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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The use of projective techniques in consumer attitude research Khoo, Suat Choo


The purpose of this thesis is to examine some projective techniques that can be used to study consumer attitudes. The measurement of attitudes is an interesting but perplexing one, mainly because of their abstract nature. Many instruments have been used, notably the direct method of questioning and the scaling techniques. These are based upon two important assumptions: (1) that the individual is aware of his attitudes and can verbalize them and (2) that the individual is willing to reveal these attitudes to an interviewer who is a total stranger. Researchers have recognized the weaknesses of these assumptions and have turned to more indirect approaches. The usefulness of projective methodology in consumer interviewing is undeniable. Their more subtle, indirect, unstructured and flexible approach overcomes some of the weaknesses found in the more direct methods. But these techniques have some limitations which have been severely criticized. The validity and scientific value of these tools are subjected to great controversy. Yet, it is not enough to list their shortcomings. It is necessary to spell out what they are invalid for and why. More research has to be done especially in comparing the responses derived from these methods which those obtained from other tools, on the same subject of inquiry and under similar circumstances. The author has relied solely on secondary data in the study. Any empirical testing of these techniques calls for a considerable amount of experience and skill in psychology and consumer behavior.

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