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Research War Stories: 'The bologna part of the cow'...

In the popular War Stories column, which has run sporadically in Quirk's since 1994, Art Shulman, president of Shulman Research in Van Nuys, Calif., presents humorous tales of life in the research trenches, based on his own experiences and those of researcher friends and colleagues. Each month in our e-newsletter we feature a few anecdotes from past War Stories columns.

Moderator Saul Cohen tells about a female participant in a focus group on luncheon meats who, when asked "Where do you think bologna comes from?" convincingly stated that it came from "the bologna part of the cow."

W.G. Eaton cites a focus group on frozen hamburgers he once moderated for an ad agency he worked for. Early in the session one participant announced she was a vegetarian who detested all forms of meat and their cannibalistic consumers. Through the session she persisted with her viewpoint. Eaton cringed at what he thought his client's reaction was behind the one-way mirror for recruiting the woman and not asking her to leave. To his relief and surprise, the client greeted him later with, "What a great idea to put a vegetarian in a group of meat eaters to get a different perspective!"

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