By J. H. Fletcher D. V. L. Smith
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Additional info for Nothing But the Truth: Telling True and Powerful Stories from Market Research Data
Informed theorizing Concerns about our tendency to become attached to our own theories about things, to the point of making awkward data ﬁt them, is clearly a central concern to those seeking a ‘scientiﬁc’ way of establishing the truth. We know we have a susceptibility to sophisticated explanations, irrespective of their truth. 1. 1 – The Watzlawick experiment • Watzlawick provides compelling experimental evidence of the power that sophisticated explanations of apparently signiﬁcant patterns in random data have over us.
Speciﬁcally, it is argued that that we construct our lives through ‘somatic markers’. These somatic markers are seen as being the way we continuously order the events in our lives. For example, if we put ourselves in a dangerous position at the top of a building and we fear falling, our pulse starts to race, we break out in a sweat and our heart may pound. All of this creates a strong somatic marker that tells us that being on the top of high buildings, without taking the appropriate precautions, is dangerous.
Of course, the complex nature of the commercial world makes these artefacts difﬁcult to isolate and expunge from our methods of market research enquiry. This means that, although reliable and valid methods are essential to any scientiﬁc approach to obtaining knowledge, there is a paradox in using this method to arrive at an understanding of the world. If we cannot identify and/or accurately measure all the causal factors which affect a phenomenon, we must admit to a degree of uncertainty in our understanding, and subsequent predictions.