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How does one analyze subconscious decision making?

I read an interview with Professor Zaltman from Harvard. He says that 95% of our mental processing occurs in the subconscious. Does anyone know about a tool in market research that reaches into the subconscious?

How does one analyze subconscious decision making?

There are quite a few articles about brain research, where the consumer's brain is scanned and brain activity is evaluated as s/he views different stimuli.

Get into their Brain to find the answer

I did a quick site search for the word "Brain" and clicked on the articles tab...we have done quite a few articles on the subject.

Here is a link to the results:

Zaltman Research


I am a Director at Olson Zaltman Associates, the firm founded by Prof. Gerald Zaltman to study subconscious decision making. There are number of different approaches to studying what happens beneath the surface of consumers' minds. We specialize in two of them -- qualitative ZMET and quantitative Response Latency. There are also other companies using imaging and biometric measures with whom we work. To learn more about what we do you can check out our website There is also an extensive list of books and articles there which will interest you.

One thing to consider is that there is a difference between observing that a thought is occurring subconsciously, and knowing what the content of that thought is. For instance, many biometric measures, brain scans, etc., can tell you what part of the brain is active and generally what the emotional response is to a stimulus. However, without talking to a consumer you will not know to what they are reacting and why. That's where implicit methods like ZMET come in. By noticing the implicit patterns in the way consumers discuss their lives we are able to get to deeper motivations and thus explain the observed reactions caught by MRI, etc.

I hope you found this helpful... Mary Beth Jowers

How To make Decision

I think that you are on the right track. It is important to gather all of the necessary information, to collate it and then contemplate the specific consequences of making a particular decision.

Then, if a specific, logical decision cannot be discerned, go with your intuition. At a subconscious level, you will be able to filter through the facts and deduce the best decision you can make based on the information that is available to you.