Here is a sample of topics I’ve done surveys and focus groups on in the past few months:
- Challenges to immunizing children experienced by health workers in 14 developing countries
- “Pitjazzlement,” or the customization of one’s underarms
- Differences between nurses’ and physicians’ views on patient safety in hospitals
- How women are affected by bad hair days
- What it’s like to care for someone with schizophrenia
- The appeal of a home HIV test
- What brides fear on their wedding day
- Kindergarten teachers’ thoughts on using online assessments with their students
- Why bicyclists enjoy riding a particular long-distance event—and how they think the event could be better
- What might motivate people to eat beef one more time a week than they currently do
I assembled this list not only to amuse you with some of these topics I work on, but also to show the breadth of situations where research can be used. Focus groups aren’t just for testing advertisements or products, and the government isn’t the only organization that can use survey data to implement policies.
Whether it’s testing the appeal of a message, understanding how a product is used, or getting to the heart of people’s experiences with a particular business, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who couldn’t use research.
After all, have you ever met anyone who said, “I don’t want to be any smarter?”