comprehension is best when images and words are combined so, when designing rating scales, use images to support each rating option along with a short description of each rating.

My colleague, Chrissie Wells, will be speaking at the Market Research Summit on 20th May on the importance of gamification and visualisation in boosting respondent engagement.

 

Research implication 2 – recruiting participants:  We often create text-heavy emails and letters to send to participants to encourage them to take part.  Images and visual information (e.g. colour or bold text) will help to get the message across quicker and more effectively.

 

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Research implication 3 – delivering findings:  This probably explains why infographics work so well.  Pages of text can be summarised on a single page using powerful imagery.  Take a look at one of our infographics (based on a published report).

 

 

 

 

 

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